CHME-2010 Material, Energy, and Entropy Balances
Four credit hours. Fall 1998
General Information

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Michael M. Abbott

Office: 204 Ricketts
Phone: 276-6764

Henry R. Bungay

Office: 204A Ricketts
Phone: 276-6799

Teaching Assistant:

Michael Brown
Office: 401 Ricketts
Phone: 276-2749


We have two texts, which are used both for this course and for the follow-up course, CHME-2020 (Energy, Entropy and Equilibrium).
  • R.M. Felder and R.W. Rousseau ("F&R"), Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, (2nd Edition, Wiley, 1986
  • Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (5th Edition), J.M. Smith, H.C. Van Ness, and M.M. Abbott, McGraw-Hill, 1996

    Essential Background for this Course:

    First-year college mathematics, first-year college chemistry, and a semester of college physics. We assume proficiency in basic differential and integral calculus, including the ability to deal with functions of several independent variables.

    Goals of this Course:

    The balance concept is pervasive to the engineering sciences. In this course, we develop equations of balance for mass, atoms, moles, energy, and entropy, and apply them to problems and processes of interest to the chemical engineer. On successful completion of the course, the student should have a command of the major topics listed below.

    Major Topics in this Course:

  • Engineering variables and engineering data
  • The general balance equation
  • Elementary flowsheeting
  • Material balances for reactive and non-reactive systems
  • Ideal gases and ideal solutions
  • Phase equilibria, humidity concepts, and Raoult's Law
  • Heat effects: sensible, latent, and chemical
  • Energy balances for reactive and non-reactive systems
  • Entropy balances and the Second Law


    This is not a correspondence course. Lectures will contain substantial explanatory and/or motivational material, and will in no way constitute blind regurgitations of the texts. Attendance is therefore essential, and expected. Each student is responsible for all materials presented and all announcements made in class. A history of repeated absences may affect final grade decisions for borderline cases.


    Doing promotes learning. Hence homework will be assigned on a regular basis. For this course, homeworks are of two kinds:
    1. Textbook problems, which will not be collected or graded. Occasional scheduled quizzes (see below) will revisit and reinforce material treated in the assigned textbook problems.
    2. Graded homework problem sets. These exercises are intended in part to reinforce aspects of engineering analysis and design.


    There will be five in-class quizzes. For each quiz, expect one or two problems that are similar to ungraded homework problems. Also expect a problem different in detail from homework problems, but requiring the same types of thinking.

    Mid-Semester Exams

    Three 90-minute mid-semester exams will be given according to the schedule presented below. All students will take all three exams. The only acceptable excuses for absence from an examination are:
    1) a validated medical excuse, or
    2) an appropriate statement from the Dean of Students, presented to us in advance of the examination.

    Mid-semester exams typically will consist of three or four problems. Since you may bring your text and a cribsheet to these exams, you should not expect examination problems to be replicas of examples or problems done in handouts, homeworks, lectures, or the text. We are looking for understanding of the material; a good measure of understanding is the ability to tackle new problems with acquired skills.

    Mid-Semester Exam Schedule:

    Exam 1 Wednesday 16 September : 7-8:30 PM
    Exam 2 Wednesday 21 October : 7-8:30 PM
    Exam 3 Wednesday 18 November : 7-8:30 PM

    Final Exam:

    There will be a three-hour final examination, which all students will take. Those who have been excused from a single mid-semester exam will be given a makeup exam during the last week of classes. The makeup exam will be comprehensive, covering material from the three mid-semester exams.

    Final-examination period is 10-11 and 14-16 December. Make no travel plans until your complete final-exam schedule has been established.

    Academic Integrity:

    We live in an age of ethical ambiguity. The shades of the 1980's still haunt us: expectations are often wildly discordant with effort, and the entrepreneurial imperative appears to some to offer a generalized shelter for the morally impaired. This should concern us all. We therefore append the following statements regarding academic integrity:
    1. Student-teacher relationships are built on trust. For example, students must trust that teachers have made appropriate decisions about the structure and content of the courses they teach, and teachers must trust that the assignments which students turn in are their own. Acts which violate this trust undermine the educational process.
      The Rensselaer Handbook defines various forms of Academic Dishonesty and procedures for responding to them. All forms are violations of the trust between students and teachers. Students should familiarize themselves with this portion of the Rensselaer Handbook and should note that the penalties for plagiarism and other forms of cheating can be quite harsh.
    2. A local definition of "cheating" seems necessary. For this course, let us use the following: collaborative work of any kind on a quiz or examination, or excessive collaboration on the graded homework assignments, constitutes cheating. "Collaboration" includes sharing your work with others, as well as receiving and using the work of others.