CHEE311: Phase and Reaction Equilibrium

Phase and Reaction Equilibrium



Kim McAuleyDupuis 533-6000 ext.77973


Anh-Duong (Sunny) VoDUP
Jennifer AielloDUP

Course Description

This course is concerned with the application of thermodynamics to practical problems of the chemical industry. Emphasis is placed on the study of phase equilibrium, including vapour- liquid equilibrium and liquid-liquid equilibrium. Contemporary methods of calculating the thermodynamic properties of non-ideal vapours and liquids will be presented and applied. The principles of chemical reaction equilibrium will also be studied. The design component of the course will require students to perform theoretical vapour-liquid equilibrium calculations and recommend proper operating conditions for a single-stage unit (flash drum) that separates a non- ideal binary mixture. (0/0/0/30/12)


Objectives and Outcomes

This course is designed for learners with background in material and energy balances, chemical reactions, calculus, numerical methods, and basic thermodynamics.

Specific course learning outcomes (CLO) include:



Identify and understand the principles of chemical equilibrium thermodynamics to solve multiphase equilibria and chemical reaction equilibria.

KB-ES-Thermo (a)
KB ES-Thermo (b)

CLO2 Analyze the conditions associated with ideal and non-ideal vapour-liquid systems at equilibrium through the construction and interpretation of phase diagrams for ideal and non-ideal binary mixtures. KB-ES-Thermo (a) KB-ES-Thermo (b)
CLO3 Use empirical correlations and experimental data to evaluate thermodynamic quantities that relate to the vapour-liquid or liquid-liquid equilibria of ideal and non- ideal chemical mixtures. KB-ES-Thermo (c)
CLO4 Determine equilibrium constants for chemical reactions and equilibrium point compositions for multiple reaction systems. KB-ES-Thermo (d)
CLO5 Solve single- and multistage separation processes involving non-ideal chemical mixtures using numerical methods and simulations, and recommend appropriate operating conditions.

KB Process (c)

This course develops the following attributes at the 3rd year level:

Knowledge base, Engineering Science (KB-ES): Thermo (a) Applies laws of thermodynamics, identifies thermodynamic and PVT properties and applies equations of state to describe fluid behaviour and construct phase diagrams for single and multi-component systems. Thermo (b) Analyzes thermodynamic cycles and process components and performs the relevant calculations. Thermo(c) Uses correlations and experimental data to evaluate thermodynamic quantities that relate to vapour-liquid or liquid-liquid equilibria. Thermo (d) Determines equilibrium constants and analyzes the influence of thermodynamic equilibrium on reaction and separation systems. Process (c) Applies engineering principles to do engineering calculations and size various unit operations, including pumps, heat exchangers, separation processes, and reactors.

Problem Analysis (PA): Evaluate Analyze solutions to complex engineering problems to draw conclusions.

Design (DE): Solutions Create a product, process or system to solve a problem, that meets specified needs, and subject to appropriate iterations.

Engineering Tools (ET): Apply Apply and manage appropriate techniques, apparatus, databases, models, tools, and/or processes to accomplish a task.

Relevance to the Program

This engineering science course covers advanced topics in thermodynamics, which is a fundamental topic of chemical engineering and engineering chemistry. The engineering science skills taught in this course are required for 3rd year courses (Design of Unit Operations; Heat and Mass Transfers) and 4th year courses (Laboratory Projects III; Design of Manufacturing Processes), and form the basis of essential knowledge to understand chemical engineering processes and reactions.

The course assumes knowledge of 2nd year thermodynamic properties of fluids, and requires general applications of engineering and mathematical tools taught in previous years of study.

Course Structure and Activities

The course duration is one semester (12 weeks plus the final exam period).  Learners can expect to invest on average 7-9 hours per week in this course.  Learners who adhere to a pre-determined study schedule are more likely to complete this course successfully.

Nominally, this course has 3 lecture hours + 1 tutorial hour per week with the following times reserved in the timetable: lecture and tutorial on Monday 9:30 to 11:30, lecture on Wednesday 8:30 to 9:30, and lecture Thursday on 10:30 to 11:30.  As shown in the table below, some of these time slots will be used for synchronous activities.  However, lectures will be delivered asynchronously, which should be beneficial for students who live in difficult time zones. Lecture slides will be supplemented with videos and real-time on-line Question-and-Answer Sessions for interactive discussions on Thursday of each week.  Prior to each week’s Q&A sessions, students should view the lecture slides and videos.  Additional Q&A sessions may be scheduled as needed and will be announced on OnQ.  TAs will host on-line sessions on specific Mondays to provide advice on using HYSIS and completing the Design Project.  The Monday slot will also be used for tests.

Prof. McAuley will hold online office hours on Wednesdays, so individual students or small groups can ask questions.  To contact Prof. McAuley for help, invite her to a Zoom meeting. 



Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics”, by Smith, Van Ness, Abbott. 

The bookstore has the 8th edition, but earlier editions are also fine. This textbook (referred to as “SVA” in the lecture slides) is available from the campus bookstore in hard copy and e-book formats. Extensive use of the textbook is made throughout the term, including reference to numerous tables and appendices. You will be expected to have hard-copy access to specific tables and appendices in the textbook during tests and the final exam.

All other course material is accessible via OnQ.