Chemical reaction engineering is that engineering activity concerned with the
exploitation of chemical reactions on a commercial scale. Its goal is the successful
design and operation of chemical reactors, and probably more than any other
activity it sets chemical engineering apart as a distinct branch of the engineering
In a typical situation the engineer is faced with a host of questions: what
information is needed to attack a problem, how best to obtain it, and then how
to select a reasonable design from the many available alternatives? The purpose
of this book is to teach how to answer these questions reliably and wisely. To
do this I emphasize qualitative arguments, simple design methods, graphical
procedures, and frequent comparison of capabilities of the major reactor types.
This approach should help develop a strong intuitive sense for good design which
can then guide and reinforce the formal methods.
This is a teaching book; thus, simple ideas are treated first, and are then
extended to the more complex. Also, emphasis is placed throughout on the
development of a common design strategy for all systems, homogeneous and
This is an introductory book. The pace is leisurely, and where needed, time is
taken to consider why certain assumptions are made, to discuss why an alternative
approach is not used, and to indicate the limitations of the treatment when
applied to real situations. Although the mathematical level is not particularly
difficult (elementary calculus and the linear first-order differential equation is
all that is needed), this does not mean that the ideas and concepts being taught
are particularly simple. To develop new ways of thinking and new intuitions is
Regarding this new edition: first of all I should say that in spirit it follows the
earlier ones, and I try to keep things simple. In fact, I have removed material
from here and there that I felt more properly belonged in advanced books.
But I have added a number of new topics-biochemical systems, reactors with
fluidized solids, gadliquid reactors, and more on nonideal flow.