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CODE 108655
SEMESTER 2° Semester


Fundamentals to study a process are discussed in term of physicochemical variables, material and energy fluxes by formulating macroscopic balance equations.



The course aims at providing an overview on the chemical engineering by presenting the material and energy macroscopic balance formulation and their application on devoted fields.


The attendance and active participation in the proposed training activities (frontal lessons on theory and exercises, educational visits) and the individual study will allow the student to:

  • know the main physicochemical variables characterising a process with their specific units of measurement;
  • write the macroscopic balances of material (mass and mole) and energy (enthalpy);
  • learn to schematise a process and identify its key-parameters;
  • develop a qualitative-quantitative flowchart (calculating flowrates, concentrations, temperatures and powers) of a process with a number of unit operations;
  • manage his/her social interactions with a collaborative attitude, communicate constructively, in different contexts, develop decision-making autonomy, negotiation skills, mange uncertainties.


For a successful learning basic knowledge of mathematics, chemistry and physics are required, but no formal propaedeuticity is provided.


Theoretical lessons are alternated to exercises showing different approaches for flowchart resolution. Specific case-studies of chemical and process engineering will be proposed. Class attendance is recommended.

In order to introduce students to the core elements of this bachelor’s degree path, educational visits will be organised to plants and and young chemical engineering graduates are invited to talk about their university and work experiences.

Soft communication skills and independent judgment will be acquired in teamworking through a podcast realization.

Students who have valid certification of physical or learning disabilities on file with the University and who wish to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances regarding lectures, coursework and exams, should speak both with the instructor and with Professor Federico Scarpa (  ), the Polytechnic School's disability liaison.





The program of the module includes the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

  1. Introduction

         Brief history of chemical engineering

         Main physicochemical variables: lexicon, nomenclature, units of measurement and calculations

     2. Macroscopic material balances in steady-state systems

         Write material balances in term of mass and mole

         Generation term due to reaction development: definition and calculation of equilibrium constant, kinetics, reaction extent, yield, selectivity

         Solve exercises on material balances considering systems with single and multiple unit operations

    3. Macroscopic energy balances in steady-state systems

         Write energy balances

         Reaction enthalpy and correlation with material balances

         Solve exercises on energy balances considering systems with single and multiple unit operations

    4. Process analysis coupling material and energy balances

         Material and energy balances under transient operation

         Process schematization by material and energy fluxes

         Exercises on specific applications for process engineering using technical handbooks and/or process simulation software

     5. Workshop for podcast elaboration

    6. Supplementary activities: educational visits devoted to the first-year bachelor’s degree students in process engineering plants and short testimonial seminars.


The teaching material used during lessons and solved exercises will be available in the teaching portal. Notes taken during the lessons and the material shared in the teaching portal are sufficient for the exam preparation, but the following books are suggested as supporting and in-depth texts:

- D.M. Himmelblau amd J.B. Riggs, Basic Principles and Calculations in Chemical Engineering, Prentice Hall Pearson Edication,

- M.C. Annesini, “Fenomeni di trasporto. Fondamenti e applicazioni”, Edizioni Hoepli (only in Italian),

- R. Mauri, Elementi di fenomeni di trasporto, Plus Pisa University Press (only in Italian),

- R.H. Perry, D.W. Green,“Perry’s chemical engineers’ handbook” VIII ed., Mc Graw Hill.




Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



The final exam consists in a written test required for the admission to the oral test. The written test consists of solving a process diagram following both a qualitative and a quantitative approach in three hours. During the exam it is possible the use of technical handbooks made available by the teacher, while it is not allowed the consultation of any other text. Exercises similar to the final test are presented and discussed during lessons. The written test validity has no expiry limits, it can be repeated, but in this way the valid grade is associated to the last written exam one. To access the oral exam, students must have passed the written test with a minimum grade of 16/30 and the final grade is the average between written and oral exam. The oral test can be held either in the same session in which the student passes the written part or in following sessions. The oral test can be repeated maintaining the grade obtained for the written test.

Three exam calls for the ‘summer’ session (June, July and September) and two calls for the ‘winter’ session (January and February) are available. The oral test can be also taken during the teaching breaks fixed by the Polytechnic School in Autumn and Spring. No extraordinary sessions are granted outside the periods indicated by the Polytechnic School, apart from students who have not included formative activities in the study plan of the current academic year.




The written test concerns a study of a process involving a single or more unit operations to schematise and analyse through macroscopic material and/or energy balances. In addition to correctly formulate and solve the problems, the applied methodology, the discussion on assumed hypotheses and the quality of written exposition are evaluated.

The oral exam includes questions concerning all the presented topics by proposing theoretical questions and application problems. The examination assesses the achievement of the required basic skills and, in particular, the ability to combine them to face concrete case studies. The quality of the exposition, the correct use of technical terminology and the critical reasoning ability are also assessed.

The final grade considers also the quality and effectiveness of presented podcasts dealing with specific topics on chemical and process engineering. Podcast preparation is an optional activity which allows one point more on the final mark average between the written and the oral test.


Working students and students with DSA, disability or other special educational need certifications are advised to contact the teachers at the course beginning to agree on teaching and exam methods that, in compliance with the teaching objectives, take into account individual learning features and provide suitable compensatory tools.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Quality education
Quality education
Gender equality
Gender equality


 PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale base 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Gestione progettuale base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Gestione progettuale base 1 - A