- 4:15 PM

Transport Phenomena from a Chemist's Perspective

Marcel A. Liauw, Itmc, RWTH Aachen, Worringerweg 1, Aachen, 52074, Germany

Chemistry students who are aware of the impact of transport phenomena on chemistry certainly are an asset in industry and academia alike. Alas, teaching transport phenomena in the chemistry curriculum does not appear to be too widespread. This may impede communication between chemistry-focused R&D and engineering-dominated process design in companies. It is therefore highly desirable to educate chemistry students in the respective concepts.

A promising approach is problem-based learning. It is being refined in the European project IMPULSE on advanced process design. In contrast to first-principles derivations of equations, short descriptions of puzzling observations are the starting point:

- Why does a heterogeneous catalytic reaction display an Arrhenius plot with two different slopes, one exactly half as high as the other?

- Why does a second nitration follow the first one in an aromatic substitution, while electron-density arguments predict it should not occur?

- How does a severely cooled semi-batch synthesis transfer into a reasonable continuous production?

Problems like these are solved in class, ideally supported by a laboratory course and/or exercises. Feedback is clearly positive, as the practical relevance of transport phenomena for chemistry is instantaneously obvious.