Thermodynamics for Chemical Engineers [Mechanical engineering]

Thermodynamics for Chemical Engineers

Chemical thermodynamics

In 1865, the German physicist Rudolf Clausius, in his Mechanical Theory of Heat, suggested that the principles of thermochemistry, e.g. the heat evolved in combustion reactions, could be applied to the principles of thermodynamics. Building on the work of Clausius, between the years 1873-76 the American mathematical physicist Willard Gibbs published a series of three papers, the most famous one being the paper . In these papers, Gibbs showed how the first two laws of thermodynamics could be measured graphically and mathematically to determine both the thermodynamic equilibrium of chemical reactions as well as their tendencies to occur or proceed. Gibbs’ collection of papers provided the first unified body of thermodynamic theorems from the principles developed by others, such as Clausius and Sadi Carnot.

During the early 20th century, two major publications successfully applied the principles developed by Gibbs to chemical processes, and thus established the foundation of the science of chemical thermodynamics. The first was the 1923 textbook Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances by Gilbert N. Lewis and Merle Randall. This book was responsible for supplanting the chemical affinity for the term free energy in the English-speaking world. The second was the 1933 book Modern Thermodynamics by the methods of Willard Gibbs written by E. A. Guggenheim. In this manner, Lewis, Randall, and Guggenheim are considered as the founders of modern chemical thermodynamics because of the major contribution of these two books in unifying the application of thermodynamics to chemistry.


The primary objective of chemical thermodynamics is the establishment of a criterion for the determination of the feasibility or spontaneity of a given transformation. In this manner, chemical thermodynamics is typically used to predict the energy exchanges that occur in the following processes:

The 3 laws of thermodynamics:

  1. The energy of the universe is constant.
  2. In any spontaneous process, there is always an increase in entropy of the universe
  3. The entropy of a perfect crystal(well ordered) at 0 Kelvin is zero

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Does anyone know any University in the United States that has a Thermodynamics for Chemical Engineering? | Yahoo Answers

Bates in Maine has it as part of biological engineering.
University of Texas in Austin has it as part of its physics program.
While it is a good idea to look at both of these excellent schools, you may wish to consider getting into one of the upper-level schools with chemical engineering and then effectively designing your own degree program. Really good schools would love to have you.
Where to look?
Of course Texas, and also MIT, Cal-Berkeley, CalTech, Minn-Twin Cities, Stanford, Wisconsin-Madison, Princeton, Cal-Santa Barbara, and Delaware

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