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Unit of study_

CHNG9303: Reaction Engineering

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit of study focuses on the understanding of the key concepts of reaction engineering in process design. It covers key principles of reaction kinetics, including reaction mechanisms, temperature and concentration dependence of chemical reactions, and catalysis effect in reactor design. This course employs an integrated approach in combining the basic principles of material and energy balance, thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, and fluid mechanics with those of chemical reaction kinetics to help students select and design the most suitable reactor for a particular reaction system. It provides an introduction to reactor design through topics, such as ideal batch reactors (constant and varying volume), stoichiometry and reaction mole balance equation, single and multiple reaction systems, catalysts and catalytic reactions, and using experimental reaction data to estimate rate laws. Students will learn how to design continuous isothermal and nonisothermal reactors, variable density reactors, multiple reactors in series and parallel, mixed flow reactors in series, recycle reactors, and carry out size comparisons of ideal reactors and optimisation of operating conditions.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CHNG9303
Academic unit Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Credit points 6
CHNG3803 OR CHNG5803
Assumed knowledge

CHNG9201 and CHNG9202 and CHNG9204. Mass and energy balances, physical chemistry, physics

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Yuan Chen,
Lecturer(s) Yuan Chen,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Record+) Type B final exam Final exam
Calculative exercises and short answers questions on all course content.
60% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment group assignment Lab report
Written Report on lab practical
6% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO6 LO7 LO4
Assignment Homeworks
calculative exercises
25% Multiple weeks own time
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment In-class exercises
test course contents taught in the previous week
9% Please select a valid week from the list below about 5 min each
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type B final exam = Type B final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Homeworks: These assignments will consist of mostly calculative exercises. Students are encouraged to engage in collaborative learning during allocated tutorial times.
  • Small project: Calculative exercise on the optimization of a reaction system. Students have the option to work in pairs or individually.
  • In-session exam: Students will be required to complete a summative assessment of ability to identify, formulate and solve reaction engineering problems from 1st principles. The exam is on-line.

Students that fail to attend the in-session exam and are granted Special Consideration will be required to sit a replacement exam (no marks adjustments).

  • Lab report. Students will work individually on a reaction engineering practical exercise. Students are required to take an  on-line laboratory module and to submit a report on the experiment described. 
  • Final exam: The final exam will test the student’s ability to solve questions of a similar nature to the projects, and to apply the techniques learnt in this course to new problems. The test will be conducted on-line during exam time.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

When allowed, late submissions attract 5% late penalty/day. Submissions over 10 days late get 0. No late submissions are accepted for weekly assignments.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to Chemical Reaction Engineering Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 Kinetics of homogenous reactions Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 03 Interpretation of batch reactor data Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Week 04 Interpretation of batch reactor data Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Week 05 Introduction to reactor design Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO3
Week 06 Ideal reactors for a single reaction Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 07 Ideal reactors for a single reaction Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 08 Design for single reactions Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 09 Design for parallel reactions Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Practical: Estimate rate laws by using experimental reaction data Practical (1 hr) LO6 LO7
Week 10 Design for multiple reactions Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Practical: Estimate rate laws by using experimental reaction data Practical (1 hr) LO6 LO7
Week 11 Temperature and pressure effects Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 12 Reactor selection Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 13 Solid catalyzed reactions Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance at and participation in lectures and tutorials is strongly encouraged.

In person participation in practicals is required. Attendance requirements are waived for students impacted by travel restrictions.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Readings for this unit can be accessed in electronic format through the university Library and the eReserve available on Canvas.


Octave Levenspiel, Chemical reaction engineering. Wiley, 9781601199218.

Recomended reference:

Fogler, H. Scott, Elements of chemical reaction engineering. Boston, Prentice Hall, 9780133887822.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Apply key concepts and principles of reaction engineering to evaluate reactor designs and operating conditions for given reaction systems
  • LO2. Determine equilibrium conditions in reactive systems from thermodynamic criteria
  • LO3. Model reaction engineering systems
  • LO4. Carry out size comparisons of ideal reactors
  • LO5. Optimize operating conditions for ideal reactors
  • LO6. Estimate rate laws by using experimental reaction data
  • LO7. Communicate effectively in writing

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The assessment scheme has been simplified, the topics selection updated and the schedule modified to allow additional revision and practice time.

More information related to this unit will be provided in class and on the Canvas site

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this unit

Site visit guidelines

There are no site visit guidelines for this unit

Work, health and safety

There are no specific work health and safety requirements for this unit


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