Chemical unit operations (2021)

Course manager

Simon Craige

Semester schedule

Autumn (13 + 3-week period)



Language of instruction


Course type



Competences that are equivalent to participation in the disciplines - Mathematics 1 and 2, Physical chemistry and Projects 1 and 2 are recommended.


The objective is to provide the students with a satisfactory foundation for the understanding and application of engineering processes used within technological/operational-based industry, which e.g. comprises the chemical, biochemical, and pharmaceutical industry as well as parts of the food industry.

This course will present the student with a wide range of unit operations with emphasis on the student's understanding of the physical/chemical principles of unit operations; equipment operations; and calculations relating to the individual process unit operations. Finally, the student is expected to acquire an understanding of how the individual unit operations are combined into complete processing plants.


  • Use and interpretation of process and engineering drawings
  • Principles of process design
  • Operational utilities and ancillary services/equipment
  • Flow in piping systems – comprising pumps, flow metering, ventilators, and compressors
  • Vessels and tanks
  • Filtration and membrane processes
  • Settlement and sedimentation processes (cyclones, centrifugal separators, fluid beds, etc.)
  • Different types of heat transmission, comprising the dimensioning of heat exchangers
  • Mass transfer processes, including distillation, absorption/adsorption, and extraction
  • Evaporation and drying
  • Crystallisation

The purposes of the laboratory elements of the course (corresponding to 4 ECTS) are to illustrate, explain and apply theoretical principles by way of practical exercises comprising subjects from the course. 

Learning targets

On completion of the course, the student is expected to be able to:


  • Explain the physical/chemical principles for the unit operations dealt with in the course
  • Describe the design and method of operation of the process equipment described


  • Explain how a production process can be broken down into unit operations 
  • Calculate sizes, composition, pressure and temperature of processing-plant flows
  • Calculate heat energy exchange in processing plants
  • Size process equipment for selected unit operations (not detailed dimensioning)


  • Assess how changed processing conditions or processing equipment can affect the overall process
  • Work responsibly with chemical unit operations in terms of safety and in compliance with given safety regulations and codes of practice
  • Collect and analyse performance data from selected chemical unit operations

Teaching method

Seminars, problem solution, site visits, and experimental work .

Qualifications for examination participation

  • Participation in laboratory exercises and acceptance of associated reports and papers 
  • Approval of all written assignments
  • Participation in all planned site visits
  • Participation in all planned teaching activities involving external lecturers

All course work shall be executed and submitted pursuant to guidelines set out by the course manager.

Examination and aids

Oral examination based on a selected laboratory exercise plus a theoretical topic. Duration of examination: 30 min. No preparation time. 

Permitted aids: Reports on laboratory exercises. No access to the internet.




The 7-point grading scale