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CME8107 : Process Intensification

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Adam Harvey
  • Lecturer: Dr Jonathan Lee, Professor Kamelia Boodhoo, Dr Vladimir Zivkovic, Dr Richard Law
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


1. To provide an understanding of the concept of Process Intensification and of the application of a variety of intensification techniques to numerous applications

2. To provide an understanding of basic operating principles of a variety of intensified process equipment such as spinning disc reactors, rotary packed beds, oscillatory baffled reactors, compact heat exchangers and micro-reactors.

3. To be able to apply knowledge to unit operation design, and evaluate the resultant designs

4. To analyse systems for opportunities for PI/new technologies

Process Intensification deals with novel, radically different technologies which have the potential to revolutionize the way chemical plants are designed and operated. The ultimate aim of Process Intensification methods is to reduce the size of process plants by orders of magnitude. Other typical benefits stemming from this reduction in size include:

(i)       Enhanced safety
(ii)       Reduced environmental footprint
(iii)       Improved product quality
(iv)       More responsive processing

All of these advantages are discussed and exemplified by case studies within the course

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Definition of Process Intensification (PI)
Origin of PI. Benefits of PI. Methods of achieving PI in general, with specific examples/case studies. Barriers and opportunities. Target industries.

2. Oscillatory baffled reactor (OBR)
Description & operating principles. History. Explanation of niche applications. Design. Case studies.

3. Spinning disc reactor (SDR)
Operating principle and development of models for thin film flow on rotating disc. Examples of application of SDR to a range of processes.

4. Rotary packed bed (RPBs)
Operating principle of rotating contactors. Development of models for counter-current multiphase flow in rotating systems. Examples of the application of multiphase contactors.

5. Compact heat exchangers (CHE)
Definition of CHEs. Construction and main properties. Applications. Basic design procedures. Examples.

6. Micro-reactors
Description and operating principles. Heat transfer, mass transfer and mixing applications.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion145:0045:00Revision for examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study331:0033:00Preparation for tutorials & reviewing lecture material.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Basic concepts are introduced and developed in lectures, and reinforced by tutorials on each section of the course.

Case studies from lecturers’ own research reinforce the material developed throughout.

Tutorial classes are used to develop problem solving skills including design and case studies of technology applications.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1801A100N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will test knowledge acquired and also problem solving in a timed environment. The examination will cover all sections of the course.

Reading Lists