Course Number: CBE 141
Course Name: Thermodynamics
Requirement Satisfied: CORE
Past Professors: Landry
Summary: An introductory course to chemical engineering thermodynamics, building upon the knowledge taught in CHEM 4A, PHYSICS 7B, and CBE 140. Class starts as a refresher, but very quickly gets more challenging as the course deviates from ideal assumptions. Material covered includes the thermodynamic behaviour of pure substances and mixtures, properties of solutions, Vapour Liquid Equilibrium (VLE), thermodynamic cycles, chemical equilibria for homogenous and heterogeneous systmes. In this course you will finally learn what fugacity is. The format of the course is lecture based, when taught by Professor Landry blank slides are posted beforehand and expected to be brought to class so you can follow along and write as she writes.
Official Prerequisites: CBE 140, E7
“Legit” Prerequisites: CBE 140, E7
Topics Covered: 1. Concepts and definitions
2. First and second laws of thermodynamics
3. Fundamental equations of thermodynamics
4. Applications of the first and second laws to closed and open (steady and unsteady state) systems 5. Maxwell relations and other relations among properties
6. Volumetric properties and equations of state of pure fluids
7. Correlations of the thermal and volumetric properties of real fluids
8. Phase equilibrium in single-component systems
9. Power cycles; refrigeration cycles, and liquefaction of gases
10. Thermodynamics of fluid mixtures
11. Ideal and non-ideal mixtures
12. Chemical potential; fugacity and its calculation
13. Binary phase equilibria: vapor-liquid, liquid-liquid, vapor-liquid-liquid, and solid-liquid
14. Thermodynamics of chemical reactions
15. Third law of thermodynamics and its significance
Workload: Varies with professors, with Professor Landry: Weekly problem sets graded for completion, often challenging with elements that must be coded, but lenient grading. Weekly quizzes in lecture. 2 midterms, but your lowest midterm score is dropped, so your highest scoring midterm will be worth both, and a final.
When to take: Semester directly after 140 (Sophomore Spring)
"What’s next" Courses: CBE 150B, CBE 142
Usefulness for research / internships: The understanding of thermodynamics is crucial for the fundamental understanding of any chemical process in research or an engineering job. However, this class alone is not enough to give you any real applicable skills - knowledge must be combined with further chemical engineering upper division classes and only then will application be evident.
Added Comments or Tips: Lectures can be super confusing at times (lecturer makes frequent errors with corrections posted online after class) which gets frustrating, and the textbook isn't much better, a really dense read. It is very likely the material will not make sense the first time around, a lot of studying needed for the understanding to sink in. Luckily the quizzes hopefully force you to keep up with course material and not fall behind, if you conceptually understand what is going on then they are very easy, if not they will be challenging. Midterms and finals are also friendly compared to almost every other Chem E class as Prof Landry grades on a straight scale, averages of around 80% can be expected. Discussions are very helpful in this course and attendance is encouraged.