Problem solving in chemical engineering with numerical methods

Michael B Cutlip, Mordechai Shacham

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This textbook places practical chemical engineering examples and numerical techniques at the fingertips of undergraduate students! This book is appropriate for publication and has a high market potential in chemical engineering.
This book contains many chemical engineering problems that are of interest to both practicing and aspiring chemical engineers. There are excellent examples using experimental data and analytical solutions. This text is clearly written for the reader who wants to quickly utilize the proposed numerical method to solve his or her own problems. The text contains many examples of practical chemical engineering problems. As a professor, I was fascinated with the number and types of problems that POLYMATH can be used to solve. I have used the differential equation solver and non-linear regression features of POLYMATH for many years, and am pleased to see that I can expand my use of POLYMATH to many other types of problems!
I use this book for a series of chemical engineering courses starting in the sophomore year. I envision that it could be used by others in at least two formats. This text could be required of all chemical engineers and be used starting in the freshman year with regressions and progressing up through algebraic and linear equations in the sophomore years and finally using ODE solvers in the Junior and Senior years. This procedure would result in all chemical engineering departments that use POLYMATH, requiring their students to purchase this textbook.
The second approach that could be used is to use this book in a separate numerical methods course for chemical engineers. Many chemical engineers have a required course in numerical methods that this book could be used as a source book for many problems.
Chemical engineers are primarily concerned with obtaining solutions to problems. Chemical engineers do not typically write their own programs to solve problems. Instead they are using software packages. POLYMATH is an excellent package for students because the user must understand the mathematics of the basic phenomena and create a model. The method or technique used to solve these equations is not the major concern of the chemical engineer.
This book will place at the fingertips of undergraduate students a myriad of numerical techniques for solving problems. This book does not require that the student have completed differential equations course, since the solutions are clearly presented and sample programs are provided in the software libraries. This approach gives students tools at an early stage in their career and they can learn more about these tools in a later numerical methods course.
This book is an excellent compendium of chemical engineering problems that require numerical methods to obtain a solution. The book starts with simple examples in chapter 1 that show many of the excellent features of POLYMATH. Chapter 2 covers regressions, Chapter 3 is advanced techniques such as successive substitution, stiff ODE's, ill conditioned ODE's, secant & false position methods, 2nd order ordinary differential equations and using a shooting method for its solution. Chapters 4 and 5 give specific examples of numerical techniques in thermodynamics fluid mechanics, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUpper Saddle River, New-Jersey
PublisherPrentice Hall PTR
Number of pages458
ISBN (Print)9780138625665, 0138625662
StatePublished - 1999

Publication series

NamePrentice Hall international series in the physical and chemical engineering sciences


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