Numerical Problem Solving Using Mathcad in Undergraduate Reaction Engineering


  • Satish J. Parulekar Illinois Institute oJTechnology


Experience in using a user-friendly software, Mathcad, in the undergraduate chemical reaction engineering course is discussed. Example problems considered for illustration deal with simultaneous solution of linear algebraic equations (kinetic parameter estimation), nonlinear algebraic equations (equilibrium calculations for multiple reactions and steady state behavior of isothermal/nonisothermal CSTR with single/multiple reactions), integral equations (design of steady-state plug flow reactor, PFR), integral-algebraic equations, and nonlinear ordinary differential equations (solution of conservation equations for steady-state PFR and unsteady state CSTR). The capabilities of Mathcad are of significant benefit in accelerating learning and strengthening the fundamental knowledge base.

Author Biography

Satish J. Parulekar, Illinois Institute oJTechnology

Satish J. Parulekar is a professor of chemical engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology His research interests are in biochemical engineering and chemical reaction engineering. His research publications include five book chapters and the book Batch Fermentation: Modeling, Monitoring, and Control. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Minnesota and the National Chemical Laboratory, India, and faculty associate and faculty research panicipation appointments at Argonne National Laboratory.