Chemical and Biological Systems Behaviour (CHNG2804)


This is a core unit within the curriculum. Chemical Engineering requires an understanding of material and energy transformations and how these are driven by molecular interactions. The rate of such transformations is dependent on driving forces and resistances, and these need to be defined in terms of fundamental physical and chemical properties of systems. This course seeks to provide students with a sound basis of the thermodynamics of chemical and biological systems, and how these, in turn, define limits of behaviour for such real systems. The thermodynamic basis for rate processes is explored, and the role of energy transfer processes in these highlighted, along with criteria for equilibrium and stability. Emphasis is placed on the prediction of physical properties of chemical and biological systems in terms of state variables. The course delivery mechanism is problem-based, and examples from thermal, chemical and biological processes will be considered, covering molecular to macro-systems scale. The course builds naturally from the second year first semester course in conservation and transport processes, and prepares students fundamentally for the third year course in design of chemical and biological processes, which deals fundamentally with reaction/separation systems, and considers phase and chemical equilibria.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lecture 2 hrs/week; Tutorial 2 hrs/week.


Through semester assessment (70%) and Final Exam (30%)


Jack Winnick/Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics/1997/0-471-05590-5//

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


(MATH1001 OR MATH1901) AND (MATH1002 OR MATH1902) AND (MATH1003 OR MATH1903) AND (MATH1005 OR MATH1905) AND CHNG1103 AND (CHEM1101 OR CHEM1901 OR CHEM1903) AND (CHEM1102 OR CHEM1902 OR CHEM1904 OR AMME1960 OR ENGG1960)

Assumed knowledge

Ability to conduct mass and energy balances, and the integration of these concepts to solve real chemical engineering problems. Ability to understand basic principles of physical chemistry, physics and mechanics. Ability to use mathematics of calculus (including vector calculus) and linear algebra, and to carry out computations with Matlab and MS-Excel.


(CHNG2805 AND CHNG2806) OR MECH2901

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.