Week 23

I never quite understand why the busiest week of the semester has to be the one two weeks before holidays and exams. Last semester we’re loaded with three coursework due within a week. That sounds like nothing compared to some other courses like the civil engineerings, but for us chemical engineering students, we have almost nothing to hand in every week, that sounds like a whole lot of work.

Welcome to Week 23 of Year 1 Chemical Engineering in University of Manchester…

the design project.

This year we’re dealing with ammonium nitrate plant. The plant is divided into several parts;

(1) the reactor; this part deals with the reaction of ammonia NH3 and nitric acid HNO3. which produce ammonium nitrate NH4NO3 . We are given a basic of 1000 kg of NH3 to produce 80% weight of  NH4NO3 in the solution and water vapour

(2) the evaporator, where the product containing 80% w/w NH4NO3 is evaporated to produce a more concentrated NH4NO3 of 95% w/w. The evaporator is subdivided into another two parts; a condensor which cools down the heated water vapour, an a heat exchanger which heats up the liquid and feed it back to the tank.

(3) the distillation column and (4) the prilling tower and other miscellaneous design items which we have not dealt with yet.

We are given two pages of complete data, fromrelative molecular masses to viscosity of components to friction factor, and the amazing part is (as discovered by jake), we actually used up all the them. *gasp* and there is still another week to go.


It’s no surprise that we malaysians come together as a group naturally, with some exceptions of course. Put a group of us together and we start talking crap. There is always one or two person who says “let’s do work” after realising we’ve been off topic (which happens a lot). Seems like we’re the group of friends that don’t talk about going to clubs and parties and all, yet still find endless random topic to talk about….

Designing a plant seems interesting really. We are actually to combine all the different units we learn in a semester and apply them all. Some days are disastrous, Wednesday especially; how hard and impossible it is to balance the energy input and output for a reactor. Other days are manageable to say the least. Not to lie, I actually enjoy the learning process. I find it easier to absorb when you actually like what you are learning.

Examinations are simply overrated really.


2 thoughts on “Week 23

  1. caro says:

    ooohh..our scarily messy table. proves we’re working hard? X)

    Reply: somehow i don’t think that’s messy . not that i’ve seen worse.

    *oh no! proves that im a very messy person!*

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