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Book Reviews

Chemical Process Design, by R. Smith, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York, USA (1995). 460 pages. ISBN 0-07-059220-9.

My first thought on scanning through this book was that the title is rather misleading. This is not a traditional book written for undergraduate chemical engineers dealing with aspects of chemical plant design as might be found in Peters & Timerhaus or similar text. The subject matter is much narrower dealing with the particular topic of energy studies in process design. This is a very welcome text covering a very important aspect of design and also one which is not covered in a single text, rather in a multitude of journal articles. An undergraduate would find this book useful for an appreciation of aspects of chemical process design as given in Chapters 1 to 5, and these chapters would make excellent background reading in the final year of a course. They would also extend the material of reactor engineering and separation processes/mass transfer units into the next logical phase of uniuplant design studies. The main aim and strength of this book is the coverage of aspects of energy studies, namely energy integration, heat exchanger networks, pinch analysis, etc., concentrating on the creation or synthesis of flowsheets. This is a book dealing with a very important topic written by an authority in the field. As mentioned the first five chapters are typical of an undergraduate design text (150 pages), however, the bulk of the book (the remaining 300 pages) covers energy targets, heat exchanger networks, pinch analysis, etc. Also included are Economic Tradeoffs (Chapter 8), Safety and Health Considerations (Chapter 9). Waste Minimization (Chapter lo), Effluent Treatment (Chapter 11). Chapters 12 to 15 cover aspects of Heat Integration in various plant situations. The book is very well written and contains few typographical errors, it is an authoritative text written by a leading researcher in this field. It should serve as a very useful reference text. It includes many useful examples which illustrate the application of the ideas presented. As a text it would be more suited to postgraduate level studies and would be an essential book for any student working in this area. It will undoubtedly be an essential reference for industrial practitioners in this field. Highly recommended.

Martyn S. Ray

Coulson and Richardson’s Chemical Engineering Volume 3 (Chemical & Biochemical Reactors, and Process Control), 3rd Edition, by J.F. Richardson and D.G. Peacock (Eds), Pergamon Press,Oxford, UK (1994). 776 pages. ISBN


Another new edition of an established book in the Coulson and Richardson series, some growth in the material and some rearrangement of topics into the other volumes. Basically the book covers two main topics, namely, Reactors and Process Control (and instrumentation),in seven chapters and nearly 800 pages. There are five contributors to this volume, all present or past members of the Chemical Engineering Dept. of the University College Swansea (Professor Thomas is now at the University of Bath). I wonder how Dr Peacock from the School of Pharmacy, London got in on the act as co-editor? The arrangement of material is as follows. Chapters 1 to 4 (250


pages) on Reactors; Chapter 5 (180 pages) on Biochemical Reactors; Chapter 6 (120 pages) on Sensors for Measurement and Control; and Chapter 7 (180 pages) on Process Control. The material in Chapter 5 on Biochemical Reactors covers the nature of reaction processes controlled by micro-organisms and enzymes (with background material on microbiology and biochemistry), and the unique process engineering principles of biochemical reactors. My main concern in reviewing this book is not in the accuracy or appropriateness of the material, in a 3rd edition they must be able to get that correct. My question is

rather whether there is a need for this book? It is meant to be an undergraduate teaching text and yet it contains very few worked examples which are so essential for effective student use of such a textbook. For example, there are 7 examples in Chapter 1, 3 in Chapter 2, 10 in Chapter 3, and only 3 in Chapter 5. This does not help the student to see applications of the principles presented in the text. There is a collection of problems at the end of the book (pp. 737-749), but why here rather than in each chapter? The solutions to these problems are presented in a separate solutions manual (Volume 5), which can be purchased by students and therefore help them avoid actually doing the problems! What this book needs is far more worked examples within each chapter, and problems with a solutions manual for lecturers to use. It might then actually be useful for the teaching process. The references are not

particularly up to date, but acceptable for an

undergraduate teaching text.

a reader-friendly or student-friendlybook to

use for study. A generalist text of this type needs less text, and more examples and problems. It also needs to have an advantage over other texts covering the same material, I cannot find such an advantage and I think undergraduates would be better directed to individual modem texts dealing specifically with the two topics which have been condensed into this volume.

Martyn S.Ray

The book is very “heavy” on text, not

Process Plant Layout and Piping Design, by E.F. Bausbacher and R.W. Hunt, &entice-Hall, Inc., New Jersey, USA (1993). 442 pages. ISBN 0-13-138629-8.

This is a very useful book - for academics, students and practicing engineers - as it covers a topic not usually presented in sufficient detail in other engineering books. Equipment layout and piping design are often learned by graduate engineers from their peers and in a working design environment. Sadly these aspects of plant design are often overlooked in an undergraduate course. This book redresses this imbalance between academic knowledge and practical application. The first three chapters should be essential reading for junior undergraduate engineering students of all disciplines as they give substance to the question: “What is practical everyday engineering all about?” Chapter 2: Plant Equipment Layout Specification, and Chapter 3: Plot Plans (i.e. site layout) illustrate the basics of what is involved in engineering design and its professional presentation in drawings. Chapters 4 to 10 cover the layout of particular items, e.g. compressors, exchangers, towers. In short, the pructicul nature of engineering that is often omitted from an engineering course and supposedly learned in the “real world”! Chapters 11 to 15 cover the practicalities of piping design, e.g. pipe racks (Chapter 1l), structural details (Chapter 12), underground piping (Chapter 13), instrumentation (Chapter 14),