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Visual Encyclopedia of Chemical Engineering Equipment

by Susan Montgomery - University of Michigan, Chemical Engineering Department, Multimedia Education Laboratory


We have developed a visual encyclopedia of chemical engineering equipment for use in all undergraduate chemical engineering courses. The purpose of this encyclopedia is to provide students with a basic understanding of what chemical engineering equipment looks like and how it works. It is intended for use for use as a general reference for students in courses spanning the introductory course through the capstone design course, as well as for classroom presentation, for example prior to covering a given chemical engineering topic. The over 100 pieces of chemical engineering equipment are organized into the nine categories shown in below, and an index/glossary is also provided for ease of access.

Categories of Chemical Engineering Equipment

  1. Process Parameters
  2. Flowmeters
  3. Transport and Storage
  4. Chemical Separations
  5. Mechanical Separations
  6. Heat Transfer
  7. Reactors
  8. Polymer Processing
  9. Materials Handling
  10. Organization

The description for each piece of equipment is divided into: General Information, Equipment Design, Usage Examples, Advantages / Disadvantages, and References. This leads the user from a brief description of how the equipment works to more in-depth details of its operation; examples of industries in which the equipment is used; comparisons with other types of equipment; and resources for more information. Note that information needed to design equipment is not included. At the heart of the encyclopedia are pictures of actual equipment, obtained from equipment manufacturers, animations showing how the equipment works, and pictures of applications of the equipment in a wide variety of fields. Figures 1 through 4 show typical screens from some of the applications. For more information on the encyclopedia and other materials produced by our laboratory and distributed by CACHE, please visit It contains an online example that demonstrates a subsection of the encyclopedia.


Due to recent online availability of this software, the production of the CD version has been discontinued. The modules are available at

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