Engineering Chemistry

6 minute read
Engineering Chemistry

“Every man who receives a liberal education now counts chemistry among the most indispensable objects of his studies.” – Antoine Francois Fourcroy. The industrial revolution has brought transformed almost every aspect of human life. However, every wave of growth brings a few adverse consequences along with its advantages. Global warming, an overtly warned issue, is the most prominent of these consequences which are steadily wreaking havoc on our beloved planet. With a change in the industrial requirements, the curriculum of different courses has also been altered to meet the demands of different sectors. This has led to specialised programs focused on elaborating certain sub-disciplines and equipping individuals with expert knowledge and exposure to their chosen field. One such specialised discipline is Engineering Chemistry.

Engineering Chemistry is regarded as one of the most important foundation subjects of Engineering. It is a compulsory discipline included in all Engineering-related programs. Here is a comprehensive guide elaborating on the field of Engineering Chemistry, its key subjects, syllabus and recommended books.


Engineering Chemistry is an imperative part of every degree program in Engineering. It is generally added in the first-year syllabus of a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and is structured in a manner that its different theoretical concepts are studied along with their practical applications. This specialised branch of Engineering mainly deals with the study of matter in any form along with its chemical and physical properties, composition and applications. It analyses the nature of different materials and their usage for designing purposes. As a budding engineer, you should be aware of the discovery of new and better materials and their contribution to the diverse field of design and development. Studying this specialised field, you will get to learn about using different materials of varying sizes without causing any wastage or pollution. Moreover, every engineer is expected to possess a basic understanding of working with old and new matter of different kinds and that’s where Engineering Chemistry helps them in handling a wide range of materials in the right way.

Topics Covered

Most of the topics under this discipline are an extension of the subject of Chemistry taught at the senior secondary level. These topics are chosen to help students develop a basic understanding of Chemistry in relation to the field of Engineering. Some of the concepts included in Engineering Chemistry are: 

  • Surface Chemistry and Catalysis
  • Water and Its Treatment 
  • Fuels and Combustion
  • Energy Sources and Storage Devices
  • Phase Rules and Alloy

While this constitutes the theoretical part of this discipline, practical experiments are also an integral part of the course as they assist students in grasping the concepts better. Some of these experiments include: 

  • Determination of Alkalinity in Water
  • Determination of DO Content of Water Sample by Winkler’s Method
  • Estimation of Total, Temporary and Permanent Hardness of Water by EDTA Method
  • Estimation of HCI using Na2CO3 as Primary Standard
  • The Corrosion Experiment: Weight Loss Method 

Also Read: Top Chemical Engineering Colleges

Engineering Chemistry Syllabus

Module 1 – Battery Technology

  • Introduction – Galvanic cell, electrode potential, EMF of the cell and cell representation. Batteries and their importance, Classification of batteries- primary, secondary and reserve batteries with examples. Battery characteristics – voltage, capacity, energy density, power density, energy efficiency, cycle life and shelf life. Basic requirements for commercial batteries.
  • Construction, working and applications of: Zn-Ag2O, Ni-Cd, Zn-air and Lithium-ion battery.
  • Fuel Cells- Differences between the battery and a fuel cell, Classification of fuel cells based on the type of fuel, electrolyte and temperature. Construction, working and applications of solid oxide fuel cell. SLE:
  • Supercapacitors: Definition, Types and characteristics.

Module 2 – Corrosion and its Control

  • Introduction, Electrochemical theory of corrosion with respect to iron. Factors influencing the corrosion rate: physical state of the metal, nature of the metal, area effect, over-voltage, pH, temperature and nature of the corrosion product.
  • Types of corrosion: galvanic series; (i) Differential aeration corrosion- oxygen concentration cell, (ii) Stress corrosion- explanation-caustic embrittlement.
  • Corrosion control by: i) Using inhibitors, ii) Cathodic protection- a sacrificial anode and impressed current methods iii) Protective coatings-metal coatings- galvanizing and thinning.
  • SLE: Galvanic corrosion, Waterline corrosion and seasonal cracking.

Module 3 – Chemical Fuels

  • Introduction, classification with examples, calorific value classification (HCV & LCV), determination of calorific value of solid and liquid fuels using Bomb calorimeter-numerical problems. Petroleum cracking -fluidized bed catalytic cracking. Reformation of petrol-explanation with reactions, Knocking-in IC engine, its ill effects and prevention of knocking.
  • Anti-knocking agent: Leaded and unleaded petrol. Power alcohol and its advantages. Synthetic petrol – Bergius process.
  • Solar energy- Photovoltaic cells- definition, working and importance of PV cells. Production of solar grade silicon by chemical vapour deposition.
  • SLE: Octane number, cetane number. Purification of silicon by zone refining technique.

Module 4 – Water Technology

  • Introduction, water analysis: i. Hardness-determination by EDTA method-numerical problems, ii. Alkalinity-determination by double indicator method-numerical problems, iii. Determination of dissolved oxygen by Winkler’s method and iv. Determination of chemical oxygen demand – numerical problems.
  • Boiler scale formation and ill effects, prevention of scales by external method (hot lime-soda process). Desalination by electrodialysis.
  • SLE: Determination of chloride by Mohr’s method. Prevention of boiler scales by internal methods: Calgon and Phosphate conditioning.

Module 5 – High Polymers for Engineering Applications

  • Introduction, Polymerization techniques – bulk, solution, suspension and emulsion polymerization.
  • Glass transition temperature (Tg)-meaning – factors affecting Tg (crystallinity, effect of side groups, molecular weight & plasticizers) and significance.
  • Preparation, properties and applications of Kevlar, Polyurethane, and Epoxy resin; Determination of molecular weight of polymers by number average and weight average method-numerical problems.
  • Conducting polymers – mechanism of conduction in polyacetylene and applications.
  • SLE: Classification of polymers based on occurrence, thermal behaviour, type of polymerization and chemical structure.

Engineering Chemistry Books

Engineering Chemistry is filled with an array of theoretical concepts and practical experiments. It is also an ever-growing specialisation as new innovations and research studies are constantly emerging in this field. That’s why universities design the curriculum of their offered programs according to the industry requirements and contemporary innovations. Moreover, there are numerous Engineering Chemistry books that are recommended to help students grasp the complex concepts comprising this discipline. Here is a list of some of the best books offered in this field:

  • A Textbook of Engineering Chemistry by Shashi Chawla
  • A Textbook of Engineering Chemistry by S Chand
  • Engineering Chemistry by Jain (16th Edition)
  • A Textbook of Engineering Chemistry by Dr. S.S. Dara and Dr. K. Mukkanti 
  • New Course Engineering Chemistry by Dr. S.K. Bhasin 
  • Engineering Chemistry by R.V. Gadag and A. Nityananda Shetty (3rd Edition)
  • Engineering Chemistry by Dr. Chinnappan Baskar, Dr. Shikha Baskar and Dr. Ranjit S. Dhillon

Engineering Chemistry PDFs


What do chemistry engineers do?

Chemical engineers are responsible for the development and design of chemical production processes. Chemical engineers employ chemistry, biology, physics, and arithmetic concepts to address problems with the manufacture or usage of chemicals, fuel, pharmaceuticals, food, and a variety of other items.

What is Engineering Chemistry subject?

The BTech Chemical Engineering curriculum introduces students to fundamental Chemical Engineering topics such as inorganic chemical technology, momentum transfer, process calculation, organic chemical technology, physical chemistry, transforms and partial differential equations, Chemical Engineering thermodynamics, and so on.

Is Engineering Chemistry a good major?

It is an excellent major since employers value it. A chemical engineering degree demonstrates that you have mastered the fundamentals of arithmetic, physics, and chemistry. It is renowned around the world. Bachelors of Engineering or Masters of Engineering may be your major.

Hence, we hope that this blog helped you understand the specialised field of Engineering Chemistry and its key concepts. If you are searching for degree programs or short-term diplomas in this field, you can always reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu and we’ll help you sort out the ideal course and university that aligns with your interests and career aspirations in the field of Engineering.

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