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Guide to support the library assignment for Chemical Engineering 100

Your Assignment

You will be assigned a PRODUCT.

The main objective is to investigate the process used to manufacture that product. Use this research guide to find relevant and authoritative resources.

Please prepare a brief summary of how this process is carried out. This summary should be a maximum of 500 words (approximately 2 pages of text). You are encouraged to include graphs, figures and tables. As you read the references, you may find things you do not understand. Focus on what you do understand. Your summary should include the following sections.

Introduction: Briefly introduce your process. Indicate key process issues and any interesting factoids you learned about the process or product. You may wish to include some history at this point.

Basic Process: Describe the basic process reaction and separation steps. You should include a figure or outline of the process steps. You may reproduce a process diagram from a reference (with appropriate footnotes of course).

Environmental and/or Safety concerns: Describe any environmental problems or safety issues that are important to this process. This description should include safety and environmental issues related to the raw materials, the intermediates and the actual process steps in addition to concerns with the product.

Product Use: Explain the major uses of the product. Note if it is the raw material for any other products.

Economics: Include any information you find on the value of this product – this might include answers to some of the following questions: How expensive is it per pound? How big is the total market? Is demand growing? How many companies produce this product? Are there factors crucial to its profitability? Please be quantitative

REFERENCES: All references used to develop your summary should be listed in a standard bibliographical format. Include specific pages where you found sections covering your process and the title of the sections you are citing.


You may limit your summary to a specific method of producing the product, a specific variation of the product and/or to simply a portion of the process if that is more manageable. Please state any chosen limitations in your introduction section.



Assignment is based on Professor S. Scott Moor's assignment - reported at the ASEE 2002 conference. The paper was entitled "Process Descriptions: An Introductory Library Research Assignment on Chemical Processes for First Year-Students."  for reporting on this excellent library research assignment that we have adopted on our campus: