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Experience-Based Rules of Chemical Engineering

A Chererources Article
You are about to read an award winning article which won the 2000 Beychok-Montemayor Award at The Chemical Engineers' Resource Page.

Experience is typically what turns a good engineer into a great engineer. An engineer that can look at a pipe and a flowmeter and guess the pressure drop within 5%. Someone who can at least estimate the size of a vessel without doing any calculations. When I think of such rules, two authors come to my mind, Walas and Branan. Dr. Walas' book, Chemical Process Equipment: Selection and Design has been widely used in the process industry and in chemical engineering education for years. Mr. Branan has either helped write or edit numerous books concerning this topic. Perhaps his most popular is Rules of Thumb for Chemical Engineers. Here, I'll share some of these rules with you along with some of my own. Now, be aware that these rules are for estimation and are not necessarily meant to replace rigorous calculations when such ca…