CHE 431 01: Chemical Engineering Laboratory IV

CHE 431 - Chemical Engineering Laboratory IV

2023 Summer Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 8296

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

Does Not Meet in UND Online
MTWRFSa 8am-6pm in UND Harrington Hall, Rm 324

Instructor Information

Ali Alshami


Office: HH 305

Office Phone: (701) 777-6838

Course Description

Laboratory study of the unit operations of Chemical Engineering.

Problem-based laboratory study of the unit operations of Chemical Engineering.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, learners will demonstrate:

  1. Personal initiative, resourcefulness, self-reliance, and responsibility
  2. Knowledge of the theory learned in previous/concurrent courses in Chemical Engineering by application (experimental execution and analysis).
  3. The ability to correlate and interpret data
  4. The ability to execute and document the results of experiments
  5. Acceptable technical communications skills in both written and oral formats
  6. An awareness of safety in the workplace
  7. That you can be an effective team player in business-style work groups


1. You will actively participate in the group solution of FOUR out of the following problems as a member of a three or four person group.  The topics for these problems are shown below:

  • Problem  1:  Optimization of a Pultrusion Process using Statistical Experimental Design
  • Problem  2:  Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium
  • Problem  3:  Solid-Liquid Extraction
  • Problem  4:  Virtual Bioreactor Optimization
  • Problem  5:  Membrane Separation: RO
  • Problem  6:  Catalytic Hydrolysis of Ethyl acetate in a plug-flow reactor
  • Problem  7:  Design Parameters for Carbon Dioxide Purification
  • Problem  8:   Evaluation of the Stefan-Boltzmann Law
  • Problem  9:   New Experiment Design
  • Problem  10: Unsteady State Heat Transfer
  • Problem  11:  Fermentation
  • Problem  12:  Control of a Blending Process
  • Problem 13:  Biodiesel Production

2. For these problems you will:

  • Work in a group to formulate your strategy on how you will provide the information required to solve the presented problem.
  • Work as a group to generate the laboratory the data necessary for your solution.
  • Work as a group to transform these data into results.
  • Collectively prepare a consolidated group two “memo-style” and “laboratory-style” reports. Each participant will substantially contribute to the report’s contents.
  • Individually prepare two “memo-styleand “laboratory-style” reports of your 2nd assignment.

Course Materials


Required – None

Recommended (OPTIONAL)-

  1. Green, D. W., & Southard, M. Z. Perry's chemical engineers' handbook. McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN: 978-0071834087
  2. Wankat, P. C. Separation process engineering. Pearson Education. ISBN-13:  9780137468041
  3. Navidi, W. C. Statistics for engineers and scientists (Vol. 2). New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN13: 9781266672910
  4. Montgomery, D. C. Design and analysis of experiments. John wiley & sons. ISBN: 978-1-119-49244-3
  5. Smith, J. M., Van Ness, H. C., Abbott, M. M., & Swihart, M. T.  Introduction to chemical engineering thermodynamics. Singapore: McGraw-Hill. ISBN13: 9781260721478
  6. R. B. Bird, W.E. Stewart and E.N. Lightfoot, Transport Phenomena, Wiley. ISBN: 978-0-470-11539-8

Technical Requirements/Assistance

Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment.  Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
  • Send, receive, and manage email

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.


Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.

Course Requirements/Expectations

  1. The student will review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard.
  2. The student will access and follow all course instructions found in the weekly area of the Blackboard course.
  3. The student will participate in any lecture or discussion sessions on campus or online as provided and as part of this course.
  4. The student will complete and submit assignments, exams, quizzes, etc. by the dated noted and in the manner described in Blackboard and on the course schedule. We will use Central Standard Time for due dates and times.
  5. The student will participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from instructor and/or peers.


A schedule of assignments will be developed depending on enrollment in the course and provided prior to the start of the first lab assignment.  Prior to conducting any experimental work, every group must meet with the instructor for about 30 minutes and present a preliminary experimental proposal (in writing; it should be a step-by-step description of the experimental work that is to be done) and the data reduction that will be necessary.  Consequently, everyone will have to be familiar with the equipment and procedures to be used plus the associated data manipulation strategy PRIOR to performing the experiments. A schedule of meetings will be posted on the Blackboard learning environment. We will use class time (Q&A sessions) to go over general information that will help everyone improve his or her laboratory reports. You are encouraged to put the information you learn from these talks into practice and to incorporate them into your lab reports.  

For the safety of everyone in the class, you must follow the laboratory safety rules provided in the Safety Training Module while performing experimental work.  You will perform all laboratory work as a member of a team of three or four students.  All students in the team must participate in the laboratory work. Upon request, an assessment of each member’s contribution to the submitted work will be conducted for all members of the team. Assignment of experiments and organization of teams will be made by the instructor. Assigning members to teams will be conducted in a randomized manner. Requests to change teams can be submitted to the instructor by the 1st week of class with an acceptable justification. Although requests to change teams are allowed, the instructor reserves the right to accept or reject the request and modify any teams at his discretion. 

Each team must provide one laboratory book in which to record experimental data. All written reports must be received by the due dates, no later than 4:00 P.M.  Reports should be turned in to the instructor or to the secretary in the department main office. An additional electronic copy must be submitted via Blackboard.  Late reports will be penalized as follows:

20% if received by 4:00 p.m. one weekday late

50% if received by 4:00 p.m. two weekdays late

100% if later

Exceptions must be approved by the instructor PRIOR to the due date.  Extensions will be granted for any reasonable request (e.g. interview trip, illness, equipment malfunction), provided that the request is made PRIOR to the due date. After the fact, exceptions will only be granted for medical emergencies for which adequate documentation is submitted.

Students are NOT to share graded reports with other students during the course of the semester and shall NOT share any information related to the problems being solved with students who are not in the same laboratory team. You are expected to review literature related to the laboratory subject matter and to cite/reference pertinent information in your work. 

CHEATING, PLAGIARISM, COLLUSION, and other forms of scholastic dishonesty are prohibited subject to the above guidelines and are grounds for failure in the course!  For more information on plagiarism and cheating see the UND Code of Student Life and the Department of Chemical Engineering Honor Code. If you are unsure whether a certain activity is allowed, please talk to the instructor.


Learning Goals

Oral Communication: This course addresses the Essential Studies learning goal of Oral Communication. This means it is about presenting information (formally or informally) in various settings and to various audience sizes to achieve some purpose, such as to increase the listeners’ knowledge, to foster their understanding of a topic, or to promote a change in their attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors. You can expect to work on these skills in this course.

Written Communication: This course addresses the Essential Studies learning goal of Written Communication. This means it is about developing and expressing ideas in writing or with a mix of words, data, and images. You can expect to work in different genres and styles of writing as you develop your written communication skills in this course.

Critical Inquiry & Analysis: This course addresses the Essential Studies learning goal of Critical Inquiry & Analysis. This means it will focus on collecting and analyzing information to reach conclusions based on evidence. More specifically, inquiry should be thought of as a systematic process of exploring issues, objects, or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments. Analysis is the process of breaking complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding. You should expect to focus on these intellectual skills as part of this course.

Information Literacy: This course addresses the Essential Studies learning goal of Information Literacy. This means it is about being able to find necessary information, understanding where that information comes from, and evaluating and using that information appropriately. More specifically, information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning. You should expect to focus on these intellectual skills as part of this course.

Intercultural Knowledge & Skills: This course addresses the Essential Studies learning goal of Intercultural Knowledge and Skills. This means it is about acquiring the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to interact successfully with others from different backgrounds and being able to apply that understanding to contemporary issues. More specifically, intercultural knowledge and skills foster the capacity to meaningfully engage with the perspectives of people whose cultures and identities are different from your own. To meaningfully engage with others' perspectives, you must be aware of how those perspectives are shaped by larger social structures, by issues of contemporary importance, and by issues that arise in global society. You should expect to focus on these intellectual skills as part of this course.

Quantitative Reasoning: This course addresses the Essential Studies learning goal of Quantitative Reasoning. This means it will focus on how you can become competent and comfortable when working with numbers and graphic displays of information based on numbers. More specifically, quantitative reasoning is competency and comfort in working with numerical data, using it to reason and solve quantitative problems from a wide array of authentic contexts and everyday life situations, and to create and clearly communicate sophisticated arguments supported by quantitative evidence, such as by using words, tables, graphs, mathematical equations, etc., as appropriate. You should expect to focus on these intellectual skills as part of this course.

Breadth of Knowledge

Math, Science, and Technology: This is an Essential Studies Math, Science, & Technology course. Engineering and technology are concerned with the construction or production of tangible items. They often involve application of mathematics or science to produce useful products, and they make use of mathematics and the natural sciences to design, create and alter the human environment and our interactions with that environment.

Special Emphasis

Quantitative Reasoning: This course is an Essential Studies Special Emphasis course in Quantitative Reasoning, which means it must emphasize improving your confidence with mathematics, your ability to interpret data, your ability to make decisions using data, your ability to use mathematics in academic and practical contexts, and your number sense.

Assignments in this course should help you become comfortable with quantitative ideas and at ease in applying quantitative methods. They should help you reason with numbers, data, and graphs, including being able to make inferences based on this type of information. This includes being able to use these quantitative skills to make decisions and solve problems in everyday life, thereby making mathematics and mathematical proficiency a powerful tool for living, as engrained in your intellectual toolkit as reading and speaking.

ES Quantitative Reasoning courses should also help you by requiring you to use mathematical and quantitative tools in context – and not just as part of abstract problem solving. This may include civic, professional, or personal situations that you may be likely to encounter. Assignments should help you build accurate intuition about the meaning of numbers, confidence in estimation, and common sense about employing numbers to measure things.


Safety Quiz


A safety training module will be available on Blackboard the 1st week of the semester. A quiz covering the safety material covered in the safety training module must be completed prior to conducting your 1st laboratory experiment.

Preliminary Experimental Proposal:


A two-page maximum pre-experiment write-up must be submitted, discussed with the instructor, and approved by both the instructor and laboratory manager prior to conducting experimental work. Guidelines for this write-up will be provided as a handout.



Each report is to have a group leader, to be designated on the cover page and/or title block of the report. Each group member must be a team leader on at least one report. The report grade will be given to each group member who was present during the experiment, but that grade will be weighted 105% for the group leader. A grading schedule will be provided for the reports. Peer evaluation will be conducted by group members for groups that formally request the evaluation. Guidelines for writing your reports will also be provided.

Oral presentations:


Each group will have 20 minutes to present the selected experiment, and 10 minutes will be for Questions and Answers session.  The grading schedule for these presentations will be provided prior to the presentation. Students must attend the presentations of the other laboratory students unless excused prior to the presentation.  Over the course of the semester, students must ask at least TWO relevant and meaningful questions during the Questions and Answers period of the Oral Presentations in order to get full credit for the Presentation/Participation portion of the course grade.

Final Exam:


Examination will occur in class on (check campus connection for date, location, and time). Examination questions will cover only experiments conducted by each group. Questions will directly pertain to topics discussed during pre-experiment proposal review sessions, subject content of the submitted reports, and questions raised during the Questions and Answers session of the presentations.

Assessment Summary

Assignment                                               % of Grade

  1. Safety Quiz (1) 30 points                                           5%
  2. Pre-experiment Proposals (4) 60 points                   10%
  3. Reports (4) 400 points                                              60%
  4. Presentation/Participation (1) 60 points                   10%
  5. Final Exam (1) 100 points                                         15%

           Total: (650 points) 100%

Final Grade Scale

90% - 100% A

80% - 89% B

70% - 79% C

60% - 69% D

0% - 59% F

All fractional grades will be rounded off to the closest integer.

Course Policies

Class Participation

Students are required to login regularly to the online class site. Students are also required to participate in all class activities such as discussion board, blogs, and wikis Students are expected to attend on campus or synchronous classes, etc.


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage.

Resolution of Problems

Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first. If the problem continues to be unresolved, go to the department chair, and next to the college dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the provost next, and then to the president.


When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online. Here are a few basic points to remember when communicating in this course:

Be scholarly. Use proper language, grammar, and spelling. Explain your thoughts, justify opinions, and credit the ideas of others by citing scholarly resources. Avoid misinforming others when you are unsure of the answer.  When discussing something and supplying a guess, clearly state that.

Be respectful. Respect the privacy of others. Do not share personal or professional information about others unless permission has been granted. Respect diversity and opinions that differ from their own. Be tactful when you communicate.

Be professional. Everyone should strive to give their best impression online. Truthfulness, accuracy, and running a final spell check are appropriate expectations for university students. Writing in a legible font and limiting the use of emoticons is considered professional behavior. Profanity and participation in hostile interactions, known as flaming, is unprofessional as well as disruptive.

Be polite. Students should address professors and instructors by the appropriate title or requested name. Students should interact online politely, just as they would be expected to do in a physical environment. Sarcasm, rudeness, and writing in all capital letters (shouting) should be avoided.


Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and personal pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns, for example: they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, etc.

I recognize that preferred names and pronouns may change during the quarter, if at any point during the quarter you would like to be addressed differently, please let me know.

As part of our commitment to inclusion in this course, it is important that all students in this class respect the preferred names and pronouns of their peers. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen. If you make a mistake or are corrected, please briefly apologize and correct yourself.

Technology Statement

In this class we will have a technology policy that is designed to support your attention to one another and to the course material.  We will spend the majority of our time engaged in activities that depend upon you being present and attentive to one another, and course content we will study. We are all challenged these days by the ways in which our digital devices—including laptops, tablets, phones, and watches—can steal our attention away from our immediate surroundings. Technology should be used for educational purposes only during scheduled class times.

Collaboration and Recording (For Online, Hybrid, Hyflex courses)

Sharing personal experiences and opinions is an important part of the learning process. In the (hybrid, hyflex, synchronous, etc.) environment of this course, all of our interactions are recorded (via Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Yuja, etc) and made available to students in the course. The purpose of these recordings is to enhance learning for all students. If your peers make personal statements in this course, consider those comments in the context of our learning goals and do not share them with people outside the course. If you have questions or concerns about any recordings, please contact me.

University of North Dakota Policies & Resources

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services

The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email or by phone at 701.777.2664.


UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully.  Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom.   If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.

UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or

Religious Accommodations

UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.

Pregnancy Accommodations

Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171;; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..

UND Cares Program

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Additional Resources

It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).

Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).