Chemical engineering is the branch of process engineering that includes the processes in which physical, chemical and/or biochemical changes occur in materials, with the aim of transforming raw materials into useful and value-added products.
This discipline covers the study, design, optimization, development and operation of the processes involved in these changes. In addition, it has many applications given its wide field of research and innovation, such as in the environment, in the design of new technologies and materials, etc.
It is considered the basis of many other industries, as the energy (mainly oil), pharmaceutical, food and electronics industries among others, which makes it one of the most important economic factors in some countries.
Every chemical process implies a series of stages. Each of these steps in which a particular change occurs has been defined as a unit operation.
On the other hand, the stages of the process that involve a chemical change in matter are carried out in chemical reactors. They are devices designed to generate the necessary conditions for the chemical change required in the matter.
Given the wide field of knowledge and action of the chemical engineer throughout the history of chemical engineering and the technological progress in terms of environmental improvement, the role of the chemical engineer today continues to grow, carrying out activities such as: equipment and process design, assembly of equipment and plants, production control, management, quality control, environmental control, marketing, R&D of products and processes, and many other administrative tasks.
They can develop their work activity in industries such as: petrochemistry, refineries, coal industry, biochemistry, biotechnology, materials, energy, pharmaceutics, etc.