Top 3 General Chemical Engineering References

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The best general engineering and chemical engineering resources I've found. Forums,  top design articles, and a toolbox. Sounds like a good way to start the blog.

These are websites that I regularly use. Websites I am often quoting or passing on to friends and colleagues. Check them out., aka chemical engineering resources, has a lot of free articles and tools, news, and one easily of the best discussion forums for chemical engineering out there.

The pace of articles may have slowed down, but there's some really good stuff in the archives. I recommend following the forums occasionally and giving their site a whirl if you're entering new territory with a job problem.

I paid for their premium content but to be honest I have not found a situation where I needed it yet.

Selected Articles:

These are the articles I'm most often reading or passing on to others. I'll start with the general and get to the specific.

Experienced Based Rules of Chemical Engineering - Excellent rules of thumb collection for quick equipment design information.

Student's Guide to Refining - Overview of different unit operations.

Valve sizing and selection - picking out a control valve.

Equivalent lengths in piping pressure drop calculations - Helps to clear up misconceptions on using "equivalent lengths" or Crane Technical Paper No. 410 to calculate the pressure drop in piping. A LOT of very experienced people still make the mistakes in this article!

Relief Valve Set Pressures As I See It - This will clear up the difference a design pressure, set pressure, and maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP). A needlessly complicated topic that you will be glad you cleared up. (Edit: More discussion in our relief valve series)

Steam Tracing Excel Calculator - Makes determing a the flowrate for preliminary steam tracing a lot easier. Leave a comment if you have an opinion on it's accuracy. is the best engineering message board I've found online. If you are generous in your explanation of the problem, you will sometimes get some great feedback. Sometimes nothing. But it's often worth a shot. Be sure when posting to a) give them enough detail to answer the question, but b) be aware of confidentiality and don't publish anything that will get you into trouble.

Furthermore, most companies discourage people at working posting anything anywhere, as they fear that when you say something from the company computer then the company can be dragged in for responsibility. To protect yourself and your company, browse at work, but only post from home. Have enough details in the post so a reader just learning about the problem can help you, but be anonymous too. Use diagrams and realistic numbers if you can.

For myself, the best forums are the chemical engineering ones, but the mechanical and math forums are useful too. Also do not neglect the career corner forums at the bottom of the page. They help with the non-engineering problems we all face and are frankly the most fun and interesting to read.


The Engineering Toolbox has a lot of crunchy information: tables, numbers, equations. It's contents are hit-and-miss for a process designer. Sometimes it doesn't help. But there have been times when it's let me proceed when no other resource can. It deserves a spot in your bookmarks, and you'll see me using it on this website.

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One Response to Top 3 General Chemical Engineering References

  1. enggyd says:

    well for some of the chemical process flow sheet like ammonia, urea, cumene, coke oven gas extraction, which are readily available to a graduate student for his project preparation, if a flow sheet for any chemical process is required it will be provided at free service.

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