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Michigan Tech

Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering Laboratory


Department of Chemical Engineering
Michigan Technological University
Prof. Faith A. Morrison


updated  20 April 2016

Table of Contents
General Information
Required Textbooks
Course Prerequisites Office Hours
Course Objectives
ABET Outcomes
Laboratory Safety
Safety Manual
Safety Teams
Safety Reports
Safety Debriefing
Laboratory Teams
Grade Scheme
Required Equipment
Dress Code
Laboratory Preparation/Laboratory Notebooks
Report Style (including Example report)
Basics Checklist
Memo of Transmittal
Due Date Schedule
Grading of Laboratory Reports
Report Feedback
Late Reports
Laboratory Participation
Peer Evaluation
Email/Written Communication
Emergency Evacuation Procedures
University Policies


Required textbooks:  We will use the following CM3110/CM3120 and CM2110/CM2120 textbooks:

  • Faith A. Morrision, An Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2013.
  • Christie J. Geankoplis, Transport Processes and Separation Process Principles: Includes Unit Operations, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, New York (2003).
  • Richard M. Felder and Ronald W. Rousseau, Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, 3rd Edition, Wiley, New York (2000, updated 2004).

We will also refer to the following books:
  • Warren L. McCabe, Julian C. Smith, and Peter Harriott, "Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering," 6th Edition, McGraw Hill, NY (2001)  (or the 7th edition, 2004)
  • Robert H. Perry and Don W. Green, "Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook," 7th Edition, McGraw Hill, NY (1997) or other editions including the on-line version of Perry's, available through the Library.  If you are a member of the national AIChE, you can get free online access to Perry's. (

Course Prerequisites:

CM 2120 Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering II  mastery of mass balance techniques; mastery or elementary energy balance techniques; mastery of the application of the mechanical energy balance; familiarity of the theory behind manometers
CM3110 Transport/Unit Operations 1 ( may be taken concurrently) - familiarity with momentumbalance techniques; developing mastery with energy balance techniques; familiarity with the operation of heat exchangers
(MA 3520 or MA 3521 or MA 3530 or MA 3560) Differential Equations - mastery of the mathematics of momentum and energy balances (three-dimensional integration and the solutions of differential equations; partial differentiation).  For a handy sheet of commonly used integrals, see the supplemental handouts link.

Classroom: MEEM 112 (lectures/lab prep MW; report turn-in W)
Class hours: MW 2-3pm, 19-104A
Laboratory: Bldg 19 (Chem Sci) room 103 and 104A; lab telephone 906 487-3076;
Laboratory hours:  Tuesday 9-11am.  Note:  some weeks we start an hour late.  Consult the syllabus.

Office hours: Prof. Morrison; other times by arrangement - request by email.
Main TA:  Ms. Rachel Martin,,  office:  202 N office hours:  tba
Assistant TA: tba

Please use a professional standard when communicating with the instructors and TAs.  Guidlines are posted here:

Updates to course topics, including the schedule of the lab, will be shared with the class by email.  Please be sure to monitor your University email address to obtain these updates.

Web Page:  The course web page is

ABET syllabus:  2010 ABET Syllabus CM3125

Course Content: This course will be an introduction to basic laboratory methods and instrumentation used in the measurement of fluid flow, heat transfer, and mass transfer. Topics to be covered include methods of statistical data analysis, experimental design, principles of measurement and instrumentation, and presentation of data.  Technical writing and graphical communication of data will be an important part of the course.


  • Master the principles and execution of experimental design including: replicates, measurement limits, systematic error, random error, uncertainty;
  • Master the analysis techniques of chemical engineering processes such as: fluid flow and flowrate measurement, pressure measurement, centrifugal pumps, heat exchangers, control valves, temperature measurement, calibration;
  • Master the principles and execution of data handling including: measurement limitations, significant figures, units, trend lines, logarithmic scales, effective graphical presentation;
  • Master the technical memo report;
  • Familiarity with the statistical handling of experimental data including: use of standard deviations, normal distribution, statistical significance;
  • Familiarity with the use of spreadsheet software in data handling and presentation;
  • Familiarity with industrial safety practices including: appropriate attire, personal protective equipment, safety meetings, incident reporting, safety culture;
  • Introduction to design of experiments;
  • Introduction to professional communications including: email, teamwork, supervisor reporting.

List of Topics: (CM Department ABET accreditation outcomes addressed as indicated)

(c,k)Drawing P&I diagram with Visio
(a,b,k)Pressure measurement (transducer calibration, manometers)
(a,b)Fluid viscosity (Cannon-Fenske viscometers; dependence of viscosity on temperature, concentration)
(a,b,k)Rotameter calibration, flowmeters
(a,b)Frictional losses in a straight pipe (friction factor versus Reynolds number, Moody plot)
(a,b)Pneumatic control valve (valve trim)
(a,b,k)Statistics, general concepts and least squares
(a,k)Programing in Excel
(a,b,c)Pumping head curves, functioning of a centrifugal pump (system head calculations, measuring pumping head curve)
(a,b)Heat transfer coefficient of a double pipe heat exchanger (delta T log mean)
(a,b)Thermocouple dynamics (functioning of a thermocouple)
(a,b)Heat transfer to a sphere (calculating thermal conductivity)
(f,i)Safety in the laboratory
(f,g)Report writing
(g,k)Graphical representation
(f,k)Professional use of email
(f,i,k)Use of laboratory notebook


Safety is of the highest priority in the laboratory.  The key features of the CM3215 safety program are:  The safety manual, safety teams, safety reports, and the safety debriefing.

Safety Manual:  The Fundamentals of ChE Laboratory Safety Manual must be followed at all times.  This document may be found at  Safety issues are recorded on PAWS forms, as explained in the manual.

Safety Teams:  Each week one two-person team is designated the safety team. 
See the schedule at the link under LAB GROUPS below for your assigned week to be safety team.  The safety team gives the lab safety orientation at the beginning of lab, monitors safety throughout the lab period, and prepares a safety report summarizing the safety performance of the class during the laboratory.

Safety Reports:  The safety team will turn in a brief safety report (one half page, memo format, printed, any submitted PAWS forms attached, see sample below) to the instructor/TAs during the same class period that the laboratory report is submitted. Please do not attach the one-page safety report to your laboratory report; instead, turn in the safety report separately to the instructor/TA.  A sample safety report is at this link:

Safety Debriefing:  At the end of the semester there will be a general safety debriefing to discuss how to improve and maintain laboratory safety. An archive of the notes from these safety meetings since 2007 is available at this link: There will also be a safety quiz week 14. 


On-time attendance is required at the lectures and at your designated laboratory periods.  The door closes at the designated lab start time.  Excused absences will be granted if accompanied by the appropriate documentation (for example, memo from the Dean of Students or from a medical professional).  Please email the instructor ( as soon as you know that you may miss or be late for a laboratory session. A failing grade for the course will be assigned if any laboratories, reports, or exercises are missed without an approved excuse.  Lab partners may be reassigned by the instructor at any time.


Lab teams will consist of two students working at the same lab station and working together on the laboratory exercises and reports.  Lab groups are assigned by the instructor and will change twice during the semester or more often if judged necessary.  The safety teams are assigned according to this table:

Teams are required to work together as a team on the in-lab exercises, on team data calculations, and on reports.  It is against the course rules to divide the reports up and have one team member do one report and have a second team member do the second report.  Both team members must work approximately equally on each assignment.

Team members can only receive course credit for work to which they have contributed.  Submitting for credit a report or assignment to which you have not contributed is plagiarism and is considered cheating.  When a report or assignment is turned in, only the names of those who contributed significantly should be on what is turned in.


Due Date Schedule:

A goal of the course is to teach critical thinking and chemical engineering principles through report writing and laboratory exercises.  The course is based on laboratory work and other assignments.  The assignments interrelate and build on one another.  There will be 6 lababoratory reports, 8 assignments, and one quiz.   All of the reports are produced by teams; some of the assignments are team assignments and some are individual.  Consult the due date schedule to see which are conducted in teams and which are conducted individually.

Teams are expected to work together on the in-lab exercises, on team data calculations, and on reports.  Team members can only receive course credit for work to which they have contributed.  Submitting for credit a report or assignment to which you have not contributed is considered cheating. 

 For each team exercise, the teams will produce a single submission as follows:


Grade breakdown:
Laboratory Reports (6 reports)  60% total, distributed as follows (no rewrites): 

Report 1:          5%
Reports 2-5:     10%
Report 6:         15%

Assignments (8),  Quizzes (1):  30% (9 components are all weighted equally)
Laboratory Participation & Performance (work in lab, professionalism, teamwork):  10%   (This grade is explained below.)

No Final Exam
A failing grade for the course will be assigned if any laboratories, reports, or exercises are missed without an approved excuse.

Scale:  90-100% A; 86-89 AB; 80-85 B; 76-79 BC; 70-75 C; 66-69 CD; 60-65 D; Less than 60% F


All students must purchase a permanently bound laboratory notebook
for experimental data (available in the bookstore or any stationary supply store; see Lecture 1 for a precise description of the required lab notebook; see next section more on laboratory notebooks).  Spiral notebooks or notebooks with easily removed pages are not acceptable.  Duplicate pages are not needed; an inexpensive ($1.50) bound notebook is acceptable.

All writing in the laboratory must be in non-erasable ink into a bound laboratory notebook (yours or your partner's).  Bring your lab notebook to laboratory and lectures every week.

Safety glasses with side shields (provided), closed-toe shoes, a shirt that covers the entire torso, and long pants without rips or tears must be worn in the laboratory at all times.  Neckties, trousers that drag on the floor, skirts/dresses, dangling clothing or jewelry, headphones, and other unsafe items of apparel are prohibited.  Long-sleeved shirts are recommended.  
Those that are not dressed for lab will not be permitted to participate in the lab.


All laboratory assignments and handouts are on the web:  You must print and bring to lab your own copy of the laboratory exercise instructions.  The handouts are continuously updated; the official version will be in place at the time of (or shortly after) the lecture.

You must complete the prelaboratory assignment in your laboratory notbook by class-time Monday; notebooks may be checked as part of a prelab, or there may be a quiz or other exercise.  Note that during some split weeks, you may need to prepare for the prelab a full week ahead of your time in the laboratory.  Use the Laboratory Notebook Checklist/Rubric to guide your laboratory notebook preparation.  See Lecture 1 for a description of how to prepare your notebook.  Additional information is at this link:   The TA and instructor may inspect laboratory notebooks on Mondays or during lab on Tuesday.  If you do not pass the prelab, you have until the start of the lab to fix your prelab; you must pass the prelab to conduct the laboratory.  Your preparation on the prelab is factored into your class participation grade.


Full laboratory reports are to be submitted for six of the laboratory exercises.  Teams are expected to work together on the in-lab exercises, on team data calculations, and on reports.  Team members can only receive course credit for work to which they have contributed.  Submitting for credit a report or assignment to which you have not contributed is considered cheating.

Report Style:  We will use the technical memo style of report for all laboratory reports.  A Brief Introduction to the Technical Memo Report is available at:  There is an example report at this link: Example Report. The target length of report is approximately three to four pages, including figures/tables and excluding the appendix.  The rules for appendicies in technical reports are at this link:  Please sign your memos with blue or black ink (at the top, next to the "From:" line).

You must follow the following guidelines in your reports:

Hints for betterlooking graphs are at t his link:

A good website for writing technical reports in general (Bates College):

      Dr. Morrison's video on YouTube shows how to type equations easily in MSWord 2010.  Dr. Co has a webpage on this topic as well:  Equation Editor
Dr. Morrison also has a handout on helpful hints on how to insert figures into MSWord 2010 so that they go to the top/bottom of the page.


Basics Checklist: 
The Basics Checklist is a list of 10 formatting items that must be followed.  You can find the checklist at this link:  The standards of the Basics Checklist are basic. For some instructions on the concepts of the Basics Checklist, click here:    Many of the problems on the Basics Checklist are due to default settings of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.  The software is there to help you, but you are responsible for the quality (for both appearance and content) of your reports.

For reports 1-4, print the BasicsChecklist and attach it to the front of your report.  On Wednesday when you turn in your report, your TA or Instructor will immediately check your submitted report against the Basics Checklist and return the report to you if you fail to earn any checkmarks on the list.  If you have your report returned, you must correct the issues and resubmit by 9:05am Thursday in Homework Box A in the second floor hallway.  Any Basics Violations, even those missed by the TA during review, will result in a 10% penalty in the grade of the report.

It is a basics violation to have figures in the middle of a page.  Figures must go either at the top of a page, at the bottom of a page, or there may be an entire page of figures and/or tables.  Figures and tables should not appear before they are mentioned.  They should appear at the bottom of the page on which they are first mentioned or at the top of the subsequent page.  If you look at your textbooks, you will see that they follow these rules.  Dr. Morrison has a handout with helpful hints on how to insert figures into MSWord 2010 so that they go to the top/bottom of the page.

Uncertainty (Error) Analysis and Signficant Figures

In the error analysis lectures and assignments we learn how to do a proper uncertainty analysis on experimental data.  For all assignments and reports that follow the error analysis assignments, a proper uncertainty analysis based on error propagation must be carried out.  Error bars indicating 95% confidence intervals (two standard errors) should be included wherever possible.  When values are reported (the final value of a density, for example), you must include the confidence interval for the data.  All numbers must be presented with the appropriate number of significant figures.  Including figures that are not significant is a common mistake, and it is important for you to learn how to avoid this.  Note that in engineering practice we rarely have more than 3 signficant figures; we almost never have more than 4.  When writing error limits, we use one significant figure on error, unless the error digit is "1" or "2", in which case we use two significant figures.

Memo of Transmittal:
All assignments and written submissions given to the Instructor or TA will be transmitted with a memo of transmittal.  The memo of transmittal tells the recipient what it is that is being submitted and why it is being submitted (see Lecture 1).   The only exception to this practice is when you submit a memo report, where the memo header serves to transmit the report.
The memo of transmittal helps the recipient keep track of what he/she receives and ensures that any special circumstances associated with the submission are understood by the recipient.

Schedule:   Due Date Schedule:

Reports are due approximately one week after the experiments are performed as indicated in the syllabus (due Wednesday, in class, in person, both team members present, initials or signatures on the page, Basics Checklist included for reports 1 through 4). 


Schedule:   Due Date Schedule for Lab Reports and Exercises:

Report Feedback  The instructor's feedback form that is used in grading the reports is posted here:   Both authors are expected to review these comments and to use this feedback to improve future reports.  The grading standards increase with each lab report; for example, things that did not result in a low grade in Report 1 may be strongly penalized in Reports 2 or 3 or later.

An example report is posted here:
An explanation of each term in the Report Grading Feedback form is here: 

Late Reports:  Late reports will be penalized as follows: 1 day late, 20% penalty; more than 1 day late, grade of zero.  Exceptions may be made under exceptional circumstances if arranged with the instructor in advance.

No Rewrites:  There are no rewrites permitted of laboratory reports.


Overall compliance with laboratory rules, exercises, and procedures (including safety, preparedness, prelab performance, teamwork, communication, promptness, lab notebooks), as judged by the instructor with feedback from the peer evaluations and the TA, will count as the laboratory participation grade. 

Satisfactory participation and respectful conduct of one's duties is essential for a practicing engineer.  Satisfactory performance will be scored neutrally, meanning your participation score will equal your average lab-report score.  Poor performance will be lower than this; exemplary performance will be higher.


Each team member will separately fill out a peer evaluation form ( at the time of submitting the last cycle 1 report (Viscosity, report 2), at the time of submitting the last cycle 2 report (Friction, report 4), and at the safety meeting (week 14).  We will fill these out in class.  In addition, team members may submit peer evaluation forms at any time throughout the semester if there are issues to report (bring to main Chemical Engineering office and ask for it to be put in Dr. Morrison's mailbox; include a memo of transmittal).   The purpose of this form is to indicate to the instructor whether or not an engineering team is functioning as it should.  Fill out one column for yourself and one for your lab partner. 


Please use a professional standard when communicating with the instructors and TA.  Guidlines are posted here:

All assignments and written submissions given to the Instructor or TA will be transmitted with a memo of transmittal.  The memo of transmittal tells the recipient what it is that is being submitted and why it is being submitted (see Lecture 1).  The only exception to this is a memo report, where the memo header serves to transmit the report.  The memo of transmittal helps busy professionals to quickly understand the nature of a submission. 


Cheating of any form will not be tolerated. Reports submitted must be the work of the two team members only.  Submitting for credit a report to which you have not contributed is considered cheating.  Submitting a report that someone else has written is cheating.

Any student found to be cheating would be reported to the Dean of Students. The punishment for plagiarism ranges from an F on the assignment to expulsion.  All assignments are either individual or team as indicated on the due dates handout.  Any submission for an individual exercise/report/assignment that is identical to another submission will be judged to be plagiarized.

No cell phone use or internet capability allowed during pre-lab checks or quizes, unless authorized by the instructor on the day of the event.


Important: The Michigan Bureau of Fire Services has adopted new rules for colleges and universities effective 2015

1.  Only residence halls are required to hold fire and tornado drills.
2.  In lieu of fire drills in other university buildings all faculty and instructional staff are required to do the following on the first day of class:
     - Explain the university fire evacuation procedures to the class (see below).
     - Explain the locations of the primary and secondary exit routes for your class location.
     - Explain your designated safe location where the class will meet after evacuating the building.
3.  The class instructor is responsible for directing the class during a building evacuation.

General evacuation procedure:
- Use the nearest safe exit route to exit the building.  The nearest safe exit from room 19-104A is the front (south) entrance that is close to the MUB circle.  The secondary exit is in the middle of the building, either the west or east entrance (both are equally close).
- Close all doors on the way out to prevent the spread of smoke and fire.
- After exiting, immediately proceed to a safe location at least 100 feet from the building.  Our designated safe location is at the mailbox near the entrance to parking lot 12 (near the MUB small parking lot).
- Do not re-enter the building until the all-clear is given by Public Safety or the fire department.


Syllabus requirements:

All students should be aware of the following policies.

Academic Integrity:

Academic regulations and procedures are governed by University policy. Academic misconduct cases will be handled in accordance the University's policies


Student work products (exams, essays, projects, etc.) may be used for the purposes of university, program, or course assessment. All work used for assessment purposes will not include any individual student identification

Disability Services:
If you have a disability that could affect your performance in any class or that requires an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact your instructor or Disability Services at 487-1494 as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Any student requiring accommodations due to a documented disability must provide the instructor of the course notification of needed accommodations no later than five business days prior to the use of the accommodations. In situations where fewer than five days' notice is given, the instructor is encouraged, but not obligated, to provide accommodations. The instructor will determine, in consultation with the Testing Center in the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, whether these accommodations can be met. 

Students who have an accommodation for extended time allowed on tests shall not be required to spend more than six hours per calendar day in final examinations. For a student with an accommodation for extended time, this may reduce the limit on examinations per day to less than the normal limit of three. To resolve time conflicts between two overlapping exams (either regular exams or final examinations), the current practices of the University shall be followed

The Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion:

The Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion has asked that you be made aware of the following:

Michigan Technological University complies with all federal and state laws and regulations regarding discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Michigan Tech has a policy of affording equal opportunity to all of its employees, students, applicants for employment, and applicants for admission without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, height, weight, genetic information, or marital status, disabled veteran status, veteran status, or disability.

Veterans / Military

Veterans and active duty military personnel with special circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill requirements, disabilities) are welcomed and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to their instructor(s).
Equal Opportunity, Discrimination, or Harassment Statement:

For other concerns about discrimination, you may contact your advisor, Chair/Dean of your academic unit, Dean of Students Office at 487-2212 or The Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion at 487-3310.

The diversity of the participants in this course is a valuable source of ideas, problem solving strategies, and engineering creativity.  If you feel that your contribution is not being valued for any reason, please spak with me privately.  If you wish to communicate anonymously, you may do so in writing or speak with the Department Chair.  We are all members of an academic community where it is our shared responsibility to cultivate a climate where all students/individuals are valued and where both they and their ideas are treated with respect.

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