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July Bookshelf  

By Joan Schweikart |

Fluid Mechanics for Chemical Engineers. Second edition. By James O. Wilkes. Prentice Hall PTR, 1 Lake St., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. Web: phptr.com. 2005. 784 pages. $120.80.

Reviewed by Ron Darby, Texas A&M University, College Station, Tex.

This is a revised and expanded edition (with some 150 additional pages) of the book first published in 1999. The book is divided into two parts: Part I — Macroscopic Fluid Mechanics, and Part II — Microscopic Fluid Mechanics. It is intended that Part I, along with selected parts of Part II, be used as the text for an undergraduate course and that a graduate course be based on much of Part II. Worked Example Problems are interspersed throughout most of the chapters, and a collection of unworked problems and questions is given at the end of each chapter (except for the last two chapters). These problems are classified as either easy (E), moderate (M) or difficult/lengthy (D). A few problems taken from Cambridge University exams are classified “C.” Part I is largely unchanged from the first edition and includes four chapters covering introductory material; definitions and fluid properties; mass, energy and momentum balances; fluid friction in pipes; and flow in chemical engineering equipment. This last chapter is a relatively short chapter (45 pages) that touches on fundamentals of flow in pumps, drag on particles, filtration, fluidization, bubble-caps in distillation columns, cyclone separators, sedimentation and dimensional analysis. Only the basic governing principles are covered, and no attempt has been made to include the (mostly empirical) currently available relations and correlations that are used in practice for the actual design or analysis of the equipment involving these operations. For example, friction loss in valves and fittings is represented by the classical (but highly approximate) equivalent L/D method, despite the existence of much more accurate and general methods. A liberal number of examples are included, showing application of the principles to rudimentary and mostly classical problems.
Part II has been significantly expanded by the inclusion of three new chapters, one on microfluidics and two on CFD (computational fluid dynamics). This is understandable, since the author’s main area of interest is in CFD. Although there is not a compact disc accompanying the book containing applicable software, the author has chosen FlowLab and COMSOL Multiphysics (formerly FEMLAB) for the CFD applications (but stating that there is no intention to specifically endorse these over other available programs). The nine chapters in Part II (which is 2/3 of the book) cover differential equations of fluid mechanics, solution of viscous flow problems, Laplace’s equation for irrotational and porous-media flows, boundary-layer and other nearly unidirectional flows, turbulent flow, bubble motion, two-phase flow and fluidization, non-Newtonian fluids, microfluidics and electrokinetic flow effects, introduction to CFD and FlowLab, and COMSOL (FEMLAB) Multiphysics for solving fluid mechanics problems. Three Appendices are included on Useful Mathematical Relationships, Answers to True/False Assertions, and Some Vector and Tensor Operations. The approach is fundamental and theoretical, with example problems interspersed illustrating application of the principles to some rudimentary examples. Although CFD is not discussed in detail until chapters 13 and 14, COMSOL is used to solve a number of the examples given in previous chapters, starting with chapter 7.
The writing and the explanations are clear. The theory is generally complete, although somewhat abbreviated and cursory in some places, mainly of necessity due to the large variety of topics addressed.
The book is recommended for those who wish an introduction to the theoretical and fundamental foundation to the topics that are covered. Although Part I could serve as a good fundamental introduction to fluid mechanics, it is limited in scope and in current “state of the art” developments for a practical and complete undergraduate course, and would benefit by updating and supplementing the material with more information regarding current engineering practice. Part II could serve as a good text for a graduate course in fluid mechanics, but is also limited in scope and depth by the selection of topics covered and the choice of applications. The chapters on CFD are clear and useful, although lacking in detail, and would also benefit from an objective analysis of the limitations of these methods, as well as a comparison of the capabilities of COMSOL with some other popular CFD software programs such as FLUENT.

Principles of Combustion. Second edition. By Kenneth K. Kuo.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030. Web: wiley.com. 2005. 760 pages. $130.

Applied Statistics in Occupational Safety and Health. Second edition. By Christopher A. Janicak. Government Institutes, 4501 Forbes Blvd., Lanham, MD 20706. Web: govinstpress.com. 2007. 225 pages. $65.

Solubility in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide. By Ram B. Gupta and Jae-Jin Shim. CRC Press, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Boca Raton, FL 33487. Web: crcpress.com. 2007. 960 pages. $189.95.

Pinch Analysis and Process Integration: A User Guide on Process Integration for the Efficient Use of Energy. Second edition. By Ian C. Kemp. Butterworth-Heinemann, 30 Corporate Dr.,  Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803. Web: elsevier.com. 416 pages. $69.95.â– 
Joan Schweikart

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