Fluid Mechanics for Chemical Engineers

Prentice Hall
James O. Wilkes  
Total pages
July 2017
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Fluid Mechanics for Chemical Engineers
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James O. Wilkes has updated his expert hands-on fluid mechanics tutorial with a complete introduction to the popular COMSOL Multiphysics 5.2 software package, and ten new COMSOL 5.2 examples.


Building on the text that earned Choice Magazine’s prestigious Outstanding Academic Titles award, Wilkes offers masterful coverage of key fluid mechanics topics including computing turbulent flows, bubble motion, two-phase flow, fluidization, microfluidics, electro-kinetic flow effects, and computational fluid dynamics. Throughout, he presents more than 300 problems of incrementally greater difficulty, helping students build mastery through realistic practice.


Wilkes starts with a macroscopic approach, providing a solid foundation for sizing pumps and operating laboratory and field scale equipment. The first four chapters derive equations needed to size chemical plant equipment, including pipes in packed beds, pumping installation, fluid flow measurement, filtration, and cyclone separation. Next, he moves to a microscopic approach, introducing key principles for modeling more advanced systems and solving industry or graduate-level problems. These chapters start with a simple derivation of the Navier-Stokes equation (NSE), and then introduce assumptions for various flow geometries, helping students reduce equations for easy solution -- analytically, or numerically with COMSOL. Updated COMSOL examples include boundary layer flow, non-Newtonian flow, jet flow, lathe flow, lubrication, momentum diffusion, flow through an orifice plate parallel plate flow, turbulent flow, and more.


  • Includes up-to-date tutorial coverage for using the popular COMSOL Multiphysics 5.2, plus ten new COMSOL examples
  • Covers these and other crucial topics: computing turbulent flows, bubble motion, two-phase flow, fluidization, microfluidics, electro-kinetic flow effects, and computational fluid dynamics
  • Provides more than 300 problems of graded difficulty
  • Builds on the first edition, honored as a Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title

New to this Edition

This edition’s updates bring the book up-to-date with the current COMSOL Multiphysics 5.2 software and its new interface (replacing the obsolete Version 3.5 covered in 2005’s Second Edition). There will be a new solutions manual and new online examples.

Table of Contents



Part I: Macroscopic Fluid Mechanics

Chapter 1: Introduction to Fluid Mechanics

Chapter 2: Mass, Energy, and Momentum Balances

Chapter 3: Fluid Friction in Pipes

Chapter 4: Flow in Chemical Engineering Equipment


Part II: Microscopic Fluid Mechanics

Chapter 5: Differential Equations of Fluid Mechanics

Chapter 6: Solution of Viscous-Flow Problems

Chapter 7: Laplace’s Equation, Irrotational and Porous-Media Flows

Chapter 8: Boundary-Layer and Other Nearly Unidirectional Flows

Chapter 9: Turbulent Flow

Chapter 10: Bubble Motion, Two-Phase Flow, and Fluidization

Chapter 11: Non-Newtonian Fluids

Chapter 12: Microfluidics and Electrokinetic Flow Effects

Chapter 13: An Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics and ANSYS Fluent

Chapter 14: COMSOL Multiphysics for Solving Fluid Mechanics Problems


Appendix A: Useful Mathematical Relationships

Appendix B: Answers to the True/False Assertions

Appendix C: Some Vector and Tensor Operations


General Index

COMSOL Multiphysics Index

The Authors


James O. Wilkes is Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, where he served as department chairman and assistant dean for admissions. From 1989 to 1992, he was an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. Wilkes coauthored Applied Numerical Methods (Wiley, 1969) and Digital Computing and Numerical Methods (Wiley, 1973). He received his bachelors degree from the University of Cambridge and his M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. His research interests involve numerical methods for solving a wide variety of engineering problems.