2020 Physical Chemistry for High Temperature Processes -Thermodynamics-

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Graduate major in Energy Science and Engineering
Susa Masahiro  Kobayashi Yoshinao  Kawamura Kenichi  Hayashi Miyuki  Ueda Mitsutoshi 
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Course description and aims

This course focuses on thermodynamics for high temperature processes involving chemical reactions. This course starts with review on the first to third laws of thermodynamics including enthalpy, heat capacity, entropy, Gibbs energy, etc., followed by the topics such as the chemical potential and the Gibbs phase rule, the latter being applied to phase diagrams and also systems involving various chemical reactions. Finally, the concept of activity is introduced along with standard states for components in gas and condensed phases, the latter including Raoultian, Henrian and 1mass% Henarian activities. By combining lectures and exercises, the course enables students to understand and acquire the fundamentals of chemical equilibrium calculation for systems involving various chemical reactions.
 Thermodynamics is a basis for other courses provided in Graduate Majors 'Energy Science and Engineering' and 'Materials Science and Engineering' and is also very important for research and development of high temperature materials and processing. For example, the second law defines the maximum efficiency of heat engine. The Gibbs energy change predicts the maximum work generated by electrochemical cells and also predicts whether or not some reaction occurs at certain condition. A reaction which is not expected to occur thermodynamically will never occur. Thermodynamics should be useful to your own research as well. Students are also expected to understand the backgrounds against which the concepts such as enthalpy, Gibbs energy, activity and so on were created in addition to how to use them.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Explain the first to third laws of thermodynamics and understand the difference between internal energy and enthalpy.
2) Explain the physical meaning of Gibbs energy change in relation to the second law of thermodynamics.
3) Calculate the enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs energy change of reactions using molar heat capacity data and so on.
4) Understand the concept of the chemical potential and derive the Gibbs phase rule.
5) Calculate the number of degrees of freedom and specify the intensive valuables which are required to keep the system at equilibrium.
6) Explain the concept of activity and its relation with the equilibrium constant and also explain the relation between the equilibrium constant and the standard Gibbs energy change.
7) Understand the difference between Raoultin, Heanrian and 1mass% Henrian activities and apply them to chemical equilibrium calculations.


First to third laws of thermodynamics, Internal energy, Enthalpy, Heat capacity, Entropy, Gibbs energy, Chemical potential, Phase equilibrium, Chemical equilibrium, Gibbs phase rule, Activity, Standard state, Equilibrium constant, Raoultian activity, Henrian activity, 1mass% Henrian activity, Interaction parameter

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
You will be required to understand thermodynamics as a engineering tool as well as scientific philosophy.

Class flow

At the beginning of each class, solutions to exercise problems that were assigned during the previous class are reviewed. Towards the end of class, students are given many exercise problems related to the lecture given that day to solve. To prepare for class, students should read the course schedule section and check what topics will be covered. Required learning should be completed outside of the classroom for preparation and review purposes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 First law of thermodynamics and enthalpy - Differnece between internal energy and enthalpy Understand the calculation of enthaply changes of reactions.
Class 2 Second and third laws of thermodynamics and Gibbs energy - Definition of Gibbs energy based upon second law Calculate entropy and Gibbs energy changes and derive thermodynamic functions.
Class 3 Chemical potential and Gibbs phase rule - How to consider the numbers of component, phases and degrees of freedom Apply the Gibbs phase rule to phase diagrams and systems involving chemical reactions
Class 4 Concenpt of activity - Activities of components in gas and condensed phases and their relation with the equilibrium constant Calculate chemical equilibria for systems involving gas and pure solid phases only
Class 5 Solutions - Raoultian and Henrian activities and chemical potential difference between the standard states Determine the activity of components in binary solutions, and calculate chemical equilibria for systems involving solutions
Class 6 Dilute solutions - 1mass% Heanrian activity and chemical potential difference between Raoultian and 1mass%Henrian activity standard states Calculate chemical equailibria for solution containing a dilute solute
Class 7 Interaction parameter - Expression of activity coefficients of dilute solutes Calculate chemical equailibria for solution containing several dilute solutes


Handouts relevant to the lecture are provided.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

The Japan Institute of Metals 『Physical Chemistry of Metals』Maruzen, ISBN: 4-88903-011-5 (Japanese)
Gaskell 『Introduction to the Thermodynamics of Materials』Taylor&Francis, ISBN-13: 978--1-5916-9043-6

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' knowledge of thermodynamics laws, thermodynamic functions including chemical potential, Gibbs phase rule, activity and its standard, and their ability to apply them to problems will be assessed.
Final exams 70%, exercise problems 30%.

Related courses

  • ENR.J403 : Physical Chemistry for High Temperature Processes -Smelting and Refining Processes-
  • ENR.J404 : Physical Chemistry for High Temperature Processes -Oxidation of Metals-
  • MAT.M404 : Transport Phenomena at HighTemperature
  • MAT.M409 : Themodynamics for Phase Equilibria
  • MAT.M411 : Phase Transformation and Microstructure Control

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students must have successfully completed 'Themodynamics of Materials' (MAT.A203.R) or have equivalent knowledge. This course is provided for international students and studens who have not completed 'Physical Chemietry in Metals' (MAT.M302.E).

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