(338e) Thermodynamics Problems Encountered and Solved as Mentored by Professor Sandler

Authors: 
Wong, D. S. H., National Tsing Hua University


When I was recruited by Professor Sandler as agraduate student, Stanley pointed out that his research emphaisize on both the theoretical and practical sides of thermodynamics.

Problems that researchers and practice engineers encountered in chemical engineering thermodynamics have changed substantially over last thirty years, both on the practical and theoretical side.

In this talk, I shall relay my working experiences in the applications and researh in the practical side of thermodynamics and how my association with Professor Sandler benefits their solution.

In one of Professor's Sandler early work, the importance of thermodynamics on process simualtion and design was discussed. I shall start with the importance of thermodynamic knowledge, even the simple question of state of water, in the development and interpretation of process simuation.

This is followed by the development of Wong and Sandler mixing rule, which is triggered by the failure of assymetric mixing with water and hydrocarbon mixtures; as well as Profesor's Sandler insistence on getting the theoretical limit. Yet the problems of complex mixing rule in prediction of critical locus and global behavior of water and hydrocarbon will be presented.

As chemical engineering ventured into new disciplines, experimentation and modeling of complex materials that are more complex than hydrocarbons and petrochemicals become more and more important. Room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) is one example. RTILs have received a lot of attention over the last decades as the ?green? and ?designer? solvents of the next generation. During my stay with Professor Sandler in 1992, he has repeatedly emphaiszed the importance of thermodynamics in assessing the environmental impact of materials. As RTILs are being produced and used, its loss to the environment, especially to aquatic compartment is inevitable. Experimental measurements and modelling of diffusion coefficients and 1-octanol/water partition coefficients of ionic liquids, key environmental index of dispersion and accumulation will be presented.

Last but not least, as inspired by Professor Sandler wide ranging research interest, we shall explore the use of water and ionic liquids as solvents, cosolvent and antisolvents in new areas of chemical engineering such as as carbon capture and nano material fabrications.

In summary, the lessions that I learned from Professor Sandler include

(1) Thermodynamics is important (2) Thermodynamics problems keep changing (3) Both practical and theoretical sides are necessary to effective problem solution