It involves the design and maintenance of chemical plants and the development of chemical processes for converting raw materials or chemicals into valuable forms including those to remove chemicals from waste materials, to enable large-scale manufacture. It combines knowledge of Chemistry and Engineering for the production of chemicals and related by-products.
This branch of engineering is a varied field, covering areas from biotechnology and nanotechnology to mineral processing. It covers various fields of chemical technology in mineral based industries, petrochemical plants, pharmaceuticals, synthetic fibres, petroleum refining plants etc. Chemical engineers design and operate chemical plants and improve methods of production.
The former is concerned with the designing, supervision, construction, installation and operation of plants and equipments for manufacturing chemical products and developing new methods of production while the latter deals with the actual production of substances with new properties which require new methods of production in the fields of petroleum refining, fertilizer technology, processing of food and agricultural products, paints and dyes; recycling metals, glass and plastics; cosmetics, mineral based industries and prevention and control of environmental hazards.
The work of Chemical Engineers, the most versatile of all engineers, involve the invention, development, design, operation and of processes in industries. So they combine the work of several fields such as those of chemists, , materials engineers as well as electrical engineers. Chemical engineers are responsible for the availability of modern high-quality materials that are essential for running an industrial economy.