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APPLICATION OF FOURIER SERIES IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

The Fourier Series and Transform is very evident in everyday phenomena and is
useful in many applications ranging from experimental instruments to rigorous
mathematical analysis techniques. The series and transform are used in many
different fields to solve a variety of problems. In chemical engineering, the transform
can take a periodic function, such as a temperature control device that turns on and
off periodically to maintain a certain temperature, and model the process. The series
is used in boundary problems to model unsteady-state processes where the conditions
change over time which would change a differential equation in time space to an
algebraic or trigonometric equation in space for easier solving.

Fourier series and transform can also be used in solving an empirical relationship
between the conduction rate in a material and the temperature gradient in the
direction of energy flow, this is known to be Fourier’s Law of Heat Conduction. For
transient heat transfer problem with uniform initial temperature, the Laplace
transformation method is considerably powerful. However, it is very difficult and
complicated to solve the inverse transform of the subsidiary equation of the given
differential equation. The technique of Fourier series can be used in order to obtain
the inverse transform. The analysis of transient heat transfer problem of
two-dimensional and one-dimensional straight fins is considered here to testify the
merit of this method.

Another one, the Fourier's Law and Newton's Law of Cooling allow all sorts of
systems such as cooling fins, reactors, distillation columns and condensers. For each
type of system, the applicable laws can be applied, and understanding the formulation
of the laws allows engineers to model a system, and may provide clues to problems
of the system.

Fourier's law also provided a base for other laws. From Fourier's Law, Fick's law
and Newton's Law of Viscocity was derived. Fick's Law models mass transport, and
Newton's Law of Viscocity models momentum transfer. Once these laws were
formed, the field of Transport Phenomena was formed and allowed the complete
modelling of any chemical process. Each type of transport is often coupled, and the
field has allowed general formulas for all couplings in different geometries. Fourier's
law acted as a domino effect that led to the revolutionizing of the field of Chemical
Engineering.

All in all, Fourier's discoveries revolutionized chemical engineering and made


such an impact that they are still in use today.