Heat Transfer Process, Chemistry tutorial


Heat transport is a regulation, which is concerned through the generation, utilize conversion, and transform of thermal energy and heat between physical systems. It is classified into numerous mechanisms: heat conduction, convection, thermal radiation, and transfer of energy via phase modifies. 

Engineers and industrial technologists as well consider the transfer of mass of differing chemical species, either cold or hot, to attain heat transfer. Whilst such mechanisms contain distinct traits, they frequently take place simultaneously in the similar system. 

Heat conduction, as well termed diffusion, is the direct microscopic swap over of kinetic energy of elements through the boundary between 2 systems. When an object is at a dissimilar temperature from an additional body or its surroundings, heat flows so that the remains and the surroundings reach the similar temperature, at that point they are said to be in a state of thermal equilibrium. These spontaneous heat transfers take place from a region of elevated temperature to another region of lower temperature according to the 2nd law of thermodynamics. 

Heat convection takes place whenever bulk flow of a fluid (gas or liquid) carries heat beside through the flow of matter in the fluid. The flow of fluid might be forced via external procedures, or sometimes (in gravitational fields) via buoyancy forces caused when thermal energy enlarged the fluid (for instance in a fire plume), therefore influencing its own change. The latter procedure is sometimes termed "natural convection". All convective processes as well shift heat partly via diffusion. An additional form of convection is forced convection. In this case the fluid is forced to flow via utilized of a pump, fan or other mechanical signifies. 

The last major form of heat shift is via radiation that happens in any transparent medium (solid or fluid), but might as well take place across vacuum (as when the sun heats the earth). Radiation is the transfer of energy through space via means of electromagnetic waves in much the equivalent way as electromagnetic light waves transfer light. The similar laws that govern the convey of light also govern the radiant transfer of heat. 


Heat is described as the transfer of thermal energy across a well-described boundary around a thermodynamic system. It is a trait of a procedure and is not statically enclosed in matter.  

Heat (specified via the symbol Q) might be seen as something that appears when a system modifies its state due to a difference in temperature between the system and its surroundings. Therefore, it is a shape of energy in transit. 

If heat flows into a system from the surroundings, the quantity is called to be positive and conversely, if the heat flows from the system to the surroundings it is called to be negative. In other words: 

Heat received or gained via the system = +Q 

Heat rejected or released or given-out by the system = -Q 

Heat released via one substance = Heat gained via another substance.  

Definition of Heat Transfer  

Heat transfer might be described as the transmission of energy from one region to another as a consequence of temperature gradient. 

In engineering contexts, though, the term heat transfer has obtained an exact usage, despite its literal redundancy of the characterization of transfer. In these contexts, heat is taken as synonymous to thermal energy. This practice has its origin in the historical interpretation of heat as a fluid (caloric) that can be transported through diverse causes, and that is as well ordinary in the language of laymen and everyday life. 

Fundamental techniques of heat transfer contain conduction, convection, and radiation. Physical laws explain the behaviour and traits of each of such techniques. Real systems frequently exhibit a complicated combination of all. Heat transfer techniques are utilized in numerous disciplines, these as automotive engineering, thermal management of electronic machines and systems, climate manage, insulation, substances processing, and power plant engineering. 

Numerous mathematical techniques have been expanded to answer or approximate the effects of heat transfer in systems. Heat transfer is a path function (or process quantity), as opposed to a  state quantity; thus, the amount of heat transferred  in  a thermodynamic process that changes the state of a system based on how that procedure happens, not only the net difference between the initial and final states of  the  procedure. Heat flux is a quantitative, vectorial illustration of the heat flow through a surface.  

Heat transfer is characteristically studied as part of a general chemical engineering or mechanical engineering curriculum. Classically, thermodynamics is a prerequisite for heat convey courses, as the laws of thermodynamics are necessary to the mechanism of heat transfer. Other courses connected to heat transfer involve energy adaptation, thermofluids, and mass transfer.  

The transport equations for thermal energy (Fourier's law), mechanical momentum (Newton's law for fluids), and mass transfer (Fick's laws of diffusion) are similar and analogies among such 3 transport process have been expanded to facilitate prediction of conversion from any one to the others. 

Basic laws governing heat transfer  

(a) First Law of Thermodynamics: This law is based on the law of conservation of energy. It states that energy can be converted from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed. Thus, heat lost by one body is equivalent to heat gained by the other body if there is heat transfer process.

(b) Second Law of Thermodynamics: It states that "heat will flow naturally from one reservoir to another at a lower temperature, but not in opposite direction without assistance." This law  establishes the condition for the direction of energy transport as heat  postulates that the flow of  energy as heat through a system  boundary will always be in  direction of  lower  temperature (or along negative temperature gradient). 

(c)Third Law of Thermodynamics: The law can be considered in connection with the  determination of entropy to molecular disorder, the greater the disorder or freedom of  motions  of  the  atoms or molecules in a system, the  greater  the  entropy  of  the  system. The third law states that "the entropy of a perfect crystalline substance is zero at the absolute zero of temperature." 

As the temperature increases, the freedom of motions also increases. Therefore, the entropy of any substances above 0K is greater than zero. The importance of the 3rd law of thermodynamics is that it permits us to find out the absolute entropies of substances.

Modes of Heat Transfer  

The fundamental modes of heat transfer are: 

i. Conduction     ii.    Convection    iii.   Radiation 


Conduction is the transfer of heat from one part of a material to another part of the similar substance, or from one material to another in physical contact through it, with no substantial displacement of molecules forming the substance. 

(a)   Thermal Conduction 

On a microscopic scale, heat conduction happens as hot, speedily moving or vibrating atoms and molecules interact through neighboring atoms and molecules, transferring several of their energy (heat) to such neighboring elements. In other words, heat is transferred via conduction whenever adjacent atoms tremble against one another, or as electrons shift from one atom to another.  Conduction is the most important means of heat transfer inside a solid or among solid objects in thermal contact. Fluids particularly gases are less conductive; the mechanism of heat transfer is easy. The kinetic energy of a molecule is a function of temperature. 

Such molecules are in a continuous random motion exchanging energy and momentum. When a molecule from a higher temperature region collides through a molecule from the low temperature region, it loses energy via collisions. In liquids, the mechanism of heat is nearer to that of gases.  Though, the molecules are more closely spaced and intermolecular forces come into play.      

(b)    Steady State Conduction 

Steady state conduction (see Fourier's law) is a shape of conduction, which occurs when the temperature dissimilarity driving the conduction is steady, so that after an equilibration time, the spatial distribution of temperatures in the conducting object doesn't modify any further. In stable state conduction, the amount of heat incoming a section is equivalent to amount of heat coming out. 

(c)   Transient Conduction 

Transient conduction (see heat equation) happens when the temperature within an object modifies as a function of time. Analysis of transient systems is more complex and frequently calls for the application of approximation theories or numerical analysis via computer. 

Fourier's Law of Heat Conduction  

Fourier's Law of  heat conduction is an empirical law based on observation and states that 'The  rate of flow of heat through a easy homogeneous solid is straight proportional to the area of  the section at right angles to the direction of heat flow, and to transform of temperature through respect to the length of the path of heat flow' 

Mathematically, it can be symbolized via the equation:  

                                 Q α A.dtdx

Where,   Q = Heat flow through a body per unit (in watts), W 

               A = Surface area of heat flow (perpendicular to the direction of flow) m2

              t = Temperature difference of the faces of block (homogeneous solid) of thickness                     'dx' through which heat flows, oC or K and 

 dx = Thickness of body in the direction of flow, m. 

Therefore,                    Q = - k .A dt dx

Where,  k  =  Constant  of  proportionality  and  is  recognized  as  thermal  conductivity of the body. 

The -ve sign of k is to take care of the decreasing temperature along by the direction of increasing thickness or the direction of heat flow. The temperature gradient dx/dy is always negative along positive x direction and, therefore, the value Q becomes +ve.  


Convective heat transfer, or convection, is the move of heat from one place to another via the movement of fluids, a procedure that is fundamentally transferred of heat via mass transfer.  The term fluid means any material that deforms under shear stress; it comprises liquids, gases, plasmas, and several plastic solids.) Bulk motion of fluid enhances heat transfer in many physical situations, these as between a solid surface and the fluid. Convection is generally the dominant form of heat transport in liquids and gases. Even though sometimes discussed as a 3rd technique  of  heat transfer, convection is generally utilized to explain the joined results of heat conduction within the  fluid (diffusion) and heat transference by bulk fluid flow streaming. The procedure of transport by fluid streaming is recognized as advection, but pure advection is a term that is generally associated only with mass transport in fluids, such as advection of pebbles in a river. In the case of heat transfer in fluids, where transport by advection in a fluid is always also accompanied by transport via heat diffusion (as well recognized as heat conduction), the process of heat convection is implicit to term to the calculation of heat transport via advection and diffusion/conduction. 

Free, or natural, convection happens when bulk fluid motion (steams and currents) are reasoned via buoyancy forces that consequence from density deviations due to variations of temperature in the fluid. Forced convection is a term utilized when the streams and currents in the fluid are induced through external means-these as fans, stirrers, and pumps-creating and synthetically induced convection current. 

Convective heating or cooling in several circumstances might be explained through Newton's Law of cooling: "The rate of heat loss of a body is proportional to the difference in temperatures between the body and its surroundings." Though, via definition, the validity of Newton's Law of cooling needs that the rate of heat loss from convection be a linear function of ("proportional to") the temperature difference that drives heat transfer, and in convective cooling this is sometimes not the case. In general, convection isn't linearly dependent on temperature gradients, and in several cases is strongly nonlinear.  In these cases, Newton's Law doesn't affect. 


Thermal radiation 

A red-hot iron thing moves heat to the surrounding atmosphere primarily through thermal radiation. Thermal radiation is energy released through matter as electromagnetic waves due to the pool of thermal energy that all matter possesses that has a temperature above absolute zero. Thermal radiation propagates with no the presence of matter through the vacuum of space.  Thermal radiation is a direct consequence of the random associations of atoms and molecules in matter. Because such atoms and molecules are composed of charged particles (protons and electrons), their movement consequences in the release of electromagnetic radiation that carries energy away from the surface. 

Unlike conductive and convective shapes of heat transfer, thermal radiation can be concentrated in a tiny spot through using reflecting mirrors that is exploited in concentrating solar power generation. The properties of radiant heat in general, are similar to those of light. Several of such properties are: 

(i)  It doesn't require the occurrence of a material medium for its transmission.

(ii)  Radiant heat can be reflected from the surfaces and obeys the ordinary laws of reflection.  

(iii) It travels through velocity of light. 

(iv) Like light, it illustrates interference, diffraction and polarization and so on. 

(v) It follows the law of inverse square.

The wavelength of heat radiations is longer than that of light waves; consequently they are hidden to the eye. 

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