Solving material balance problems at unsteady state using a remote laboratory in the classroom
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In Chemical Engineering education, material balances at unsteady state is a difficult topic for the student to understand, as it involves mathematical modeling without being able to see what is actually happening in the real process. The difficulty of differential equations is not high, but students have trouble understanding their conceptualization through a problem using just the blackboard. The aim of this paper is to describe the experience of teaching material balances at unsteady state (or transient state) by having access to a remote laboratory experiment from the classroom at the same time. With the support of the online experiment, the instructor is able to go through the mathematical modeling of the situation while observing in real time what is going on in the process. This allows students to conduct experiments and calculations from their desks. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2013.