Chemical is of, made by, or employing chemistry or chemicals. Chemical Engineering is the field of engineering where physical sciences such as chemistry or physics, and life sciences such as biology, biochemistry, etc., along with mathematics and economics, are employed in the process of transforming raw materials into more useful substances. In its authenticity, it is applied chemistry. It involves the designing, construction, operation, and maintenance of machines and chemical plants that perform chemical reactions to solve practical problems or make useful products; and removal of chemicals from wastes to enable large-scale production of goods.
Those that study chemical engineering are called chemical engineers. A chemical engineer is one who works at the chemical industry to convert raw materials into useful products, and deals with design and operation of plants and equipments to perform such work. Primarily, a chemical engineer utilizes the principles of chemical engineering in any various practical applications with respect to the study of design, manufacture, and operation of plants and machineries in chemical related processes. However, recently, chemical engineers are more heavily involved in the development of new technologies such as fuel cells, hydrogen power, and nanotechnology, as well as working in fields such as polymer engineering and biomedical engineering.
Traditionally, a chemical engineer has only been concerned with process engineering. With time, however, today, chemical engineering includes much more than just process engineering. Chemical Engineers are now engaged in the production of a diverse range of products, as well as in commodity and specialty chemicals. These products may also include high performance materials required for aerospace, automotive, electronic, biomedical, environmental, and military applications. In addition, chemical engineering is also intertwined with biology and biomedical engineering.
There is a good scope for chemical engineers in India as far as job opportunities are concerned since it includes all phases of technical activity in which knowledge of chemistry, along with other fundamental sciences such as mathematics, physics, biology, and computer science, is used to embark upon and solve the problems of the society. The chemical industries supply society with a vast number of products, including chemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, food, textile, fuel, and industrial gases. The chemical engineer also serves the society by reducing and eliminating pollution, and applying biosciences in biochemical and biomedical engineering. Since chemical engineering consists of various programs, the spectrum of activity of chemical engineers is very broad. They could be design engineers working on a product along with mechanical and electrical engineers, or researchers engaged in developing new processes and products. Huge opportunities exist for chemical engineers in both public and private sectors.
Chemical Engineering is available for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. There are B.E. or B.Tech. degrees that have chemical engineering as an option. Further, one can also pursue higher education or a Master's degree in chemical engineering.
The scope for chemical engineers is expected to grow in the future owing to the industrial expansion and development. The more the industrial expansion, the more need for chemically produced products, converting raw material into useful products, etc. Hence, the more need for people who have knowledge about chemicals and, more importantly, the knowledge of the application of the required 'knowledge'.