Chemical Engineering Research Paper Topics

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You can write about a wealth of topics in a chemical-engineering research paper, ranging from thermodynamics or heat and mass transfer, to the mathematics involved in the field. To narrow your paper to a specific topic, frame your paper in a general topic category.

Conceptual Designs

A research paper on conceptual designs of chemical processes might investigate the process for manufacturing a new drug or a redesign of an existing process. This research paper can discuss using technologies for such things as a certain process, and the types of physical reactions and chemical reactions involved. If you’ve carried out experiments on the designs you plan to discuss, write it as an experimental paper. If not, write it as a theoretical paper and mention that your theories and new designs should be tested for validity.

Current Theories

Discus current theories in the field. If you find a theory or process in chemical engineering interesting, write this type of paper to discuss it in more detail. Current theory papers might investigate the origins, applications, strengths and weaknesses of one theory. Compare and contrast two or more theories, and decide within your paper which theory you find stronger or more relevant.

Theoretical/Experimental Considerations

A paper on theoretical/experimental considerations differs from a paper on current theories in the minutiae of the details discussed. While a paper on current theories is typically broad and includes information on all aspects of a certain theory, a paper on theoretical/experimental considerations focuses on such details as sampling and measurement techniques.

Practical Applications

Focusing on practical applications in chemical engineering is a paper topic which many professors approve. Discuss ways to apply theories and concepts to real-life situations. This type of paper usually includes a thorough literature review of existing applications of theories and concepts.


  • “Rules of Thumb for Chemical Engineers;” Carl R. Branan; 2005
  • “Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook;” Don Green and Robert Perry; 2007

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