Autor/autori: Alexandru WOINAROSCHY

Abstract: It is presented the chemical engineering development, as guided by its four main paradigms: unit operations, transport phenomena, product engineering and sustainable chemical engineering. The starting point is the paradigm definition as “a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline”. Related to the paradigms role in the evolution of chemical engineering, it is relevant that even when paradigms are known to be inadequate, their inadequacies are frequently minimized, or even ignored by the scientific community. Nevertheless, if and when a paradigm reaches a crisis where its technical inadequacies are brought into focus, perhaps driven by social requirements, a new paradigm will arise to explain what the prior paradigm could not. During the evolution of chemical engineering, from its beginning at the end of 19th century up today’s, each new paradigm was a step forward which has extended the manifold of the tasks that can be solved. However, no older paradigm is derelict. In fact, almost all paradigms must be used together in order to solve the complex chemical engineering problems

Keywords: paradigms, unit operations, transport phenomena, product engineering, sustainable chemical engineering