In this module, the first law of thermodynamics is discussed in different systems (open, closed, adiabatic, isolated etc.). We discuss forms of energy, how energy can be transported, different forms of enthalpy as well as intensive and extensive properties. Once these concepts have been introduced, we expand the generic modelling framework to include energy balances. We cover heat of reaction, enthalpy of formation and the different ways to account for this.

Module preview


  • First law of thermodynamics
  • System definitions
  • Forms of energy
  • Enthalpy
  • Intensive versus extensive properties
  • Transport of energy
  • Formulating the energy balance
  • Heat of reaction
  • Other forms of heat (adsorption and Joule-Thomson)

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students should be able to formulate energy balances, understand the different forms of energy and how they are transported, and know how to include reactions.

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Slide handout - Energy balance PDF
Slides - Energy balance PPTX
Home assignment - Global warming DOCX
Home assignment - Global warming PDF
Solutions - Home assignment - Global warming GPJ