GATE 2021 Syllabus for Chemical Engineering (CH), Preparation Tips and Books

    Nikkil Visha Nikkil Visha
    Exams Prep Master

    Chemical Engineering is one of the popular engineering streams among students. The branch uses the basic principles of Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Maths, etc to transform energy and material into useful products. Through GATE candidates can appear for Chemical Engineering paper and take admission in M.Tech courses offered at prestigious institutes of India.

    • The syllabus of GATE 2021 Chemical Engineering will be based on topics studied at graduation level and divided into 9 sections which further includes various subtopics.
    • In this paper, 85% weightage will be given to the chemical & mathematical engineering syllabus and the remaining 15% to General Aptitude syllabus which is common for every branch.  Check GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

    Read the article to know more about the major topics of chemical engineering, exam pattern, important books, preparation tips and much more. 

    Must Read: 

    GATE 2021 Syllabus of Chemical Engineering

    GATE 2021 Chemical Engineering Syllabus

    Chemical Engineering uses Physics and Chemistry with applied Mathematics to convert chemicals and raw materials into useful substances. Chemical Engineers essentially design large-scale processes for such transformations.

    Section 1: Engineering Mathematics

    Engineering Mathematics is a branch of applied mathematics concerning mathematical methods and techniques that are typically used in engineering and industry. This section carries 15% weightage of questions. It is one of the important sections of GATE syllabus. 

    • Linear Algebra
    • Calculus
    • Differential equations
    • Complex variables
    • Probability and Statistics
    • Numerical Methods

    Section 2: Process Calculations and Thermodynamics

    • Steady and unsteady state mass and energy balances including multiphase, multicomponent, reacting and non-reacting systems. Use of tie components; recycle, bypass and purge calculations; Gibb’s phase rule and degree of freedom analysis.
    • First and Second laws of thermodynamics. Applications of first law to close and open systems. Second law and Entropy. Thermodynamic properties of pure substances: Equation of State and residual properties, properties of mixtures: partial molar properties, fugacity, excess properties and activity coefficients; phase equilibria: predicting VLE of systems; chemical reaction equilibrium.

    Section 3: Fluid Mechanics and Mechanical Operations

    • Fluid statics, Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, shell-balances including a differential form of Bernoulli equation and energy balance, Macroscopic friction factors, dimensional analysis and similitude, flow through pipeline systems, flow meters, pumps and compressors, elementary boundary layer theory, flow past immersed bodies including packed and fluidized beds, Turbulent flow: fluctuating velocity, universal velocity profile and pressure drop.
    • Particle size and shape, particle size distribution, size reduction and classification of solid particles; free and hindered settling; centrifuge and cyclones; thickening and classification, filtration, agitation and mixing; conveying of solids.

    Section 4: Heat Transfer

    • Steady and unsteady heat conduction, convection and radiation, thermal boundary layer and heat transfer coefficients, boiling, condensation and evaporation; types of heat exchangers and evaporators and their process calculations. Design of double pipe, shell and tube heat exchangers, and single and multiple effect evaporators. 

    Section 5: Mass Transfer

    • Fick’s laws, molecular diffusion in fluids, mass transfer coefficients, film, penetration and surface renewal theories; momentum, heat and mass transfer analogies; stage-wise and continuous contacting and stage efficiencies; HTU & NTU concepts; design and operation of equipment for distillation, absorption, leaching, liquid-liquid extraction, drying, humidification, dehumidification and adsorption.

    Section 6: Chemical Reaction Engineering

    • Theories of reaction rates; kinetics of homogeneous reactions, interpretation of kinetic data, single and multiple reactions in ideal reactors, non-ideal reactors; residence time distribution, single parameter model; non-isothermal reactors; kinetics of heterogeneous catalytic reactions; diffusion effects in catalysis.

    Section 7: Instrumentation and Process Control

    • Measurement of process variables; sensors, transducers and their dynamics, process modeling and linearization, transfer functions and dynamic responses of various systems, systems with inverse response, process reaction curve, controller modes (P, PI, and PID); control valves; analysis of closed loop systems including stability, frequency response, controller tuning, cascade and feedforward control.

    Section 8: Plant Design and Economics

    • Principles of process economics and cost estimation including depreciation and total annualized cost, cost indices, rate of return, payback period, discounted cash flow, optimization in process design and sizing of chemical engineering equipments such as compressors, heat exchangers, multistage contactors.

    Section 9: Chemical Technology

    • Inorganic chemical industries (sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, chlor-alkali industry), fertilizers (Ammonia, Urea, SSP and TSP); natural products industries (Pulp and Paper, Sugar, Oil, and Fats); petroleum refining and petrochemicals; polymerization industries (polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC and polyester synthetic fibers).

    Direct link to download GATE Chemical Engineering (CH) syllabus PDF 

    Weightage of Important Topics from GATE 2021 CH Syllabus

    Weightage of Important Topics from GATE 2021 CH Syllabus

    Candidates can refer to some of the sample questions mentioned below:

    • Sample Question 1: “When she fell down the _______, she received many _______ but little help.” The words that best fill the blanks in the above sentence are?
    • Sample Question 2: For 0 ≤ x ≤ 2π, sin x and cos x are both decreasing functions in the interval___________?
    • Sample Question 3: A set of 4 parallel lines intersect with another set of 5 parallel lines. How many parallelograms are formed?

    Weightage of Sections from General Aptitude

    TopicWeightage (Marks)
    Sentence Completion2
    Synonyms and Antonyms4
    Sentence Completion2
    Reasoning Ability4
    Data Interpretation2
    Numerical Method5

     Important Questions from Chemical Engineering

    • Sample Question 1: For a chemical reaction, the ratio of rate constant at 500 K to that at 400 K is 2.5. Given R= 8.314 J mol-1 K-1, the value of activation energy (in kJ/mol) is_________?
    • Sample Question 2: In the year 2005, the cost of a shell and tube heat exchanger with 68 m2 heat transfer area was Rs. 12.6 Lakh. Chemical Engineering Index for cost in 2005 was 509.4 and now the index is 575.4. Based on index of 0.6 for capacity scaling, the present cost (in Lakhs of rupees) of a similar heat exchanger having 100 m2 heat transfer area is estimated to be_______________?

    Weightage of Sections

    TopicWeightage (Marks)
    Fluid Mechanics15
    Heat and Mass Transfer20
    Plant Design5
    Chemical Technology12

    Read GATE Paper Analysis 

    GATE 2021 Chemical Engineering Exam Pattern

    GATE 2021 Chemical Engineering Exam Pattern

    Before starting with Chemical Engineering preparation, candidates must go through the exam pattern and marking scheme. The exam pattern will give you a fair idea about the type of questions asked, total marks of the exam, the duration of the exam, etc. Candidates can check the exam pattern and the marking scheme below:

    • Mode of Examination – Online
    • Duration – 3 hours. 
    • Type of Questions – MCQs and NATs.
    • Total Questions – 65
    • Total marks – 100
    GATE Chemical Engineering Sectional Weightage
    Engineering Mathematics15%
    General Aptitude15%
    Remaining Topics of CH70%

    Marking Scheme

    Type of QuestionCorrect AnswerIncorrect Answer
    MCQ1 or 2 Marks⅓ for 1 mark questions⅔ for 2 marks questions
    NAT1 or 2 MarksNo Negative Marking

    Read More GATE Exam Pattern

    Important Books for GATE CH

    Important Books for GATE 2021 Chemical Engineering

    Candidates are advised to choose their study material wisely and pick up the books from popular authors or publications only. Some of the books for major topics are mentioned below: of the subjectName of the bookName of the author
    1Engineering MathematicsEngineering Mathematics
    B.S. Grewal
    2Fluid MechanicsIntroduction To Fluid Mechanics (English) 7th EditionYunus A. Cengel, John M. Cimbala
    3Heat TransferHeat TransferBinay.K.Dutta
    4Mass TransferMass Transport PhenomenaChristie J. Geankoplis
    5Process Dynamics and ControlProcess Systems Analysis and ControlDonald R. Coughanowr & Steven E. LeBlanc
    6Chemical TechnologyChemical TechnologyDryden’s Outlines of Chemical Technology by Gopala Rao M. and Marshall S
    7All in OneChemical Engineering Solved Papers GATENikhil Kr. Gupta

    How to Prepare for GATE 2021 CH?

    How to Prepare for GATE 2021 Chemical Engineering?

    While preparing for GATE Chemical Engineering candidates have to keep few things in mind that first of all they should check Exam Pattern and Syllabus. This way you will come to know about the major topics, marking scheme, etc. For your convenience, we have already discussed these topics above.

    Now your next step should be focused on building a good preparation plan. Candidates are required to follow a proper study strategy, expert guidance and good study material for effective results. Here are some effective preparation tips to crack GATE Chemical Engineering:

    1. Section Wise Preparation

    There are 3 major sections in the exam and candidates are advised to prepare section wise. 

    • For General Aptitude section, focus more on reasoning questions, verbal aptitude, numerical aptitude but do not spend much time preparing for this section.
    • For Engineering Mathematics section, candidates require a lot of practice and to do the same you have to give special attention to this section. With daily practice try to make it your strongest section.
    • For Chemical Engineering section, you have to prepare for all the major topics. First, go for the topics you are good at and then move to the difficult topics. This section has a weightage of 70% so practice as much as you can. 

    2. Practice Mock Test

    Mock tests are one of the best methods to prepare for the exam. They give you the feel of the real exam as they are time-bound and also introduce you with the concepts that you might miss during the preparation. Every year exam conducting body releases mock tests series for candidates. You can take these mock test or you can also buy the mock test series from some coaching institutes. But remember one thing do not take any mock tests before completing your syllabus. 

    3. Time Management

    Time management is one of the key elements in the success of a candidate. For some candidates, 2 months are enough for preparation whereas for other candidates even 6 months are very less. Here are some tips that will help candidates in managing their time for studies:

    • Candidate must give a minimum of 5-6 hours for the study every day.
    • Further divide your 5-6 hours time in moring, afternoon, evening or night shifts. This way you can have breaks in between. 
    • You can give 1 hour everyday day in the morning to prepare some key points. Also, make all your notes in good handwriting.
    • Devote 1 hour especially for revision as timely revisions are quite necessary.
    • Do not spend more than 2 hours on one topic. If a topic is taking a long time then you must leave it for tomorrow and move on with a new topic for today. This way you can cover maximum topics. 

    4. Previous Years Question Papers 

    The question papers will help you in getting an idea about the type of questions asked, their difficulty level and weightage given to the topics in the previous years' papers. Observer the trend of questions that were asked in previous years. This way you can skip some topics or focus more on other important topics. This will help you to prepare in an organized manner.

    Download GATE Previous Years Papers of CH

    5. Refer Best Study Material

    Do not compromise on study material. Prepare from the best books. Candidates can also watch online tutorial videos by popular coaching institutes. 

    GATE 2021 Syllabus of Other Subjects

    GATE 2021 Syllabus of Other Subjects

    Aerospace EngineeringAEMechanical EngineeringME
    Agricultural EngineeringAGMetallurgical EngineeringMT
    Civil EngineeringCEMining EngineeringMN
    Computer ScienceCSPetroleum EngineeringPE
    Engineering SciencesXEProduction and Industrial EngineeringPI
    Electronics and CommunicationECTextile Engineering and Fibre ScienceTF
    Electrical EngineeringEEBiotechnologyBT

    Important Instruction for Candidates

    • Don’t stress or overburden yourself.
    • Avoid over-confidence and practice daily.
    • Do not focus on your weaker areas.
    • Strictly follow the time table.
    • Revise the important formulas daily. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Ques: What are the major topics in GATE 2021 Chemical Engineering syllabus that can help me to score well?

    Ans: All the candidates are advised to go through the syllabus released by the authorities. The syllabus will be based on the topics of the graduation level. Some of the major topics from GATE 2021 Chemical Engineering syllabus are:

    • Process Calculations and Thermodynamics
    • Fluid Mechanics and Mechanical Operations
    • Heat Transfer 
    • Mass Transfer
    • Chemical Reaction Engineering
    • Instrumentation and Process Control
    • Plant Design and Economics
    • Chemical Technology

    Ques: How many sections are there in GATE 2021 Chemical Engineering syllabus? What will be the weightage of each section?

    Ans: The 3 major sections are – General Aptitude, Engineering mathematics, and core subject syllabus. Moreover, the core syllabus of GATE 2021 Chemical Engineering is divided into 9 sections which further includes various subtopics.

    Engineering Mathematics15%
    General Aptitude15%
    Remaining Topics of CH70%

    Ques: What is the difficulty level of GATE Chemical Engineering syllabus?

    Ans: As per the test takers of previous years, the syllabus is entirely based on the graduation level. If a candidate has clear concepts then he/ she can easily crack the exam. Also, candidates are advised to follow the books and study notes from their graduation level to clear all the concepts. Other than that you can also follow these books:

    • Fluid Mechanics – Introduction To Fluid Mechanics (English) 7th Edition by Yunus A. Cengel, John M. Cimbala
    • Heat Transfer – Heat Transfer by Binay.K.Dutta
    • Chemical Technology – Chemical Technology by Dryden’s Outlines of Chemical Technology by Gopala Rao M. and Marshall S

    Ques: Do I need to go through the syllabus of GATE chemistry paper while preparing for Chemical Engineering?

    Ans: No. There is no need to go through the syllabus of GATE chemistry paper while preparing for Chemical Engineering because these papers are not interrelated. However, there are chances that some of the topics in both subjects might be common. All the candidates are advised to stick to their core subject syllabus only. 

    Ques: Will there be NAT questions in GATE Chemical Engineering paper?

    Ans: Yes. NAT questions are part of GATE. In every subject, candidates will be asked NAT questions. There will be no negative marking for incorrect answers in this type of questions and you have to enter the value of your answer by using the virtual keyboard. In the case of MCQs negative marking will be there depending on the value of the question.

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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