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A Detailed List Of Books For Process Design Engineering

Often in the forum there are questions about which book or published resource to refer for a particular subject in process engineering. If we look around the list is huge and sometimes some engineer may have access to some book whereas the other person may have access to another book. Apart from the standard chemical engineering texts during the undergraduate course which most young chemical engineers are familiar such as "McCabe & Smith", "Coulson & Richardson", "Treybal", "Smith & Van Ness", "Levenspiel", "Wilkes" "Bird, Stewart and Lightfoot" and "Kern", there are several specialized books on subjects such as pumps, compressors, mixers, dryers, natural gas, steam, petroleum and many such other. The purpose of this blog entry is to list down a few of these books which I have personally encountered during my career. There is no order of preference in the subject-wise list provided and the readers may have their own preferences regarding which book provides a better coverage to a particular subject. Readers may also provide their own preferences on the book for the particular subject matter in the comments section of the blog entry.

Natural Gas Engineering

1. GPSA Engineering Databook
(By far amongst the best resources I have encountered for any kind of process design engineering not only in the natural gas engineering field but also general engineering related to vessels, hydraulics, instrumentation etc.)

2. Fundamentals of Natural Gas Processing by Arthur J. Kidnay and William R. Parrish (an excellent extension to the GPSA Engineering Databook. Some missing information from the databook has been explained in this book)

3. Handbook of Natural Gas Transmission & Processing by Saeid Mokhatab, William A. Poe, James J. Speight

4. Natural Gas Engineering Handbook by Dr. Boyun Ghuo and Dr. Ali Gahalambor
(Has a small collection of excel spreadsheets related to natural gas engineering as part of the book)

5. Standard Handbook of Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering by Wiiliam C. Lyons


1. Pipeline Rules of Thumb Handbook by E. W. McAllister

2. Liquid Pipeline Hydraulics by E. Shashi Menon

3. Gas Pipeline Hydraulics by E. Shashi Menon

4. Subsea Pipelines & Risers by Yong Bai & Qiang Bai


1. Compressors: Selection and Sizing by Royce N. Brown (my personal favorite since I used it to develop calculations related to both centrifugal and reciprocating compressor although the units used in the book are English units)

2. Compressor Handbook by Paul C. Hanlon

3. Compressors and Modern Process Applications by Heinz P. Bloch


1. Pump Handbook by Igor Karassik, Joseph P. Messina, Paul Cooper, Charles C. Heald
(widely accepted for pump design even by nuclear regulatory authorities)

2. Sulzer Centrifugal Pump Handbook

Petroleum Refining

1. Petroleum Refinery Engineering by W. L. Nelson

2. Handbook of Petroleum Processing by David S.J. "Stan" Jones and Peter R. Pujado

3. Refining Processes Handbook by Surinder Prakash


1. Distillation Design by Henry Z. Kister

2. Distillation Operation by Henry Z. Kister

3. Packed Tower Design and Applications by Ralph F.Strigle, Jr.


1. Handbook of Industrial Drying by Carl W. Hall


1. Handbook of Industrial Mixing Science & Practice by Edward L. Paul, Victor A. Atiemo-Obeng & Suzanne M. Kresta

Chemical Process Design & Economics

1. Plant Design and Economics for Chemical Engineers by Max S. Peters and Klaus D. Timmerhaus

2. Chemical Process Engineering - Design & Economics by Harry Silla

Pipe Hydraulics

1. Flow of fluids through Valves, Fittings and Pipes, Crane Technical Paper 410M

2. Chemical Engineering Fluid Mechanics by Ron Darby


1. Steam - It's Generation and Use by The Babcock & Wilcox Company (This is like a Bible on Steam)

2. Industrial Boilers and Heat Recovery Steam Generators: Design, Applications, and Calculations by V. Ganapathy

Health, Safety & Environment

1. Loss Prevention in the Process Industries by Frank P Lees

2. Fundamentals of Stack Gas Dispersion by Milton R. Beychok

General Design Calculation Books

1. Handbook of Chemical Engineering Calculations by Nicholas P. Chopey

2. Chemical Process Equipment - Selection & Design by Stanley M. Walas

3. Pocket Guide to Chemical Engineering by Carl R. Branan

4. Process Design for Reliable Operations by Norman P. Lieberman

I could go on and on but I believe that even if any chemical engineer is able to read and grasp through a miniscule fraction of the contents of the books mentioned above he or she is going to find that his or her knowledge has increased significantly and that makes him or her a far improved engineer and the person has embarked on a career path of growth and success.

Readers are welcome to add to the list and discuss their thoughts and opinions on this blog entry.


Jun 16 2011 09:31 AM
the books u have listed out is really wonderful and u have eased my problem about which one to go for...

thanks a lot,

Shridhar kamble
Hello Mr.Ankur

Really it is so good job you have done. Especially Chemical Engineering students may get benefited.

If possible could you give information about the publishers?

Perry's Chemical Engineering Handbook certainly should be on any list of ChemE reference books.
Learn from others mistke - "What Went Wrong" by Trevor Kletz is a must read to know what not to do.
Thanks for this article, Ankur! I would like to know what books you would recommend to study on the design of heat exchangers? Thanks! Posted Image

Thanks for this article, Ankur! I would like to know what books you would recommend to study on the design of heat exchangers? Thanks! Posted Image


I have not done much study on heat exchangers apart from the the standard book of "Process Heat Transfer" by D.Q. Kern. However some of knowledgable friends and colleagues recommend the following books which are very useful int today's environment where software such as HTRI, HTFS etc. are used for thermal design of heat exchangers:

Practical Thermal Design of Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchangers by Rajiv Mukherjee

Practical Thermal Design of Air-Cooled Heat Exchangers by Rajiv Mukherjee

Thank you, Ankur! It was a very good idea to make this reference list.
Keep going! :lol:
Thank you, ankur for the list of books i have to nimble to become a process engineer... Posted Image
Sadananda Konchady
Jul 03 2011 11:22 PM
Further to the books about heat exchangers mentioned by others, for understanding and interpretation of computer software output from heat exchanger softwares, one book which also has worked out examples is:

Robert W. Serth.
Process Heat Transfer. Principles and Applications
Academic Press (2007)
Nice yaar,can u send some books on dvsingh689@gmail.com about DESIGN CALCULATION

Most of the books are available on Amazon.com including used as well as new books. The prices for used books are quite reasonable. Buy it from there. Here is the link:


Jul 06 2011 05:32 AM
I do not find Ludwig's Applied Process Design for Chemical and Petrochemical Plants on the list

Thank U so.........much......U eased maa problem by listing awesum books.........all these yrs am scratchin' my head which one to go..........Thax once again.......keep doin' gud wrk....GBU:)

Nice yaar,can u send some books on dvsingh689@gmail.com about DESIGN CALCULATION

Try this one : Process Plant Design J.R. Backhurst & J.H. Harker

May be a bit dated but good enough in my day and still provides a good single source for process plant design.

Absolute Zero
Dec 01 2011 06:40 AM
Applied Process Design for Chemical and Petrochemical Plant by Ernest E Ludwig (Vol-1,2 &3) is also a very good resource for design engineers.
For information, I have just bought "Refining Processes Handbook" by Surinder Prakash and I am so disappointed. The english is not good and the reading is boring. Moreover, the process part of the book is not that detailed.
Ankur, I would like your point of view on this book please.

I have gone through the book in a superficial manner. I had referred it for the purpose of refinery tankages mentioned in the chapter "Refinery Offsite facilities and Utility Systems". In fact I had prepared some design notes in excel on refinery tankage using this book as a reference, which considering my lack of exposure to design and engineering of refineries was something I thought was quite nice.

Since my expertise is limited in refinery unit operations I cannot comment on the overall usefulness of the book. In fact by some coincidence it is the third book in the list provided in my blog entry with the Nelson and Jones / Pujado appearing as 1 and 2 respectively.

Aug 20 2012 06:23 AM
nice list Mr ankur , but where can i get this books or download them ,especially for those in africa.thanks.

nice list Mr ankur , but where can i get this books or download them ,especially for those in africa.thanks.

You have not mentioned where in Africa are you located. However, if there is a university or college which has a course in undergraduate chemical engineering most of the books should either be available with them or they should request it from the publishers at discounted costs. Many publishers provide books and journals at discounted costs for college / university libraries. Somebody has to make an effort to get in contact with these publishers and request for these books on the official letterhead of the college / university.

Very good list. In addition, I’d like to mention the following books

Prausnitz+ - The Properties of Gases & Liquids
Maxwell - Data book on hydrocarbons
CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics
API Technical Data Book - Petroleum Refining
Campbell - Gas Conditioning & Processing
Kohl+ - Gas Purification
Gary, Handwerk - Petroleum Refining, technology & economics
Stoecker - Industrial refrigeration handbook
Crosby - Pressure Relief Valve Engineering Handbook
Emerson - Fisher Control Valve Handbook
Luyben - Essentials of Process Control
Meyers – Handbook of Petroleum Refining Processes
Maples – Petroleum Refinery Process Economics
Rudd, Watson – Strategy of Process Engineering

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