Difference Between Unit Operation And Unit Process And Their Applications?


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Nowadays engineering is not confined to a limited area and we can see its approach in almost a fields of life. Unit operation and unit process are also a part of engineering that falls under the chemical engineering. Both the processes and operation plays a significant role in chemical engineering to execute certain tasks. It is very important for a person to understand the role of these two terms before plunging into the field of chemical engineering.

Difference Between Unit Operation And Unit Process

Here is a complete guide that will help you to understand the difference between unit process and unit operation. At the same time you will also be able to relate the terms with their applications to get a wider perspective related to the concept. Before we proceed it is important for you to understand that both of these operation and process are playing crucial role in our day to day life and we are relying on them for our basic needs also.

Meaning of Unit Operation

The unit operation involves the different processes that are executed in order to carry out a task in chemical engineering to obtain certain results. If you want to know about what is unit operation and unit process the former involves the necessary changes through which a product undergoes in order to obtain the desired results. For example if you want to extract the crystal from a chemical liquid then you must involve a unit operation to bring that physical changes in it. Like crystallization can help you to separate the crystals from the product. You can make changes in this kind of unit operation without any fuss. It is very simple and easy to get the original product through unit operation.

What is unit Process?

There is a very fine line of difference between unit operation and unit process. Whereas you are following easy go steps in the unit operation as first phase the unit process is a bit complicated process. It completes a task of getting the final product you are trying to extract from something. It involves distillation, filtering the product, working on suspension particles etc. Unit process plays a crucial role in chemical engineering where a single process can affect multiple systems. You can apply this process on too many applications in the chemical engineering industry for sure. One important point about unit process is that it do not allow us to get the original product once we make changes in it through the unit process.

Benefits of Unit operation and process in chemical engineering

The unit operation and unit process difference is clear above and now we will try to focus on their benefits in reality. Well if we try to figure out the benefits of the unit process and operation they both plays a crucial role to accomplish too many industrial tasks. For example if we are trying to separate a chemical from a product it is possible because of these processes and operations. It is very easy to save time by getting the impact of a process on multiple system simulteansouly. For example you can do filtration for different systems in one go with the help of unit process. That is why we can see too many benefits that are related to these processes and operations. They simplify the job of a chemical engineer many folds.

Are Unit process and unit operation reversible or irreversible

Since there is not deep change that we can encounter with the unit operation while seeing the difference between unit process and unit operationthey are reversible. You are just making a visible change in this case and that can be reversed at any point of time. Like making crystals through crystallization can be reserved by adding a liquid to it. So yes there is a conclusion that unit operations are easily reversible and you can get the original product at any point of time.

On the contrary when it comes to a unit process it is not reversible at all. You are making big deep changes in the product which is a permanent change. That is why it becomes impossible to see the reversible nature of the unit process. In a nut shell unit operation is the final step that you carry out to complete a process in the chemical engineering field for any product.

Where can we apply unit operation and process?

These both the operation and process can be applied in too many scenarios in the industry. But it has some good applications in our society too. For example when it comes to the water treatment these processes and operations becomes very significant. Unit operation deals with the primary physical changes of the water where it is separated from the solid particles which are visible with naked eyes. Then further treatment on decreasing the BOD and COD of the water along with the harmful bacteria is done in unit process. Apart from it we can apply the principle of the unit operation and process in several other fields of real life too. That is why it becomes very crucial for us to have a vague idea about this concept of the two.


By now you must be having a clear idea about unit operation and unit process. You can apply them in real life for treating the spoiled untreated water and for many other reasons too. It is very important for those who are going to take admission or clearing the exam to take entry in the engineering programme to understand these basic terms. This is because if you are not aware of the field in which you are plunging it gives a wrong impression to the admission committee and you might lose the chance of getting enrolled there. That is why make sure to clear your concept on the meaning and applications of unit operation and unit process. That is how you can clinch your flag in this field like a pro.


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