What Are the Sub-Branches of Chemical Engineering?

Chemical engineering is a massive industry, responsible for the design and operation of chemical plants, improving everyday life, and even creating household and everyday items, such as clothing, pharmaceutical drugs, food, drink, and energy. It’s safe to say that without chemistry and chemical engineers, the world would not function the way it should, or maybe it wouldn’t function at all…

As previously mentioned, within the chemical engineering industry, there are many, many different roles. This article aims to highlight several of these, providing you with insight into the world of chemical engineering

Biochemical engineering 

Biochemical engineering is the study and analysis of cells, proteins, viruses, and other bio substances. This analysis is done to support the creation and adaption of new products to benefit everyday life, whether that’s medicines or other essential products.

Biomedical engineering 

Biomedical engineers create and develop new technologies and systems to better help us understand the human body. For example, this could include software, simulations, and even new drug therapies, used and applied in a medical setting.


The role of a chemical technologist within chemical engineering varies massively. However, you can expect work to consist of setting up and performing chemical experiments, analyzing specific chemicals, and supporting the role of other scientists. Common experiments include chromatography, spectroscopy, and others, used to test the structure of chemicals and our surroundings.


Finally, we have nanotechnology. Nanotechnology, also sometimes referred to as nanotech, is the process of improving existing sectors, whether that’s medicine, technology, transport, or even security. However, within the field of chemical engineering, nanotechnology is concerned with the study of very small structures, studied to prevent potential risks to the world and the environment around us.

The topic itself is very complicated, so we’ll spare you the details. However, we can definitely expect more nanotech technologies to follow in the coming years.

To conclude 

Within the field of chemical engineering, there are various different sub-branches. These include, but are not limited to those outlined above: biochemical engineering, biomedical engineering, technologist, and chemical nanotechnology.

If you’re looking to join one of these branches, ensure to do your research beforehand, as you often will require a certain degree or education specialization.