Interactive Self-Study Module: Iterative Solutions of Nonlinear Equations Using Excel Solver


This module uses screencasts and an interactive simulation to explain how to use the Solver in Microsoft Excel to solve linear or nonlinear equations. It then provides an example problem to allow the users to test themselves. Your retention of material in this module will increase if you write down reasons for your answers to questions before using interactive simulations, and you try to solve the example problem before watching the screencast solution. We suggest using the learning resources in the following order: 

  1. Watch the screencasts that describe how to use Solver.
  2. Use the interactive simulation to further understand how initial guesses affect the solution.
  3. Try to solve the example problem before watching the solution in the screencast.
  4. Look at the list of key points, but only after you try to list the key points yourself.
  • Nonlinear equations or sets of nonlinear equations that cannot be solved explicitly occur in many chemical engineering courses, and these equations are best solved numerically.
  • This module is intended for a materials and energy balances course, but is useful is many chemical engineering courses. 
Before studying this module, you should:
  • Know how to enter equations into an Excel spreadsheet.
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Solve nonlinear equations or systems of nonlinear equations using Excel Solver.