Catalytic processes

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide the bases for understanding the chemical transformations that take place with the action of homogeneous and heterogeneous chemistry catalysts and biological catalysts (enzymes). To this end, along with the description of the theoretical concepts of catalysis, examples of important catalytic processes of environmental interest and industrial chemistry will be described.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will be able to acquire kinetic and molecular knowledge on the reactive processes that occur in the presence of "third elements" (homogeneous, enzymatic and heterogeneous catalysts) that increase the reaction speed and improve the selectivity of the reactive process. These concepts will be useful for tackling more advanced courses in industrial chemistry.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Course syllabus
Recalls of chemical kinetics and hints of catalytic kinetics. Homogeneous catalysis and catalytic mechanisms: general and specific acid-base catalysis (protolithic and prototropic mechanisms). Relationship between catalytic constant and pH for aqueous solutions of diluted acids. Definition of the acidity function of Hammett (H °) for concentrated acid solutions and for organic solvents. Relationship between H ° and the catalytic constant. Relations of Brönsted.
Enzyme catalysis; the effects of inhibition; effect of pH, temperature and substrate concentration. Example: enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose.
Heterogeneous catalysis; concept of degree of covering of the surface in relation to the adsorption isotherms. Chemical and physical adsorption isotherms;
Photocatalyst; reaction mechanism on semiconductors; examples of use in the environmental field such as pollutants abatement and solar energy conversion.
Catalytic reactions in discontinuous and continuous reactors. Different types of catalytic reactors and their correct interpretation. Overview of simulation studies of a catalytic reactor. Examples of industrial catalytic processes with emphasis on the role of commercial catalysts and their formulation.
Prerequisites for admission
Thermodynamic and kinetic knowledge base.
Teaching methods
Traditional with front lessons and transparencies / slides and blackboard schemes.
- James T. Richardson, Principles of Catalyst Development, Plenum Press, New York, 1989 (ISBN 0-306-43162-9).
- G. Rothenberg, Catalysis. Concepts and Green Applications, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2008 (ISBN: 978-3-527-31824-7).
- The material useful for the study will also be provided by the teachers by ARIEL platform.
Assessement methods and criteria
Oral examination: the student will be asked about all the subjects developed by the two Teachers both in Module A and in Module B . The student must demonstrate knowledge and understand the concepts underlying the homogeneous, enzymatic, heterogeneous and photocatalytic catalysis, providing also examples and performing demonstrations for specific parts of the course, upon request.
On request, it will be possible to take an oral exam in written form, answering open questions.
CHIM/02 - PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Educational website(s)
On request by e-mail
Room R25S, B side of Chemistry Department