First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCL1000135, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1157, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination CHEMISTRY AND TECHNOLOGY OF CATALYSIS
Department of reference Department of Chemical Sciences
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge MARCO ZECCA CHIM/03

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses CHIM/04 Industrial Chemistry 3.0
Core courses CHIM/03 General and Inorganic Chemistry 3.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2014 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
4 2019/20 20/01/2015 30/11/2020 ZECCA MARCO (Presidente)
BIFFIS ANDREA (Membro Effettivo)
CENTOMO PAOLO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Inorganic chemistry, Organic chemistry 1, Organic chemistry 2
Target skills and knowledge: This course provides the students with basic knowledge of both homogeneous (in particular organometallic) and heterogeneous (in particular under gas-solid conditions) catalysis. The fundamental phenomena involved in the catalytic action will be dealt with through the description of selected industrial catalytic process. In homogeneous catalysis the structure-activity relationships will be particularly emphasized. In heterogeenous catalysis attention will be paid to the constitution of the catalysts, their main textural and chemico-physical features, their stability under duty, the effects of diffusion.
At the end of the course the students should know which kind of catalysts are the most useful for some classes of reactions, how they activate the substrates and control the regio- and stereo-chemistry of the reactions, how they evolve during the reaction, how to preserve or restore their activity and selectivity.
Examination methods: Oral exam
Assessment criteria: The oral exam will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
1) ability and readiness in focusing on the topics;
2) ability to illustrate the topics in an independent way;
3) level of insight;
4) fluency;
5) ability to connect different concepts and subjects;
6) proper use of language, theory, models, concepts.
Course unit contents: Introduction to kinetics.
Activity and selectivity of catalysts; active site; catalytic cycle.
Economic and environmental relevance of catalysis.
Homogeneous catalysis: metal-catalyzed auto-oxidation of hydrocarbons.
Organometallic catalysis: metal-CO and metal-olefin bond; 16-18 electrons rule; ligand dissociation, oxidative addition, reductive elimination, migratory insertion, β- and α‑elimination.
Hydroformylation: basicity and bulkiness of phosphines (electronic parameter and cone angle) and their effect in the modified catalysts.
Industrial synthesis of acetic acid by methanol carbonylation.
Hydrogenation of alkenes: the Wilkinson's catalyst; industrial enantioselective hydrogenations (L-DOPA, menthol, Metolachlor); kinetic nature of enantioselection in the hydrogenation of prochiral alkenes.
Stereospecific polymerization of alkenes with single-site and Ziegler-Natta catalysts.
Heterogeneous catalysis: functionality, chemical nature and constitution of catalysts.
Physisorption: measurement of the surface area of inert solids.
Chemisorption: introduction and electronic theory of chemisorption on metal surfaces of atomic and molecular species (CO and dinitrogen); Sabatier's principle; Langmuir isotherm.
Microkinetics of Co oxidation over rhodium.
Solid acids: alumino-silicates; strength of the acidic sites; chemisorption of hydrocarbons.
Unsupported catalysts: surface area of non-porous and porous solids; mass transport phenomena; diffusion and kinetic regime-, catalyst's efficiency; the Thiele modulus.
Supported catalysts: the support and its features; radial distribution of the active component; surface energy, dispersion, exposed faces and relationships with the catalytic activity.
Deactivation and regeneration of heterogeneous catalysts.
Zeolites: microporosity, shape selectivity, deactivation and continuous regeneration in the FCC process.
Catalytic converters: introduction, "three-ways" catalysts.
The SCR process.
Bifunctional catalysis: catalytic reforming.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Classroom lessons (48 hours, in italian), with the aid of the chalckboard or projection of slides. The students are strongly recommended to take personal lesson notes. Vocal registration of the classes is allowed.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Rothenberg, Gadi, Catalysis-Concepts and green applications. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2008. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Roel Prins, Anjie Wang, Xiang Li, Introduction to Heterogeneous Catalysis. London: World Scientific Publishing, 2016. Testo di base su aspetti chimici, chimico-fisici e applicativi della catalisi eterogenea Cerca nel catalogo
  • Ib Chorkendorff, J.W. (Hans) Niemantsverdriet, Concepts of Modern catalysis and Kinetics, 2nd edition. Weinheim (D): Wiley-VCH, 2007. Testo avanzato per approfondimenti di livello elevato Cerca nel catalogo
  • Francesco Neve, Chimica di coordinazione - Dalla teoria alla pratica. Padova: Piccin, --. Testo facoltativo di chimica inorganica di base: consigliato per una migliore comprensione del comportamento dei composti dei metalli di transizione Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study
  • Story telling
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)
  • Applet available on-line for the visualization of surface structures

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Quality Education Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure Reduced Inequalities