CHT217: Catalyst Design Study

School Cardiff School of Chemistry
Department Code CHEMY
Module Code CHT217
External Subject Code F100
Number of Credits 20
Level L7
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader Dr Jonathan Bartley
Semester Spring Semester
Academic Year 2018/9

Outline Description of Module

This module provides students with the opportunity to work in small teams. They will be given a reaction and must use their knowledge and the literature to design the best catalyst they can come up with for this reaction that will work within certain design constraints. The study will be assessed by the production of a detailed report and by an oral presentation given by the team.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

Knowledge and Understanding

Identify the key issues in the design of a catalyst for a particular reaction and to use chemical knowledge and the literature to overcome these issues.

Specific issues include: reaction mechanism, reaction conditions, catalyst stability and possible creation of isomeric mixtures (regio and/or stereo).

Intellectual Skills

  1. Understand how compound structure both in substrate and catalyst relates to chemical reactivity and physical stability.
  2. Understand how the mechanism of a reaction and/or side will lead to desired and undesired products.
  3. Logically apply both (1) and (2) in the design of a compound that will maximise the yield of desired products from a reaction mixture.

Discipline Specific Skills

  1. Understand how a catalyst works both physically and chemically.
  2. Use that knowledge to design a new catalyst that will achieve the desired results laid out at the beginning of the project.

How the module will be delivered

The students will be given a reaction requiring catalysis with some design constraints and will be expected to design a catalytic system that will achieve the goals laid out in the initial criteria.  They will be expected to work in teams and this will be primarily a literature based project where they are expected to use the library and online databases to research their final design.  Teaching will be mostly of the supportive type; students will be expected to do this work themselves but the course tutors will be there to provide guidance as and when requested by the students.

Each student in the team will write a detailed report of their study which should cement in their mind what they have done and the oral presentation will reaffirm this.

The module CHT216 (Colloquium) will provide essential background work on how to use the literature for the purposes of this study and so is an essential co-requisite module.

Skills that will be practised and developed

  1. Working as part of a team to achieve a clear goal with a definite deadline
  2. Writing a clear, concise report on a project and presenting the work to a group of peers in oral format.
  3. Making use of the scientific literature in researching a specific project aim.

How the module will be assessed

The module will be assessed on the basis of a written report and an oral team presentation.

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs)
Dissertation 60 Written Report N/A
Presentation 40 Oral Presentation N/A

Syllabus content

Application of information technology in chemistry towards a specific goal (design of a catalyst)

Writing of reports in one of the standard formats.

Oral presentation and scientific discussion.

Working as a team to achieve the desired goal.

Suitable reactions for the study will be chosen from the three areas of catalysis (homogeneous, heterogeneous and biological) and allocated by the staff – teams will be allowed to choose their own reaction of study.

Essential Reading and Resource List

There is no specific reading list for this module.

Background Reading and Resource List

There is no specific reading list for this module.


Copyright Cardiff University. Registered charity no. 1136855