CHT238: Industrial Catalysis

School Cardiff School of Chemistry
Department Code CHEMY
Module Code CHT238
External Subject Code 100417
Number of Credits 10
Level L7
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader Dr Jonathan Bartley
Semester Autumn Semester
Academic Year 2019/0

Outline Description of Module

This module aims to give students a perspective on the current state of industrial heterogeneous catalysis processes.

The role of catalysts and their uses in energy and environmental applications and sustainable manufacturing applications will be described and discussed.

This module will include lectures from industrialists as well as academics to give the students an understanding of the importance of industrial catalytic processes and how these fit with commercial and societal needs.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

  • Students should be able to demonstrate the principles underpinning the use of catalysis for industrial processes
  • Explain the requirements and processes involved in commercialising an industrial process
  • Locate, synthesise and evaluate information from multiple sources
  • Retrieve, critically evaluate and communicate orally and in writing information from a variety of sources (literature, electronic databases).
  • Draw conclusions and propose hypotheses based on evaluation of the information obtained information.

How the module will be delivered

The module will consist of 6 × 2 hour lectures from different speakers involved in various aspects of catalysis in industry and academia. Students will have the opportunity to meet with the speakers to discuss the topic in more detail. Students will be expected to supplement these lectures with self-directed research of texts, web resources, specialist reviews and peer-reviewed literature. Students will be provided with guidance by a module tutor at two scheduled individual meetings.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Students will need to research and evaluate facts, ideas and opinions from multiple sources including lectures, personal discussions, specialist periodicals and books. Students will develop their ability to summarise and critically review potentially contradictory or incomplete information and opinions. Students will practice presenting complex ideas and arguments orally and through a written report to a professional standard with the use of appropriate IT.

How the module will be assessed


Students will be required to give a short oral presentation on a chosen topic related to critical reviews/themes of industrial heterogeneous catalysis and will be assessed on their choice of content, clarity, logical structure, performance and ability to answer questions. The exact topics of the presentation will be chosen by students with the guidance of the course or module tutor and will be related to the topics covered in the lectures.




The module will be reassessed through additional written coursework and/or presentations over the summer. 

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs)
Written Assessment 100 Industrial Catalysis- Coursework N/A

Syllabus content

Mandatory content

The course will cover a range of industrial chemical processes such as petrochemical processes, biorenewable processes, oxidation, hydrogenation and catalysis for environmental control.


Optional content

Students will be required to develop greater knowledge and understanding of selected areas for their chosen topic. The following is a representative, but non-exhaustive list of possible topics.

  1. Gold catalysts for the production of vinyl chloride monomer
  2. Catalysis for automotive applications
  3. Biofuels from biomass
  4. Steam reforming
  5. Methanol synthesis
  6. Assymetric hydrogenation

Essential Reading and Resource List

Reading lists will be project specific relating to the scientific literature in the field and comprise of the scientific literature available in the library and on-line resources.

Background Reading and Resource List

Heterogeneous Catalytic Chemistry by Example of Industrial Applications, J. Heveling, J. Chem. Ed., 2012, 89, 1530

Heterogeneous Catalysis and its Industrial Applications, M. Schmal, Springer, 2016

Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis in industry, Catal. Sci. Tecnol., 2012, Ed. J. G. De Vries, S. D. Jackson, Volume 2

Heterogeneous Catalysis in Industrial Practice, C. N. Satterfield, Krieger, 1996

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