CHT401: Advanced Heterogeneous Catalysis

School Cardiff School of Chemistry
Department Code CHEMY
Module Code CHT401
External Subject Code F100
Number of Credits 20
Level L7
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader Dr Stanislaw Golunski
Semester Autumn Semester
Academic Year 2018/9

Outline Description of Module

This module provides students with a comprehensive grounding in the theory and application of heterogeneous catalysis, and makes connections with the concepts of reaction engineering and homogeneous catalysis.

Its aims are to:

(i) Provide a comprehensive overview of the theory and applications of heterogeneous catalysis;

(ii) Demonstrate the progression from classical heterogeneous catalysis to new and emergent catalytic technologies;

(iii) Identify the key challenges for heterogeneous catalysis in the short, medium and long term.

Most of the teaching will be based at the Cardiff School of Chemistry.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

• Correlate catalytic performance with the nature of the active site

• Propose reaction mechanisms for key classes of surface reactions

• Evaluate the relative merits of classic and novel catalyst synthesis routes

• Select the appropriate tools for catalyst discovery, design and optimisation

• Understand the role of heterogeneous catalysis in existing and future processes for chemical manufacture, environmental control and fuel-to-energy transformations

• Relate the principles of heterogeneous catalysis to the complementary fields of homogeneous catalysis and reaction engineering covered in the parallel modules.

How the module will be delivered

Learning and teaching take place through lectures, workshops and problem classes blended with individual study.

Skills that will be practised and developed

(1) Catalyst evaluation: Assessing the advantages and limitations of emergent catalysts and catalytic technologies

(2) Catalyst design: Selecting the components of solid catalysts based on catalytic functionality, from theory, modelling and experimentation

(3) Process optimisation: Proposing strategies for optimising the performance (rate, selectivity, durability) of catalysts and catalytic reactors

How the module will be assessed

The opportunity for reassessment in this module

There will be an opportunity for students who do not achieve 50% in the overall module to re-sit the written examination, with the mark for the reassessment capped at 50%.

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs)
Examination - Autumn Semester 100 Advanced Heterogeneous Catalysis 3

Syllabus content

  1. Theory and modelling: Use of computation to model (i) active sites in metallic and metal oxide catalysts, and (ii) reaction mechanisms in solid catalysed reactions. Applying the models to simulate catalytic processes on an atomic/molecular scale, and to predict performance of new catalyst compositions and structures.
  2. Biocatalysis: Applications of liquid-phase biocatalysis in the pharmaceutical and food-production industries, based on an understanding the reaction pathways. Biomimetic catalysis. The heterogenisation of homogeneous catalysts.
  3. Reactive characterisation: Use of neutron scattering and x-ray absorption fine structure in identifying active sites.
  4. Environmental catalysis: Catalysts, reactions and reactors used to purify air and water. Mechanisms for reduction of NOx, oxidation of VOCs and combustion of carbon particulate. The effect of environmental legislation on rate of catalyst discovery and time to market.
  5. Photocatalysis: Catalytic concepts for harvesting sunlight. Theoretical basis for using visible light to dissociate water. Design of active surfaces.
  6. Process catalysis: Principles of existing gas- and liquid-phase catalytic manufacturing processes, and the routes to improved sustainability. Issues of scale-up, including conversion of batch to continuous processes. Catalyst manufacture, regeneration and recycling.

Essential Reading and Resource List

The advanced nature of the material in this course means that original research literature is often the key and only source of information. Appropriate references will be given in the course material, and this material will be available online as a resource.

Background Reading and Resource List

Background information and recommended resources will be provided during the introductory phase of the module.


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