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CHY8424 : Catalyst Application and Design

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Simon Doherty
  • Lecturer: Dr John Errington
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To use selected industrial processes and environmental challenges to illustrate current approaches to catalyst development. The course will discuss the importance of a number of hetereogenous processes including Fischer-Tropsch chemistry ammonia synthesis, oxidation methanol synthesis and aspects of solid acid catalysis and introduce the basic principles and elementary steps required to understand homogeneous catalysis using examples such as rhodium- and cobalt-catalysed hydroformylation, rhodium and ruthenium-catalysed hydrogenation, alkene oligomerisation and polymerisation, metathesis, isomerisation reactions, palladium catalysed cross couplings and carbonylation of alkenes and rhodium catalyzed cyclisations. The industrial relevance and importance of selected reactions will be highlighted and discussed.

Outline Of Syllabus

Homogeneous Catalysis
Dr S Doherty

1-2 Background and revision of the basic principles including: bonding, reaction types and mechanisms and the fundamentals of homogeneous catalysis.
3-4 Important palladium/rhodium catalyzed transformations including carbonylations(mechanism and applications)
5-7 Palladium catalysed cross couplings including Heck and the oxidative Heck reaction, Suzuki-Miyaura, Negishi, Stille cross coupling and Buchwald-Hartwig aminations
8 The Wacker Process and Wacker-Type transformations
9 Tandem reaction sequences and C-H activation chemistry
10 Synthesis of carbo- and heterocycles including rhodium and palladium-catalyzed cycloisomerisations, alkyne trimerisation and the Pauson-Khand reaction
11 Hydrogenation- Basic principles, substrate specific catalysis, asymmetric hydrogenation, transfer hydrogenation, kinetic resolution, a discussion on the mechanisms and examples of industrial processes
12 Seminar
Heterogeneous Catalysis and Related Chemistry
Dr RJ Errington

1-3 Introduction to industrial heterogeneous catalysis: ammonia and methanol synthesis; hydrocarbon cracking and reforming; the Fischer-Tropsch process.
4 Alkene transformations; oxidation, hydration, metathesis
5 The nature of heterogeneous catalysts: preparation characterisation and use.
6-7 Alkene polymerization and metathesis: from Ziegler-Natta to Chauvin, Schrock and Grubbs.
8-11 The design of modern catalysts for green chemistry.
12 Seminar

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:5020:00Revision for end of semester examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00End of semester examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study154:0054:00To read around and increase appreciation for the topics involved
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Much of the key material is conceptual and is suited to delivery via lectures. The problem solving sessions are designed to complement the lectures and provide the students with an increased appreciation of the topics involved

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A100N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will assess the student's knowledge and understanding of the principles, development and practice of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis.
Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists