NKEB11006U Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry (CatChem)

Volume 2015/2016

BSc Programme in Chemistry

BSc Programme in Nanoscience


The course gives an introduction into catalysis and its relation to sustainable chemistry. We thereby focus on heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis. The course discusses what catalysis is and why catalytic processes are favourable over stoichiometric reactions. The basic concepts of catalysis are introduced based on examples from heterogenous and homogeneous catalytic reactions. The students learn how to describe reaction kinetics, approximation methods for the description and evaluation of reaction rates, how to perform and analyse catalytic reactions, and how to characterize physical properties of catalysts.

Learning Outcome

Definition of a catalyst
Fundamental principles of catalytic processes
Difference between heterogeneous and homogeneous processes
Mathematical description of catalytic processes
Methods for catalyst characterization

Describing catalytic processes mathematically.

To be able to critically asses catalytic processes


Industrial Catalysis: A Practical Approach, Second Edition

Author(s): Prof. Dr. Jens Hagen

DOI: 10.1002/​3527607684


Lecture slides and copies.

It is expected that the students are familiar with the content of the courses MatIntroKem, AnvMatKem, KemiO, KemiU1, KemiU2, KemiBin, AnvSpek and FysKem1
A mix of lecturers and tutorials/group work. Visits to companies working in the field of catalysis.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Excursions
  • 4
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • Preparation
  • 134
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
Exam registration requirements

To parcitipate in the exam four of the five obligatory assignments must be graded as passed.

Only certain aids allowed

A non programmable pocket calculator is allowed.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
several internal evaluators

If ten students or less have signed up for a re-exam where the exam type at the ordinary exam is a written exam, the exam type will be changed to oral exam

Criteria for exam assesment

After the course the student ought to be able to:

  • determine the E-factor of a reaction
  • discuss the greeness and sustainability of a process
  • calculate TOFs for reactions
  • define what a catalyst is and discuss the different fields of catalysis
  • calculate, determine and discuss catalytic and kinetic parameter, such as an activation barrier, reaction order, rate equations, elementary reaction steps
  • discuss degradation mechanisms of catalysts and TON
  • discuss basic catalytic principles
  • explain and discuss methods and techniques for characterizing catalysts and catalytic processes