66693 - Fundamentals of Industrial Chemistry with Laboratory

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Moduli: Giuseppe Fornasari (Modulo 1) Tommaso Tabanelli (Modulo 2) Andrea Fasolini (Modulo 3)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2) Traditional lectures (Modulo 3)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Industrial Chemistry (cod. 8513)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student is able to design simplified chemical process flowsheets that take in reagent treatment; reaction; product separations and purifications, and to evaluate dangerous and using flammable reaction mixtures processes. Developing sensitivity to the problems connected with safety and environmental sustainability. Conducting complex reactions at the laboratory level, evaluating their performance in terms of conversion, yields and selectivity, determining complex reaction patterns. Manage and control the main operating parameters, both theoretically and at a practical level, of a chemical process. Choose the optimal catalysts depending on the type of process.

Course contents


Notions of thermodynamics, to understand the concept of equilibrium applied to the reactions conducted in industrial reactors. Notions of kinetics, to understand the concepts of reaction speed applied to the reactions conducted in industrial reactors, and to understand the meaning of the quantities yield, selectivity, conversion, in the presence of complex reaction schemes.

Ability to conduct fundamental chemical operations, necessary for the performance of laboratory experiments: preparation of solutions, sampling, redox titrations. Basic knowledge of the risk associated with laboratory operations and the proper disposal of residues of the activities.

Basic knowledge of organic chemistry to rationalize the reactivity of the classes of compounds in the main industrial processes illustrated.

Basic notions of general and inorganic chemistry to rationalize the behavior and properties of the main homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysts.

Ability to balance chemical reactions.


Course contents

Themical industry and industrial chemistry. Structure of the chemical industry: base chemistry, primary and derivative intermediate, fine chemicals and specialty chemicals. Economic aspects of the chemical industry: fixed costs and variable costs, main economic indicators.

Production technologies of primary reagents for the chemical industry from different raw materials: coal, oil, natural gas and renewable sources. Biofuel production and biorefinery concept.

Risk and danger. Safety of products and chemical reactions: flammability and explosiveness; run-away of exothermic reactions, chemical safety data sheets. Indices and limits of toxicity, their meaning and value. 

Fundamental aspects of industrial patents and practical examples of reading.

Management of chemical reactions. Role of catalysis in the chemical industry; homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts. Isothermal and isochronous curves. Types of reactors.

Management of oxidation processes, in relation to the formation of flammable mixtures. Choice of operating conditions for a selective oxidation process.

Charateristics of the main classes of chemical reactions: exothermic reactions in gas and in liquid phase, oxidation and hydrogenation reactions; endothermic reactions, dehydrogenation reactions; acid-base reactions. Examples of industrial processes. (module 1)

In laboratory some experiences will be carried out: determination of the interfacial area in biphasic reaction systems; determination of the reaction scheme in complex reactions; equation of maximum profit, use and examples. (module 2)

Design of flowsheets of industrial processes.entrance-exit structure, recycling, phase separation, liquid, gas and solid purification systems. Detailed examples. (module 3)

Laboratory experiences begin about 2 weeks after the start of lessons. The timeframe is to be considered only as a general indication.


It is not necessary to purchase specific texts.

For further information

J.A. Moulijn, M. Makkee, A. van Diepen, Chemical Process Technology, Wiley & Sons, 2001.
K. H. Buchel, H.-H. Moretto, P. Woditsch, Industrial Inorganic Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, 2000.

The educational material presented during the activities is made available to students in electronic format. Lecture notes are provided on the experiences conducted in the laboratory.

Teaching methods

The course takes place through lectures and exercises carried out in the classroom and in the laboratory.

Teaching methods

Lectures in the classroom: explanation that uses presentations in Powerpoint and video projection and with supporting graphics made on the blackboard or with alternative systems.

Practical exercises in the laboratory: experiments carried out by students in groups of 3, attendance of such experiences is compulsory in presence. To fulfill the attendance obligation, it is necessary to attend at least 50% of the practical experiences. Attendance will be ascertained by signing an attendance sheet.

In consideration of the types of activities and teaching methods adopted, the frequency of this training activity requires all students to carry out modules 1 and 2 in e-learning mode [https://www.unibo.it/it/servizi-e-opportunita/salute-e-assistenza/salute-e-sicurezza/sicurezza-e-salute-nei-luoghi-di-studio-e-tirocinio] and participation in module 3 of specific training on safety and health in places of study. Information on dates and methods of attendance of module 3 can be consulted in the specific section of the degree program website

Class attendance is strongly recommended in order to make the learning process more effective and faster, while it is not an element of evaluation.

Assessment methods

Type of exam. The exam is done through a final test, aimed at ascertaining the acquisition of the expected knolwedge and skills. The final exam consists of an oral test, which is divided into two parts, and a report on activities carried out in the laboratory.

The test want to evaluate the comprehension and personal elaboration by the student of the treated themes. Positively will be evaluated the critical and logical capacity to justify the choice proposed.


Methods of execution. The oral test is divided into two parts, which can be supported by the student at different times, and in the preferred sequence by the student:

the first part consists of a discussion on the subject: Creation of flow-sheets of chemical processes. The outcome of this part contributes 20% to the final evaluation.

the second part consists of a discussion on the contents of the course: (i) Relevance and structure of the chemical industry: economic aspects. (ii) Traditional and renewable raw materials. (iii) Risk and danger; safety of products and chemical reactions; toxicity limits. (iv) Industrial patents. (v) Role of catalysis in the chemical industry; main classes of reactions and examples of industrial processes. (vi) scheme of complex reactions and maximum profit equation; (vii) identification of reaction conditions for industrial oxidations. The outcome of this part accounts for 60% of the final evaluation.

The mark out of thirty is scaled from 18, sufficient proof but with obvious knowledge gaps, at 30, excellent test with complete preparation and ability to simultaneously deal with topics of various thematic areas, honors require individual insights.

The report on the activity carried out in the laboratory, is determined by reference to accuracy in the description of applied experimental methodology, and fairness in the elaboration and discussion of the obtained results. The delivery by each group is normally required at least one week before the oral test taken by a member of that group. Attend to the laboratory activities is compulsory. The outcome contributes to the 20% of the final vote.

The final vote, out of thirty, is therefore the weighted average of the three contributions described above; a rounding to N is applied for final mediated grade between N, 01 and N, 44; to N + 1 for final mediated vote between N, 45 and N, 99.

Teaching tools

Teaching material: the activities also make use of supports such as PowerPoint presentations and video projections and guidelines for the laboratory experiences are available during the course. All the didactic material of the course (Power Point Files) is available to the students as both paper and electronic version

Office hours

See the website of Giuseppe Fornasari

See the website of Tommaso Tabanelli

See the website of Andrea Fasolini


Good health and well-being Quality education Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.