79093 - Catalysis for Renewable

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Moduli: Nikolaos Dimitratos (Modulo 2) Patricia Benito Martin (Modulo 1)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 2) Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Low Carbon Technologies and Sustainable Chemistry (cod. 9246)

Learning outcomes

Catalysis in chemical processes for the transformation of renewable raw materials into bio-chemicals, and for the reduction of carbon dioxide. The application of catalysis in bio-refineries and the combination of electrochemical and catalytic technologies. Processes and strategies for the reduction of C-intensity in chemical processes.

Course contents

At the end of the course, the student is acquainted with the practice of use of catalytic processes in the transformation of renewable. Focusing on the efficiency of the different approaches, the student will know how to deal with the different aspects of biomass and CO2 conversion to chemicals and fuels.


Basic knowledge of organic chemistry, general chemistry, inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry concepts. Basic electrochemistry


  • Basic knowledge of catalysis and catalytic processes
  • Lignocellulose Conversion: An Introduction to Chemistry, Process and Economics
  • Biomass Composition, Fuels and Chemicals Composition, Biomass Pretreatment,
  • Catalytic reactions applied to Biomass valorization (Deoxygenation, H-transfer, C-C coupling, selective oxidation).
  • The Biorefinery Concept - Strategies for Biomass Conversion into Bioproducts:
  • Identification of Main Platform Molecules
  • Examples of platform molecule catalytic conversion into bioproducts.
  • One‐pot Reaction with Cascade Catalysis
  • Industrial Development and Application
  • Introduction to Electrocatalysis and photocatalysis
  • Combination of electrochemical and catalytic technologies for biomass transformations
  • Combination of photocatalysis and catalytic technologies for biomass transformation.
  • Catalysis and electrocatalysis for the reduction of carbon dioxide


Teaching material (power point presentations, book chapters and, scientific articles) will be available on line.

Reference Books

F. Cavani, S. Albonetti, F. Basile, A. Gandini eds "Chemicals and Fuels from Bio-Based Building Blocks" 2016, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

G. Centi, R. A. van Santen "Catalysis for Renewables: From Feedstock to Energy Production" 2007 Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

F. Cavani, G. Centi, S. Perathone, F. Trifiró "Sustainable Industrial Chemistry" 2009 Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

Teaching methods

Lectures assisted by videoprojections and/or blackboard drawings. Interactive training also using specific scientific movies. The course will provide several examples related to the industrial application of the different catalytic processes. A visit in a bio-economy related company will be organized.

Assessment methods

Learning assessment is based on oral examination at the end of the course. In order to attend the final examination, students have to register online within the given deadlines (registration usually closes one day prior the exam date). The oral examination will last about 20 to 30 minutes and it will assess:

  • the comprehension of the main aspects affecting the application of catalysis to the conversion of renewables
  • the ability to correlate the structure of a catalysts with its application in the conversion of renewable
  • the ability to discuss case studies addressing technological and economic issues.

Teaching tools

The students will be asked to prepare for the lesson before class on specific fields, reading scientific articles and specific chapter book. They will also invited to watch video content before the class session, and devote in-class time to exercises, projects and discussions. Active learning wil be utilized as a fundamental way to encourage students to take an active, engaged part in the learning process.

Office hours

See the website of Nikolaos Dimitratos

See the website of Patricia Benito Martin


Clean water and sanitation Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities

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