67051 - Physical Chemistry of Devices for the Environment and Energy

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the physico-chemical principles underlying the operation of important devices currently used for the reduction of atmospheric pollutants and to obtain low environmental impact energy such as catalytic converters, fuel cells, photovoltaic panels . The student also learns what specific features must possess the materials used in these devices to optimize their operation.

Course contents

Basics of thermodynamics, kinetics and catalysis.
Adsorption: physi and chemisorption. Associative and dissociative chemisorbtion. Electrode kinetic principles. Fuel Cells. Microbial fuel cells.

Semiconductors. Solar energy conversion schemes: photovoltaic systems, photoelectrochemical cells (Gratzel), photo / electrodissociation of water. Catalysts for "water splitting".

Readings/Bibliography

I. Chorkendorff, Concepts of Modern Catalysis and Kinetics 2003 Wiley-VCH Weinheim
P. Atkins Chimica Fisica 2012 Zanichelli Bologna

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons that will address some basic aspects of physical chemistry of environmental and energy devices, state of the technology of some devices, and some aspects of the research and development of materials for fuel cell, electrolyzers, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs).

Lab practice that will include sample and/or device preparation, experimental data collection, and data processing for evaluating some parameters of interest for the studied systems.

The number of hours dedicated to the laboratory may vary based on the number of students attending as the Lab practice will be carried out in the research laboratories of the teachers.

It is advisable to prepare the experience report immediately after finishing the experience in order to better fix the concepts. The laboratory timetable will also include time (1 h) for data processing and the preparation of the report.

Assessment methods

The final exam is oral and based on a program topic chosen by the student and two or more questions on the main program topics.The exam aims to determine both the acquisition of expected knowledge by the course program and the student's ability to find links among the covered topics, also using the reference material provided by the teacher. Each student (or group) should provide a report on each laboratory activity; the reports will be evaluated . Each student receives a mark based on the ability to present in concise and complete manner the specific issues and on the activity reports. Organic vision and criticism of the topics and mastery of specific language will be evaluated very positively; mnemonic knowledge of the subject, lack of synthesis and inappropriate specific language will be evaluated not so positively.

Teaching tools

Power point presentations used during the lessons and any research material will be provided to the students in electronic format via Internet. The power point presentations used during the course will be uploaded on the site Insegnamenti on line before the corresponding lesson. It is advisable to consult the ppt presentations before the lesson in order to be able to follow the lesson in a proactive way. It is suggested to download (or print) presentations and bring them to class in order to integrate them with notes.

Links to further information

https://site.unibo.it/leme/en; http://www.ciam.unibo.it/emfm

Office hours

See the website of Catia Arbizzani

See the website of Giovanni Valenti