29930 - Fundamentals of Industrial Chemistry

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course aims to describe chemical processes highlighting the role of raw materials in industry and presenting the criteria to conduct  industrial reactions based on their catalytic, kinetic, safety and economic aspects.

Course contents


Concepts of thermodinamics, in order to understand the concept of reaction equilibrium appied to reactions carried out in industrial reactors. Concepts of kinetics, in order to understand the reaction rates applied to industrial processes, and the meaning of yield, selectivity and conversion in the presence of complex reaction schemes.

Concepts of organic chemistry, in order to understand the reactivity of classes of compounds in the main industrial chemical processes. Concepts of general and inorganic chemistry, in order to understand the behavior and properties of main heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts.


Chemical industry and industrial chemistry. Structure of the chemical industry. Economics aspects of the chemical industry.

Technologies of building blocks production for the chemical industry from different raw materials: carbon, oil, natural gas and renewables: Production of biofuels and biorefinery concept.

Risk and hazard. Safety aspects of chemical products and reactions: flammability and explosiveness, run-away of exothermic reactions, safety sheets of chemical compounds. Indexes and limits of toxicity, meaning and valence.

Catalysis role in the chemical industry: homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts, Concepts of industrial catalysis. Management of chemical reactions: exothermic reactions in gas and in liquid phase, oxidation and hydrogenation reactions; endothermic reactions, dehydrogenation reactions; acid-base reactions. Concepts of industrial economy.

Analysis of flowsheets of industrial processes. Detailed examples. Basic concepts on the safety criteria in the chemical industry and the main causes of risk. Evaluation of process parameters in model reactions.


It is not necessary to purchase specific texts. Some parts are contained in the texts:

J.A. Moulijn, M. Makkee, A. van Diepen, Chemical Process Technology, Wiley & Sons, 2001.

C. H. Bartholomew, R. J. Farrauto ”Industrial Catalytic Processes”, Wiley, New Jersey, 2006.

F. Cavani, S. Albonetti, F. Basile, A. Gandini " Chemicals and Fuels from Bio-Based Building Blocks” Wiley-VCH, 2016

F. Cavani, G. Centi, S. Perathoner, F. Trifirò Eds. “Sustainable Industrial Chemistry” Wiley-VCH, 2009.

P. Cardillo “Incidenti in Ambiente Chimico – Guida allo studio ed alla valutazione delle reazioni fuggitive” Stazione Sperimentale per i combustibili, S. Donato Milanese, 1998.

Sito web U.S. Chemical Safety Board http://www.csb.gov

Teaching methods

Lectures: explanation with graphics support carried out on the blackboard, and power point presentations.

Assessment methods

The exam is carried out through a final test, aimed at ascertaining the acquisition of the expected knowledge and skills.

Teaching tools

Lectures, supported by Power Point slides, with the employ of a wide number of examples and specific exercises to illustrate the different subjects. All the didactic material is available to the students  in electronic version.

Office hours

See the website of Stefania Albonetti