88379 - Sustainable Inorganic Chemistry

Course Unit Page


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

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

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The role of Inorganic chemistry in topics such as inorganic resources and their extraction, renewable energy, materials for energy storage, homogeneous catalysis, nanomaterials and inorganic key enabling technologies, waste minimization and avoidance, CO2 and H2 storage, and renewable industrial feedstocks.

Course contents


Basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of inorganic chemistry and the most important aspects of the structure, properties and reactivity of inorganic compounds. Knowledge of the fundamental principles of thermodynamic and thermochemistry, industrial and organic chemistry, basic electrochemistry.


This course deals with several topics related to the role of inorganic chemistry for a sustainable and low carbon society.

a) Industrial inorganic chemistry: state of the art and possible developments;

b) Metals in a low carbon society;

c) Metals in the environment: waste, pollution and health aspects;

d) The energy issue and the contribution of inorganic chemistry for the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable resources. Solar fuels and the role of homogeneous catalysis;

e) Bio-inspired H2 production, artificial photosynthesis, hydrogen storage;

f) Nuclear energy limits and perspectives.


K. H. Buchel, H.-H. Moretto, P. Woditsch, Industrial Inorganic Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Second Edition.

D. A. Atwood, Sustainable Inorganic Chemistry, Wiley.

J. G. Speight, Environmental Inorganic Chemistry for Engineers, Butterworth-Heinemann

J. E. Huheey, A. E. Keiter, R. L. Keiter, Inorganic Chemistry, Pearson

D. F. Shriver, P. W. Atkins, C. H. Langford, Inorganic Chemistry, Zanichelli

Ch. Elshenbroich, Organometallics, Wiley-VCH

Teaching methods

The course includes class lectures and tutorial activities. Lectures are supported by slide projection. Class discussion is encouraged. The course includes also some practical and laboratory activities related to some of the topics presented in the classroom.

Assessment methods

Students are asked to take an oral examination in one of the scheduled sessions at the end of the course. The exam is based on the topics of the course and is aimed at checking the understanding of the student and his/her capacity to apply the concepts of inorganic chemistry to sustainable chemistry.

The oral examination consists into two consecutive parts. During the fits part, the student is required to present in an extensive and detailed manner, also with the help of the board, a topic of his/her choice selected among those treated during the course. At the end of the presentation, the student might be asked to give explanations and further details on the topic presented.

The second part of the oral examination consists of some questions, usually 2-3, on the other topics covered during the course and different from that presented in Part 1. The student is requested to answer these questions in a synthetic manner with particular regard to the fundamental aspects of each topic.

The final grade, expressed on a 30 base, is based on the capacity of the student to present the different topics in a synthetic and complete manner, and to understand the links among the topics of the course and fundamental concepts of inorganic chemistry.

The duration of the oral examination is ca. 45 minutes.

Teaching tools

Teaching supports include PowerPoint presentations, and slide projection. Documents and slides shown are made available to students as pc files. Indications are given to students regarding the bibliographic resources available on-line and in the library. The teaching material for the preparation of the final exam is available to students via the web at: [https://iol.unibo.it/]. Usernames and passwords are reserved to Unibo students and are given by the teacher. Practical activities are carried out with the teaching and research laboratories of the Department of Industrial Chemistry "Toso Montanari".

Office hours

See the website of Cristina Femoni

See the website of Valerio Zanotti