88380 - Sustainable and Natural Material-Derived Organic Processes

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student is acquainted with the practice of green chemistry in the industrial synthesis of fine and commodity organic chemicals. Focusing on efficiency in organic synthesis, the student will know how to deal with the different aspects of this approach and ensuing applications. The student will be familiar with some of the natural products that have key roles in various areas of the chemical industry. The focus will be set on both mass intensive materials and structurally complex natural compounds of great medicinal/industrial utility. The student will know the structure, the properties, the industrial utilization and the biosynthetic pathways of these organic materials.

Course contents

-Background knowledge:

a basic understanding of organic chemistry, which is generally acquired in bachelor courses in chemistry and related disciplines, is required. In more detail:

-recognition of the main functional groups of small organic molecules, their reactivity and mechanistic implications.

-basic principles of catalysis and stereochemistry.

-selectivity in its different aspects (chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity).

-basic principles of synthesis planning.

The main subjects treated in the course will be:

-Principles and mechanisms of catalytic processes intensively used in the fine and commodity chemical industries: transition metal catalysed reaction, asymmetric synthesis.

-Introduction to industrial organic chemistry: the main parameters to consider in scaling a laboratory synthesis to a plant process with emphasis on process safety and solvent choice based on their properties including renewability.

-Basic environmental assessment of a fine chemical process, in terms of mass intensity and waste limitation.

-Application to active pharmaceutical ingredients. Analysis of case studies from literature.

-Practical activity: laboratory experiment exemplifying and applying the concepts described during the lectures.


Lectures handouts and literature examples, available via the Virtuale web platform and through the library service.

Supplementary reading:

Clayden, Greeves, Warren, "Organic Chemistry", Oxford University Press: several copies available in the library.

N. G. Anderson Practical Process Research & Development 2nd ed., 2012, Academic Press: available for download via the library service or at Virtuale.

Teaching methods

Lectures assisted by videoprojections and/or blackboard drawings. Interactive training and laboratory activity.

To participate to the teaching laboratory of this course, all students must attend Modules 1 and 2 [https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas] online, while Module 3 on health and safety is to be attended in class. Information about Module 3 attendance schedule is available on the website of your degree programme.

Assessment methods

Oral exam based on the presentation and discussion of a real case study.

The acquirement of the contents of the course will be assessed during a single oral exam, resulting in an overall mark given in 30/30.

Each student will be assigned in good advance the literature related to a case study, to present and discuss at the exam. In this discussion, the student is required to show capability of recalling the basic concepts treated in the course, and to critically discuss their application in a real context. The student is expected to be able to answer specific questions which may arise during the presentation and discussion.

Teaching tools

Video projections and blackboard.

Literature material (library service).

Laboratory activity.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Bernardi