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 Quality education Responsible consumption and production Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will know how to use the different tools, such as catalysis and unconventional substrate activation (i.e. photoinduced transformations), that enable to plan and realize organic transformations that fully respect the major principles of sustainable organic chemistry.

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.

-green chemistry in the industrial synthesis of fine and commodity organic chemicals.

Main subjects treated in the course:

The course will present the most important applications of organic chemistry in various fields such as drugs and pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fragrances, dyes, nutraceuticals.  All the topics will be illustrated keeping in mind the problems related to sustainability and waste reduction.

The historical background, the structure determination and the laboratory and industrial synthesis of renowned and essential products will be presented.

A special consideration will be paid to natural products and the student will familiarize with the structure, the properties and the industrial utilization of organic materials.


Lectures handouts and literature examples, available via web at InsegnamentiOnLine and through the library service.

Supplementary reading:

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

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

Green Techniques for Organic Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry. Edited by Wei Zhang and W. Cue (Wiley)

Bernd Schaefer  Natural Products in the Chemical Industry Springer

Teaching methods

Lectures assisted by videoprojections and/or blackboard drawings. Interactive training, presentation and discussion with alumni of the Department.

Assessment methods

Oral exam based on the presentation and discussion of a real case study resulting in an overall mark given in 30/30.

In ths 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).

Office hours

See the website of Mariafrancesca Fochi