67068 - Industrial Chemistry with Laboratory Activities

Course Unit Page


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

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

Aim of the course is to supply the fundamental concepts on the industrial chemistry and structure of the chemical industry, with the economic and dimensional factorsfor the different sectors. These concepts are finalized to the review of the of the production and applications of the ceramic materials, glasses, ceramic glasses, silicates, pigments and the main innovative inorganic fibers. Starting from the raw materials, i will be examinated teh different aspects of the industrial processes, including the economic ones, and the problems connected with quality, safety and intectual property (know-how and patents).

Course contents

Module 1: Industrial Chemistry

  • The chemical industry and the industrial chemestry. Storic and economic development. Concepts of industrial economy, pay-back and calculation methods. Life time of an industrial product and selection of the plant. Different types of innovations. Structure of the chemical industry and main characteristics of each segment.
  • Inorganic raw materials: charateristics, properties and prices(production of glasses, ceramics, pigments and fibers). Organic raw materials (carbon, oil, natural gas): charactersitics, properties and costs. Main processes for their transformation.
  • Concepts of risk and danger. Mean causes of accidents. Explosions and combustions. Methods for the evaluation of the risk. Toxicity and compatibility of different substances. Limit values for the chemical substances (TLV, CL, MAC, ecc.).
  • Glasses: definitions and structural models. Role of the different elements. Glasses wit one or more components. Formation, crystallization and immiscibility. Main chemical-physic properties and their role in the glass production and application. Mechanical and optical properties. Main classes of industrial glasses and their economic relevance. Main production processes: characteristcis, economic and energetic evaluations. Safety and environmental constrains. Forming tecniques: blow, pressing, stretching and lamination. Casting, redrawing and fritting: Secondary operations. Special glasses (fibers, sun pannels, photocromic glasses, ecc.).
  • Ceramic glasses: definition and main properties. Cystal nucleation (homogeneous and heterogeneous) and  growth. Thermal treatments. Nature of the phases present. Physical electrical and mechanical properties. Stuctures, classes and main applications.
  • Alkali silicate: economic relevance, preparations and uses. Zeoliets: main structures and properties. Economic rlevance and applications. Acid catalysis.
  • Ceramic materials: definitions and classifications. Traditional or advanced ceramic materials. Raw materials: plastic, melting and inert components. Grinding processes. Forming processes by casting or processes at plastic state (extrusion, injection and pressing). Enamels and enamellings: production processes and application techniques. General principles of choosing. Refractory ceramics: classification and composition. Main characteristic, properties and production. Refractory non-oxidic ceramics. Purslane: features and production methods. Advanced ceramic materials: properties, production, applications and economic relevance.
  • Inorganic pigments: definition, classes and economic relevance. Main characteristic and analyses. White pigments (TiO2; ZnS, ZnO, ecc.). Colored pigments (iron oxides, mixed oxides, CdS, lapislazuli, ecc.). Mmagnetic, lustering, metallic. changing and iridescent special pigments.
  • Inorganic fibers and composite materials: definitions, properties and main applications. Fibers, wiskers and powders. Glass and optical fibers. Mineral fibers. C and B fibers. Metallic, ceramic and oxide fibers. Wiskers: propertiets, production and applications.

module2: Management of Quality, Safety and Environment in the Chemical Industry, laboratory of industrial chemistry

Introduction to QAS international management systems.
Quality Management Systems – ISO 9001: terminology and concepts, the process approach, system documentation. Exercises to assist in reinforcing the principles discussed.

Environmental Management Systems. Overview of ISO 14001 and EMAS. Environmental impacts recognition and evaluation. Management of environmental impacts.

Safety in chemical processes: Accident and Loss Statistics. Acceptable Risk. Public Perceptions. The Nature of the Accident Process. Inherent Safety.  

Effect of chemical properties of material on safety. Toxicology - Threshold Limit Values. Fires and Explosions - Characteristics of Liquids and Vapors. Limiting Oxygen Concentration and Inerting. Flammability Diagram. Ignition Energy. Autoignition. Explosions. Powders flammability. 

Hazards Identification - Process Hazards Checklists. Hazards and Operability Studies. Safety Reviews. Case Histories.

The goal of the laboratory course is to complete and illustrate the arguments already described in the fundamental part of the course with a particular attention to the process steps where the basic physical chemical concepts are strongly involved: powder synthesis and characterization; surface and colloid chemistry; thermal treatments. The course objectives are for the student to (1) understand the physical chemistry fundamentals responsible for the unique properties of fine powders (2) become knowledgeable of all steps involved in ceramic manufacture from powder synthesis through final densification by sintering, (3) learn how to apply previous general knowledge to solve real-world problems in a variety of industrial applications. Moreover, this course provides a concrete point of view on industrial word offering the opportunity to visit ceramic producers and research labs.


  • Introduction to powder production: general concepts.
  • Determination of powder characteristics: shape and size, bulk and surface properties.
  • Ceramic suspensions: composition, production processes and main control parameters. Fundamental rheological properties and analysis of experimental flow curves. Introduction to colloids. Measurements of zeta potential and surface tension.
  • Preparation of ceramic powders by non conventional techniques (co-precipitation, sol-gel, vapour phase reactions, hydrothermal reactions).
  • Evolution of solid properties as a function of thermal treatments.
  • Processes of drying and sintering. Main technologies and industrial control parameters.
  • Introduction to nanopowders and sols for ceramic applications. Size effect on the material properties.


  • P. Emiliani, F. Corbara 'Tecnologia Ceramica ', Vol. 1-3, Faenza Editrice, 1999.
  • Yasuo Arai 'Chemistry of powder production', Chapman & Hall –1996.
  • Società Ceramica Italiana 'Reologia ceramica applicata' Faenza Editrice.
  • ENGINEERING CERAMICS , Bengisu, M; ,Sprinter Heidelberg, ; 2001. Società Ceramica Italiana “Reologia ceramica applicata” Faenza Editrice.
  • M. Ratner, D. Ratner “Nanotechnology: a gentle introduction to the next big idea”, Ed. Prentice Hall (2003).
  • N. R. Rao, A. Müller, A.K. Cheetham “The Chemistry of Nanomaterials. Synthesis, Properties and Applications” Wiley-VCH (2004), vol. 1 e 2.
  • F. Cavani “ Lo sviluppo e la gestione dei processi chimici industriali” Clueb- Bologna 2004.
  • F. Fortunati, S. Sergi “La certificazione della sicurezza” - Il Sole 24 Ore - Milano 2002.
  • K. Ishikawa “Guida al controllo qualità” F. Angeli, Milano 1990.
  • A. Chiarini “ Guida alla realizzazione di un sistema di gestione ambientale secondo le norme 14000”-FrancoAngeli – Milano 2001.
  • P. Cardillo “Incidenti in Ambiente Chimico – Guida allo studio ed alla valutazione delle reazioni fuggitive” Stazione Sperimentale per i combustibili, S. Donato Milanese, 1998.
  • P. Cardillo “Guida allo studio ed alla valutazione delle esplosioni di polveri” SC Sviluppo Chimica SpA, Milano
  • http://www.csb.gov
  • K.H. Buchel, H.-H. Moretto, P. Woditsch Industrial Inorganic Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, 2000.
  • Ullman's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, VCH, 1996.
  • A. Girelli, L. Matteoli, F. Parisi Trattato di Chimica Industriale e Applicata, Vol. 1, Zanichelli (vetri).

Teaching methods

A wide variety of teaching techniques, from traditional lectures, practical learning, seminars and tutorials and e-learning will be utilized.

Learning by doing is an essential part of the course. The students will be asked to work independently, in pairs or as part of a small team, and they will be required to submit a piece of work which will count towards the overall result.

Various analysis and elaboration of experimental data will be made with students to processing theoretical topics. Analysis or results will also expose students to basic statistics for experimental research

Assessment methods

  • Written reports on the laboratory activities, to evaluate the results of the practical learning.
  • Preparation of a research report on a specific subject agreed with the students, with following oral report by the student and open discussion with the teachers and the other students. Thius will favor the critical capacity to synythetize different information in a logical and ordered document as well as the ability to confront a scientific discussion
  • Integrated final examination between the module 1 and 2 to evaluate the concept assimilation. The laboratory activity as weel as the above research report will be considered for the overall final note. The simple mechanical and/or mnemonic knowledge will be considered negatively

Teaching tools

The course takes place through lessons and exercises carried out in the classroom with online connection. These activities also make use of media such as power point presentations, videos and graphics tablets; all the teaching material presented is accessible to students on the teaching application https://virtuale.unibo.it/.

Office hours

See the website of Stefania Albonetti

See the website of Patricia Benito Martin

See the website of Patricia Benito Martin