Aims and objectives of the course
The general objective of the course is to provide the skills and the knowledge for the comprehension and the quali-quantitative analysis of catalytic processes, including the methodologies involved in the preparation and characterization of catalytic materials.
In particular, after an introduction on industrial catalysis (historical data on industrial catalytic processes, relevance of today's industrial catalysis and catalyst market, stages involved in the development of a catalytic process, perspectives and future developments of catalysis) the general characteristics of heterogeneous catalysts will be analyzed and discussed (role of a catalyst in a chemical reaction, properties of industrial catalysts, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, components of heterogeneous catalysts, crystal structures of heterogeneous catalysts). Then the following aspects will be analyzed:
Catalyst preparation: general overview of the preparation method for bulk catalysts and supports. Theory and practice of coprecipitaion, sol-gel methods, impregnation and of other preparation methods. Unit operation for the preparation of heterogeneous catalysts.
Chemico-physical characterization of catalysts: General aspects on the characterization of bulk and supported catalysts. Morphological characterization: specific surface area and pore distribution. Adsorption techniques for the catalyst characterization: physical and chemical adsorption, models for adsorption isotherms, experimental techniques for the adsorption study. Spectroscopic and thermal techniques for the catalyst characterization: FTIR, Laser-Raman, UV-Vis, TG-DTA, DSC, XRD, EPR, SEM, TEM, ecc.. Chemical characterization: TPD, TPO, TPR, TPSR, ecc..
Kinetics of catalytic reactions: relevance of kinetic investigations in catalytic reactions. "Power law" kinetic equations, Langmuir - Hinshelwood formal models. Other kinetic models: Rideal, Redox. Limits of classical kinetic treatments. Microkinetic models.
Reaction and diffusion in heterogeneous catalysis: transport phenomena in heterogeneous catalysis, role of transport phenomena on the rate of a reaction, falsification of kinetics. Theoretical and experimental criteria to verify the presence of diffusional limitations.
Laboratory reactor: Reactors and equipment for measurement of catalytic activity and for kinetic analysis. Procurement of kinetic data from catalytic activity data.
Industrial reactors: types and characteristics of industrial catalytic reactors.
Catalyst deactivation: chemical and kinetic aspects of catalyst deactivation: poisoning, coking, sintering, masking. techniques to prevent deactivation. Regeneration of catalysts.
Examples of industrial catalytic processes: examples of heterogeneous catalytic processes of organic and inorganic industry and for environmental protection will be considered.
Skills acquired at the end of the course
The skills acquired at the end of the course are the capability to prepare and characterize heterogeneous catalysts, to perform catalytic tests and kinetic treatments, to model catalytic reactors, to understand the behaviour of industrial catalytic reactors and to design catalytic reactions.