At present rates of consumption, the resources of 5 planets would be needed for everyone on earth to enjoy our standard of living. Since so much of our consumption and waste involves chemical processes in some way, more efficient chemical processes are needed in a sustainable tomorrow. Catalysis is and will increasingly be at the heart of these sustainable processes. This unit examines the fundamentals of catalysis and its use to design sustainable processes. The course will initially focus on the organometallic fundamentals in order to show how they can be used to understand and design homogeneous catalytic processes from a molecular perspective, which, in turn, leads on to biocatalytic conversions where the enzyme is treated like a large ligand with a special surface, pointing towards the surface chemistry involved in supported catalysts - the next topic. Within this general discussion, the special case of the three-dimensional surface found in zeotypes will be developed and the acid/base and redox catalysis (the mainstay of the majority of industrial processes) in such confined spaces of molecular dimensions will be examined. The course will continue with examining the production of polymers as an example of a major industrial process. An introduction on polymer chemistry and polymer properties will be given, followed by the examination of the various synthetic routes and processes that yield to the production of polymers. The recent advances in polymer synthesis and the design of new materials of improved properties and function will be reviewed. The last part of this section will explore the various approaches designed to improve the sustainability of polymer synthesis, in particular for the specific case of free radical polymerization, with an emphasis on the design of novel catalysts. The course will conclude by examining a variety of case studies. All the preceding topics find their way into the discussion of the key role of catalysts in the design of sustainable chemical processes, rationalizing the choices behind catalyst design.
Two 1-hour lectures per week and two 4-hour practicals per week for half of semester.
Assignment, prac reports and oral, final examination (100%)
[(CHEM2401 or CHEM2911 or CHEM2915) AND (CHEM2402 or CHEM2912 or CHEM2916)] OR (CHEM2521 or CHEM2921 or CHEM2991)Prohibitions