Catalysis and green chemistry (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Roberto Fiammengo
Roberto Fiammengo
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Mar 1, 2021 al Jun 11, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide a framework for the uderstanding and the critical evaluation of alternative, sustainable and eco-compatible synthetic processes maily based on catalytic reactions.

The course program starts from the discussion of basic ideas and concepts in the field of green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, and with a short historical overview. Discussed topics are: individual large-scale disasters in the chemical industry; chemical hazard and introduction to toxicology; the 12 principle of green chemistry; green metrics; the problem of waste production in chemical processes; catalysis as the cornerstone of green chemistry; the impact of organic solvents; renewable feedstock; energy efficiency and emerging technology for energy; life cycle assessment. The course also includes: an introductory part recalling basic concepts in general, inorganic, and organic chemistry; the discussion of examples from the scientific literature; the presentation of green chemistry case studies in industry.


1. Course introduction, green chemistry definition, and historical development. The green chemistry approach to reduce chemical risk.
2. Green chemistry: re-imagining chemistry. The challenge of sustainability as a driving force for green chemistry. Toxicity and ecotoxicity; green chemistry and EU's REACH regulation; introduction to toxicology; chemical exposure and dosage.
3. 12 Principles of green chemistry.
4. The periodic table of the elements
5. Chemical reactions and stoichiometry: the importance of balancing chemical equations.
6. The problem of waste and byproduct production by chemical reactions or processes.
7. Green chemistry metrics for reactions and processes: atom economy, E factor,...
8. Catalysis: introduction to catalysis in the context of green chemistry; heterogeneous catalysts; homogeneous catalysis; phase transfer catalysis; biocatalysis, and photocatalysis.
9. Organic solvents and working without solvents.
10. Renewable feedstocks.
11. Green chemistry and energy; green technologies and alternative energy sources.
12. Designing greener processes.
13. Life cycle assessment.
14. Real-World cases in green chemistry and industrial case studies.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Roger Arthur Sheldon, Isabel W. C. E. Arends, Ulf Hanefeld Green Chemistry and Catalysis Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA 2007 9783527307159
Mike Lancaster Green Chemistry: An Introductory Text (Edizione 3) Royal Society of Chemistry 2016 978-1-78262-294-9

Assessment methods and criteria

The course will be concluded with an examination where the student demonstrates proficiency in the subject matter of the course, according to the specified “Learning outcomes”. The written examination consists in multiple-choice and open-ended questions, as well as in calculation exercises. The student may ask the instructor for a complementary oral test after having passed the written test.