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Applications for the class of 2018-2020 will open in October 2017.

Master SERP+ Programme

Chemistry and technology of catalysis


Introduction: Fundamentals catalysis.

Survey of industrial heterogeneous catalysts: redox catalysts, oxidations catalysts, hydrogenation and dehydrogenation catalysts, acid-base catalysts, multi-functional catalysts. Examples of catalysis applied to the development of eco-sustainable and green processes or to pollution control. Catalysts preparation: Support and properties. Synthesis of supports and bulk catalysts. Precipitation, sol-gel, hydrothermal synthesis, stabilization, shaping. Zeolite synthesis. Raney Catalysts. Preparation of supported catalysts, methods of deposition and support selection: impregnation with and without interaction (incipient wetness, homogeneous precipitation, ion exchange, adsorption). Scale-up of catalysts preparation. Catalyst characterization: morphology and physical characteristics, bulk and surface characterizations, technological properties. Low temperature vapor adsorption and physisorption, porometry and fluid permeation, microscopy, spectroscopic techniques, programmed temperature techniques. Assessment of metal dispersion (e.g. TEM and chemisorption). Industrial and laboratory reactors. Experimental procedures to assess the catalytic activity. Reaction regimes and mass transport regimes in heterogeneous catalysis: criteria and experimental methods.

Laboratory: Preparation of supported and bulk catalysts: impregnation kinetics and dispersion. Characterization by electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), physisorption and permeability. Experimental planning for kinetic measurements, material balances e data acquisition. Experience on a gas-solid catalytic reaction. Experience on a gas-liquid-solid catalytic reaction. Inter-phase and intra-particle gradients. TON, TOF and activation energy evaluation.


The course aims to provide students with the basics of preparation, characterization and application of heterogeneous catalysts to industrial and eco-sustainable processes.

Recommended Books

“Engineering Catalysis”, D. Yu. Murzin, Berlin / Boston, De Gruyter, 2013

“The Catalytic Process from Laboratory to the Industrial Plant”, D. Sanfilippo (ed.), Milano, Maraschi, 1994

“Principles and Practice of Heterogeneous Catalysis”, J.M.Thomas, W.J. Thomas, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, 1996

Teaching Staff

Antonio Comite (Course Coordinator)


Lectures: 32 h

Lab works: 26 h

Grading System

Exam: 65%

Lab works: 35%