Industrial Catalysis



Robin HutchinsonDupuis 426robin.hutchinson@queensu.ca613-533-6000x33097



Course Description

Students will learn, discuss and apply knowledge of the chemical structure and reactivity of industrial catalytic compounds, with particular emphasis placed upon the integration of fundamental catalytic chemistry with the principles of chemical reaction engineering, transport phenomena and thermodynamics. Industrial processes of interest include homogeneous ionic, radical, and coordinative catalytic systems, as well as heterogeneous fluid-solid systems. The design component of the course will require students to develop catalytic processes to meet productivity targets from provided kinetic and thermodynamic data. (0/11/0/20/11)

Prerequisites: ENCH 245, CHEE 321, CHEE 330 or permission of the Chemical Engineering department

Objectives and Outcomes

Knowledge of the chemical structure and reactivity of catalytic compounds will be applied to the analysis of homogeneous ionic, radical, and coordinative and heterogeneous fluid-solids catalytic processes, as well as heterogeneous fluid-solid systems. For each system, the engineering principles employed for the design and operation of industrial processes will be discussed, including the development of reaction rate expressions using knowledge of reaction mechanisms, and the integration of these kinetic expressions with mass transfer principles.

The specific course learning outcomes include:

CLO1 Apply rate determining step, steady state hypothesis, and material balance equations appropriately to derive rate expressions from reaction coordinate diagrams and/or mechanisms for ionic, radical, and catalytic reaction networks. KB-NatSci
CLO2 Integrate principles of chemical thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, interfacial mass transfer and diffusional mass transfer to develop mathematical models of multi-phase reactors. KB-Proc(a)
CLO3 Design catalytic reactors to meet productivity targets from provided kinetic and thermodynamic data. KB-Proc(c)

The course outcomes are mapped to the following program attributes:

Knowledge base for Engineering (CLO 1, CLO2)

  • KB-NatSci Interpret natural phenomena and relationships through the use of analytical and/or experimental techniques.
  • KB-Proc(a) Formulates and solves steady-state and dynamic mass and energy balances for a chemical process.
  • KB-Proc(b) Analyzes kinetic mechanisms, identifies rate limiting steps and develops expressions to describe reaction rates for non-catalytic, catalytic, or electrochemical process.
  • KB-Proc(c) Applies engineering principles to do engineering calculations and size various unit operations, including pumps, heat exchangers, separation processes, and reactors

Design (DE)

  • DE-Solutions Create a product, process or system to solve a problem, that meets specified needs, and subject to appropriate iterations.

Relevance to the Program

This course combines knowledge of the chemical structure and reactivity of industrial catalytic compounds, with reaction kinetics, process conceptualization and mass transfer principles. It implements chemistry and engineering science knowledge acquired in previous courses (ENCH 245 “Applied Organic Chemistry”, CHEE 330 “Heat and Mass Transfer Operations”, CHEE 321 “Chemical Reaction Engineering”) and extends it to catalytic processes of industrial interest. This course is core to students in the Engineering Chemistry, and Chemical Engineering (Process Option) programs.

Course Structure and Activities

3 lecture hours + 1 tutorial hour per week.  Please refer to SOLUS for times and locations.

Lecture slides will be posted in advance through the course Learning Management System (LMS). Some lectures will include examples and problem solutions not contained in the posted slides. A complete set of notes includes lecture slides, chalkboard examples/illustrations, and student-written records of classroom discussions.
The design component of the course will require students to develop chemical processes stemming from examples covered in class, with an opportunity to complete a portion of the work during tutorials. The complexity of each design exercise will increase, evolving towards a process wherein multiple phases and reactions must be considered. Knowledge of MATLAB is an asset.


Resources (Optional):

  • Fogler 2011. Essentials of Chemical Reaction Engineering.
  • Clayden, Greeves and Warren, 2012, Organic Chemistry.
  • Welty, Wicks, Wilson and Rorrer, 2012, Heat and Mass Transfer

Other Material

All course lecture slides, assignments and tutorials will be posted on the CHEE 323 OnQ site.