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Chemical Reaction Engineering and Industrial Catalysis

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

The course is divided into a theoretical part and a practical part. The theoretical part will discuss the fundamentals of chemical reaction engineering, with particular emphasis on chemical equilibrium, chemical reactor analysis and design; Evaluation of reaction rates from mechanisms and experimental data. Heterogeneous catalysis including catalysis fundamentals, catalyst preparation and characterization; Steps in heterogeneous catalysis such as adsorption, desorption, surface reaction, pore diffusion, deactivation, Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetics, etc. The practical part will discuss concepts of chemical reaction engineering and catalysis applied to major industrial processes for utilization of natural gas, as well as clean fuel production, i.e., synthesis gas technology, gas to liquids process, gas to chemicals, CO2 conversion to fuels and chemicals, and emerging technologies for natural gas conversion. The theory addressed in the first part will be used to get an in depth understanding and potential optimization of the important industrial processes.

Learning outcome

At the end of the course the students should:
  • Understand the importance of equilibrium in chemical reactions.
  • Make qualified choices of optimal reactor design, Batch, CSTR or PFR.
  • Determine conversion and yield for chemical reactions.
  • Explain the different steps in reaction mechanisms on catalytic surfaces and identify the rate-determining step.
  • Derive reaction mechanisms and reaction rate expressions for catalytic reactions based on Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetics.
  • Understand the common deactivation mechanisms in catalysis.
  • Understand the historic perspective and future developments of catalysis and energy.
  • Identify important industrial catalytic processes and the most common catalyst materials.
  • Understand relationships between effects at the molecular level and the process scale.
  • Relate the elementary steps occurring in a catalytic reaction to the global performance of the process.
  • Be able to address a specific scientific problem by applying catalyst design and synthesis, characterization and testing.
  • Identify the current industrial challenges of natural gas conversion and clean fuel production.
  • Be able to apply the covered theory to known industrial problems.


Chemical reaction engineering: Introduction to chemical reaction engineering, Chemical thermodynamics, Chemical kinetics, Reaction mechanism and rate laws, Chemical reactor fundamentals and design
Heterogeneous catalysis: Importance of catalysis, Catalysis materials, Catalyst preparation, Catalyst characterization, Adsorption, Desorption, Surface reaction, Diffusion, Rates and kinetics of catalytic reactions, Deactivation; Laboratory work on catalyst preparation and characterization
Industrial use of natural gas: overview, CO2 conversions
Syngas technologies: Steam reforming, Partial oxidation, Autothermal reforming, Dry (CO2) reforming
Gas to liquids: Fischer-Tropsch synthesis process, Product upgrading, Cobalt vs. iron catalysts, Packed vs. slurry bed technology , Trends in GTL process development
Gas to chemicals: Ammonia, Methanol, DME - Dimethyl Ester, MTBE - Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether, Methanol to olefins
Direct methane conversion: Oxidative coupling of methane, Carbon nanostructure production

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended previous knowledge

Basic course in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering


Weight Duration Marks Aid
Homeworks, Group project and final written exam1/14 hoursA - FValid calculator.
One final grade will be given, consisting of 10% from homework, 20% from project and 70% from written exam. Final written exam: duration 4 hours, and aid is valid calculator.

Coursework requirements

The laboratory work and the lab report are mandatory but not part of the grading.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Zhixin Yu

Method of work

Lectures, project in groups, laboratory work, exercises.

Open to

Petroleum Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme
Petroleum Engineering - Master`s Degree programme in Petroleum Engineering, 5 years

Course assessment

Standard UiS procedure


Link to reading list

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 10.08.2020