KPP50 Catalysis


Module code: KPP50

ECTS Credit Points:

Module Type:


Language: Greek

Module general description:

Homogeneous and Enzyme Catalysis
Introduction and Terminology (a short description of catalysis, homogenous and heterogeneous catalysis, catalysis and chemical equilibria, catalytic cycle, catalytic activity, selectivity and stability, the general mechanism of catalytic action)
Catalysis in acidic and alkaline solutions (organic reactions catalyzed by acids, proton donors, carbenium ions, proton catalysis of molecules with heteroatoms containing a lone pair of electrons, catalysis through protonation of the carbon, carbon double bond, proton catalysis of parafinic hydrocarbons, catalysis in alkaline solutions, acid-base simultaneous catalysis, acid catalysis in solutions of macromolecules)
Catalysis by transition metal complexes (the catalytic action of the transition metal ions in solutions, organic reactions catalyzed by transition metal complexes, a short introduction in the structure and properties of the transition metal complexes, mechanisms of selected organic reactions catalyzed by transitions metal complexes in solutions, the catalytic action of transition metal complexes supported on various supports, catalysis at the interface of two liquids, catalysis by clusters)
Enzyme catalysis (the general characteristics of the enzymes  and the enzyme action, preparation, structure and active sites of the enzymes, ‘acid–base’ enzyme catalysis, metal -enzyme catalysis, formal kinetics and mechanisms of the enzyme reactions, the influence of pH on the activity of the reactions catalyzed by enzymes).

Heterogeneous Catalysis
Heterogeneous acid-base catalysis: zeolithes (development of acid-base surface sites on solid oxides e.g. MgO, γ-Al2O3, SiO2, γ-Al2O3-SiO2 used as catalysts, the structure and surface properties of zeolithes, the catalytic action of zeolithes, fluid catalytic cracking, shape–selective catalysis)
Catalysis on the metallic surfaces: hydrogenation, dehydrogenation and hydrogenolysis of the hydrocarbons (the surface characteristics of the transition metals, the mechanism of hydrogenation of alkenes: an interpretation based on the hydrogen chemisorption, the relationship between the energy of the Fermi level and the strength of the metal–hydrogen chemisorptive bond, the mechanism of hydrogenation of alkenes: an interpretation based on the ethylene chemisorption, hydrogenation of the carbon, carbon triple bond, hydrogenation of the aromatic hydrocarbons, dehydrogenation and hydrogenolysis of alkanes, structure sensitive reactions, hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis of organic compounds with heteroatoms)
Catalysis on the metallic surfaces:  hydrogenation of CO and catalytic synthesis of NH3 (introduction to the hydrogenation of CO, chemisorption of CO on metallic surfaces: the main experimental observations, chemisorption of CO on metallic surfaces: orbitals interactions, interactions of the C atomic orbitals with the orbitals of the transition metals, interpretation of the experimental observation based on the orbital interactions, methanation, F-T synthesis of hydrocarbons, production of oxygen compounds over rhodium supported catalysts, methanol production, the catalytic synthesis of NH3: the development of the industrial catalyst, the catalytic synthesis of NH3: the reaction mechanism)
Catalysis on the metallic surfaces: catalytic oxidations (catalytic oxidations on the transition metal surfaces, selective oxidation of ethylene to ethylene oxide: the catalyst, the old reaction mechanism and the modern reaction mechanism, oxidation of CO over the Pd(1 1 1) crystal face: CO and O2 chemisorption and the reaction mechanism)
Catalytic oxidation over the surface of the transition metal oxides (electrical and surface properties of the transition metal oxides, the Mars and Van- Krevelen general oxidation mechanism, catalytic production of maleic anhydrite, pthalic anhydrite, formaldehyde from methanol and sulphuric acid, partial oxidation and amoxidation of propene, selective catalytic reduction of NO, catalytic combustion of volatile organic compounds)
Hydrorefining reactions over the surface of transition metal sulphides (the hydrorefining of the petroleum fractions, selection , preparation and activation of the hydrorefining catalyst, the nature of the active sites, mechanisms of reactions taking place upon the hydrorefining of the oil fractions)

Surface Science

Introduction to the Surface science (surfaces and solid-solid interfaces, bulk structure and surface structure of a solid, surfaces–interfaces and modern technologies, clean surfaces at atomic level and very high vacuum)
Fundamentals concepts and technologies of the high vacuum (concepts of the kinetic theory of the gases, basic concepts and mechanisms of the gas flow in vacuum, calculations relevant to the molecular flow, pumping and production of high vacuum)
Surface analysis (low energy electrons and surface sensitivity, the physicochemical ground of the photoemission, the physicochemical ground of production of the Auger electrons, X- ray photoelectron and X-ray Auger electron spectroscopies-XPS and XAES, general characteristics of the XP and XAE spectra, the XPS surface analysis, technological applications of the surface analysis using XPS/XAES)
The surface structure (surface lattices and notation of the super structures, determination of the surface structure by low energy electron diffraction or high electron reflection, tunnelling and atomic force microscopy for studying surfaces)
Electronic properties of surfaces (surface electronic density, determination of the work function, metal–semiconductor interfaces).  
Atomic motion at surfaces (surface vibrations, surface diffusions and surface melting)
Thin films at surfaces (mode of development of thin films, production of films at solid surfaces by epitaxial molecular beam)


Learning Outcomes: After completing this module, students will be expected to be able to,
- Present in details the fundamental concepts and methods of homogeneous, enzymatic and heterogeneous catalysis (e.g. activity, selectivity, stability of catalysts, parameters for estimating activity and selectivity, active sites, catalytic cycle, deactivation and regeneration, general mechanism of catalytic action).
- Classify catalysts and catalytic reactions in important groups and present in details the various aspects of catalytic action for each group (e.g. catalysis by protons in solutions and surfaces, homogeneous catalysis by organometallic complexes, catalysis by enzymes, catalytic action of transition metals, oxides and sulphides).
- Present the fundamental concepts and methods of Surface Science and their applications in heterogeneous catalysis (e. g).
- Explain the contribution of catalysis in chemical industry, destruction of pollutants and improvement of fossil fuels as well as in the development of environmentally friendly fuels and chemical processes.
-  Choice the best catalyst for a given catalytic reaction.
-  Combine various catalytic materials for performing a complex chemical process

Subjects covered:
1. Homogeneous Catalysis                                                                                           
2. Enzyme Catalysis
3. Heterogeneous Catalysis
4. Surface Science

Learning Material: The HOU publications can be viewed

Teaching Method: Distance education with five Contact Sessions held at weekends during the academic year

Evaluation: Completion of five written assignments during the academic year, the average grade of which constitute a 30 percent of each student's grade, if a pass is obtained in the final or repetitive examination. Final exam grades constitute a 70 percent of the students' final course grade. More information is available