cod. 06465

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - Second semester
- Laura BALDINI - Stefano VOLPI
Academic discipline
Chimica organica (CHIM/06)
Discipline chimiche organiche e biochimiche
Type of training activity
66 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the student will acquire a deep knowledge of the essential principles and general criteria which are crucial for the realization of an industrial chemical process. For this purpose specific chemical processes will be described and analyzed from the thermodynamic and kinetic point of view and the most important technological aspects will be highlighted as well. The problems connected with the cost, sustainability and safety of an industrial process will also be treated (Knowledge and understanding).

The student will be able to analyze from an thermodynamic and kinetic point of view an industrial process, to choose the optimal parameters for the conduction of a chemical process. He will be able to perform basic mass and energy balance calculations. He will be able to safely use chemicals and to dispose them properly. (Applying knowledge and understanding).

He will be able to critically evaluate safety and economy aspects of a chemical process, and those related to products and materials. He will critically choose the optimal production technologies. He will be able to correlate the data acquired experimentally with theoretical models (Making judgments).

The student acquires the ability to communicate, both in oral and written form, with a technical-specialist language that allows him to dialogue with chemists and other professional figures. He will be able to interact with other staff on the implementation of the necessary safety measures in the chemical field (Communication skills).

The student will be able to undertake academic studies of higher level with a sufficient degree of autonomy or to continue his professional training. He will acquire teem-working and problem solving skills, and the ability to work in autonomy as well. He will be able to adapt to different working environments and will also be able to interpret, in an autonomous way, data of technical-scientific literature. (Learning skills)


Knowledge of the concepts explained in the General Chemistry and in the Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry Lab I courses. Moreover, the student is required to attend the Organic Chemistry II course that take place in the same semester.

Course unit content

Elements of thermodynamics and kinetics: finding the right operating conditions (pressure, temperature, contact time) for a specific industrial chemical process. Concepts of yield, conversion and selectivity. Parallel and consecutive reactions. Examples of recycling, by-pass and purge. Selection and design of a reactor in continuous or discontinuous operation mode. Multiphase reactions. Use of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts in industrial field. From laboratory to industry: problems associated with the scale-up. Importance of availability of raw materials, sustainability and safety of a chemical plant. Considerations on the overall costs (fixed and variable) of a process. Mass and energy balances applied to chemical industry.
The aspects described will be illustrated with industrial processes listed below:
-Liquefaction of gases. Separation of air gases.
-Hydrogen production and syngas.
-Methanol industrial production
-Fischer-Tropsch process
-Haber-Bosch process
-Urea production
-Ostwald process
-Sulforic acid production
-Claus process
-Leblanc and Solvay processes
-Chloro-alkali industry: chlorine and sodium hydroxide production
-Examples from Petrochemical industry: Steam cracking, Reforming catalitico, Hydrotreating, Catalytic cracking.

Full programme

Introduction to the organic chemistry laboratory: safety regulations;
laboratory equipment: risks and use; use of laboratory solvents.
DI: Knowledge and understanding; applying knowledge and understanding

Introduction to IR and UV-Vis spectroscopic techniques: basic concepts connected with bonding theory; links between polarity/polarizability of bonds and the structure of organic molecules; consequences on their physico/chemical properties and reactivity.
DI: Knowledge and understanding.

Examples of structural determination and identification of functional groups by IR & UV-vis spectroscopies.
DI: making judgements; applying knowledge and understanding

Laboratory separation techniques: purification of solids and purity
criteria; the choice of the solvent and melting point determination;
extraction techniques of organic compounds; natural product extraction;
basic and acid substances extraction; chromatographic separations; the
choice of the eluent, thin layer chromatography, column
chromatography, gaschromatography; distillation techniques: simple
distillation and fractional distillation.
How to run an organic synthesis reaction.
DI: Knowledge and understanding; applying knowledge and understanding

Laboratory experiences:
Purification of an organic compound through recrystallisation;
Separation of organic products through acid-base extraction;
Caffeine extraction from tea leaves;
Thin layer chromatography and column chromatography;
Electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions; through all of these examples, it will be showed, and then checked all along, the series of skills and knowledges required to plan, get additional info whether necessary, execute and analyze a scientific experiment, together with drafting/discussing data, and the safe disposal of all wastes.

DI: making judgements; applying knowledge and understanding

Final test.
DI: - Applying knowledge and understanding;
- Making judgements;
- Communication skills;


1) "Chimica Inorganica Industriale" C. Botteghi (Piccin)
2) "An Introduction to Industrial Chemistry" C. A. Heaton
3) "Organic Chemistry: Principles and Industrial Practice" Mark M. Green, Harold A. Wittcoff
4) “Fundamentals of Industrial catalytic processes” C.H. Bartholomew, R.J. Ferrauto
5) "Principi della Chimica Industriale" Vol. I e II G. Natta, L. Pasquon

Teaching methods

The course is composed of 48 hours of lessons, during which students are guided to the understanding of the basic principles of Industrial Chemistry. During the lessons the general problems associated with the
conduction of a chemical reaction on industrial scale will be discussed. The theoretical concepts will be exemplified with some industrial processes of great importance. The slides used will be uploaded weekly
on the Elly platform. Additional material is also available on Elly. To download the slides you need to subscribe to the online course. Slides are considered an integral part of the teaching material. It reminds non-attending students to check the available teaching material and the guidelines provided by the teacher through the Elly platform. The teacher is available by appointment (e-mail) for explanations.

Assessment methods and criteria

Knowledge and understanding of the concepts are verified by a written test and an oral examination. Students who have passed the written test can be admitted to the oral examination. The student must demonstrate: 1) to understand the industrial chemical processes in all their aspects. 2) to be able to compare and discuss the processes individually and in a critical way: for example, compare a dated process with a more innovative. 3) to use a proper language to describe the processes. 4) to be able to find connections among contents of other courses: for example to explain in terms of thermodynamic and kinetic reaction of an industrial process using the skills acquired in the courses of General and Inorganic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry I. The written exam consists of 6-8 questions. The duration of the written test is 3 hours. The written exam is rated at 0-30. Laude is given in the case of achieving the maximum score on each item. Written proof correction is made within two days and the result is communicated via email from the ESSE3 platform. Always by email we will decide the day of the oral examination in case of successful written test. The oral test consists of a discussion of possible inaccuracies found in the written test and a further in-depth study on the core aspects of the course. Knowledge of the topic aspects will be verified as well as the ability to argue critically and the ability to connect the different parts of the course. The synthesis, the use of proper technical language and communication skills will be evaluated positively. The score of the oral test is immediately communicated and the final score will be the average with the written examination. Please note that online registration is mandatory both in the case of written test and in the case of oral examination.

Other information

In the lab, students are required to wear a lab-coat, goggles, and shoes. Moreover, to attend the lab experiences, students must have passed the safety course.

The teacher is available for additional explanations every day. It is advisable to request an appointment by email.