Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Non-modular pre-requisites Part 3 Chemistry
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Howard Colquhoun


Summary module description:
Fundamentals of catalysis, including thermodynamic and kinetic principles. Transition metals and their compounds as catalysts. Homogeneous and heterogeneous transition metal catalysis. Transition metal organometallic chemistry as a basis for homogeneous catalysis of organic reactions. Reaction intermediates and catalytic cycles.

The fundamentals of catalysis are considered; in particular with regard to reaction mechanisms and intermediates. Homogeneous catalysis will be taught through specific examples illustrating the application of this and other, related chemistry in important industrial contexts, to increase student understanding of the fundamentals and their uses. This material will be backed up by a consideration of intermediates and mechanisms in coordination and organometallic chemistry.

Assessable learning outcomes:
After studying this module students will be able to:
- explain the concepts of catalysis, and discuss their applications,
- analyse numerical and conceptual problems in catalysis,
- interpret data on catalytic cycles, and propose mechanisms for reactions.

Additional outcomes:
Gain experience in drawing chemistry together from different branches of the subject (organic, inorganic, organometallic, mechanistic), and improve students’ knowledge of the industrial uses of the relevant chemistry.

Outline content:
H M Colquhoun (2 lectures) Principles of catalysis
Review of the principle reactions involved in homogeneous catalytic cycles. Elementary organometallic reactions. Determining the mechanisms of homogeneously catalysed reactions.

H M Colquhoun (6 lectures) Homogeneous catalysis
Specific examples of catalysed reactions in solution including hydrogenation, hydroformylation, the Wacker process, and recent developments in homogeneous catalytic processes in industry.

M J Almond (4 lectures + 1 workshop + 1 oral presentation session) Matrix Isolation
A study of reaction intermediates at low temperatures and their role in organometallic and coordination chemistry. Methods for generating and isolating reactive intermediates; spectroscopic methods for the detection and characterisation of intermediates. Use of infrared spectroscopy and isotopic substitution. Coordinatively unsaturated species e.g. Cr(CO)5; role in reactions of catalytic importance e.g. activation of C-H bonds.

F Hartl (5 lectures) Mechanisms in Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry
Reaction mechanisms in coordination and organometallic chemistry will be considered including photochemical and electrochemical reactions. Spectroscopic detection and identification of intermediates.

Global context:
Builds on student's existing knowledge of organic, inorganic and organometallic chemistry to deliver an appreciation of transition-metal based catalysis in industrial processes important in the manufacture of bulk and fine chemicals.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Two one hour lectures per week with approximately one tutorial or workshop on related material every two weeks.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 17
Seminars 2
Tutorials 2
Guided independent study 79
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 95
Oral assessment and presentation 5

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will give a short oral presentation which will be assessed (5%). There will also be two tutorials, in which feedback on written work will be given.

Formative assessment methods:
Two tutorials, in which feedback on written work will be given.

Penalties for late submission:

For students on chemistry-based degree courses any unexplained absence from more than two tutorials in chemistry in any term will automatically incur a formal warning from the School Director of Teaching and Learning.
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    An overall mark of 50%.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment will comprise of an examination worth 95% and an oral presentation worth 5%.

    Final year students are not eligible to resit this module unless they have failed their degree programme overall.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

    Things to do now