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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[70/77]  CHEMICAL ENGINEERING [77/00 - Ord. 2017]  PERCORSO COMUNE 9 90


In this course, students will acquire basic concepts of reaction kinetics for chemical and biochemical processes. The design of ideal reactors for reacting systems will be addressed. The problem of reactor sizing and validation for chemical and biochemical engineering processes will be considered. The problems will be analyzed both locally (one-dimensional), determining the concentration profiles, and at a macroscopic level. Students will be able to integrate principles of chemical kinetics with mass balances for different applications of chemical engineering. To provide a quantitative analysis of reactors performance and chemical and biochemical reactions characterized by variations in time and space (one-dimensional case), suitable analytical resolution techniques will be adopted.


The prerequisites are indicated in the Didactic Regulations of the Course. In particular, the knowledge of basic courses of mathematics, chemistry and transport phenomena are essential.


Module 1 (10h Lesson + 8h Classwork) - Review of mass balances, phase and chemical equilibrium: equilibrium conditions in absence of reactions and in reacting systems. Evaluation of chemical equilibria. Reaction rate of a reacting system. Application of mass and energy balances for reactors with ideal fluid dynamics: continuous (perfect mixing and plug flow) and discontinuous reactors.

Module 2 (10h Lesson + 8h Classwork) - Chemical kinetics: Extent of the reaction, relationship between the reaction rates of products and reagents, limiting reagent, Arrhenius equation, homogeneous, heterogeneous, elementary, non-elementary and reversible reactions. Parallel reactions, reactions in series: irreversible reactions of the first order and rate limit step.

Module 3 (5h Lesson + 3h Classwork) - Analysis of reaction rate: to determine the reaction order and specific reaction rate from experimental data. To use regression software to determine the rate law parameters given experimental data and evaluate laws and mechanisms of reaction rate.

Module 4 (5h Lesson + 3h Classwork) - Conversion and sizing of the reactor: Definition of the mass balances for reactors with ideal fluid dynamics in terms of conversion.

Module 5 (5h Lesson + 3h Classwork) - Stoichiometry: to define the concentration of reactants and products of the reaction in terms of conversion for reactions in the liquid phase and/or in the gas phase. To define volumetric flow rate of reaction in the gas and/or liquid phase in terms of conversion.

Module 6 (5h Lesson + 3h Classwork) - Systems with multiple reactions: Selectivity and yield. Optimization of the selectivity of the desired product based on the laws of the reaction rate.

Module 7 (8h Lesson + 8h Classwork) - Enzymatic reactions: enzymes to one (Michaelis-Menten) or two substrates, competitive and non-competitive inhibition. Mass balances applied to cell cultures, substrates and products in bioreactors. Phases of cellular growth and laws of growth rates of organisms.

Module 8 (4h Lesson + 2h Classwork) - Catalysis and catalytic reactors: catalyst, catalytic mechanisms and the rate limit step

Teaching Methods

Lectures will be prevalently held in classrooms, also integrated with online teaching resources, by using specific online platforms managed by the University of Cagliari. The course includes 90 hours: lessons 52 hours, classwork 38 hours. The lessons and classwork are designed to meet the specific didactic and student needs. Live streaming lessons and recordings of the class will be available online. During the lessons the teacher will deal with the theoretical aspects of the course, which will be accompanied by numerous applications. In this phase, the teacher will stimulate the students with questions related to the topic, with the aim of verifying their engagement and learning progress. The classroom exercises will be carried out in groups or individually with the support of the teacher, at least in the first phase. During the course the students will be encouraged to solve the problems encountered in a progressively more autonomous way.

Verification of learning

The evaluation is expressed out of thirty, the exam is based on a written and oral test.


Didactic material:
•Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering, H Scott Fogler 5th Edition
•Ingegneria delle Reazioni Chimiche, O. Levenspiel 3rd Edition
•Lecture notes and slides.

More Information

For topics covered in class and not covered exhaustively in the recommended textbooks, lecture notes from the teacher are made available to students.

Questionnaire and social

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