Catalysis for Energy Conversion (PET615)

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of heterogeneous catalytic science and technology for energy conversion applications, including gas conversion, oil refining and clean energy production. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the design and properties of hierarchical nanostructures that are applied in advanced catalytic energy conversion. This course will also provide the engineering students with necessary background for understanding various nanomaterials preparation and characterization techniques.

Course description for study year 2024-2025. Please note that changes may occur.


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


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NB! This is an elective course and may be cancelled if fewer than 10 students are enrolled by January 20th for the spring semester.

  • Chemical reaction engineering: thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, reaction mechanism and rate laws, chemical reactor fundamentals
  • Heterogeneous catalysis: importance of catalysis, adsorption, desorption, surface reaction, diffusion, rates and kinetics of catalytic reactions, deactivation
  • Catalyst preparation and characterization: nanomaterials preparation methods, different characterization techniques
  • Industrial use of natural gas: syngas technologies, gas to liquids, gas to chemicals, etc.
  • Industrial oil refining: reforming, cracking, isomerization, desulphurization, etc.
  • Clean energy production: H2 production, biogas production, environmental catalysis, etc.
  • Group laboratory work on catalyst preparation and characterization, and group project work on practical catalytic energy conversion

Learning outcome

On completion, students should

  • Understand the historic perspective and future developments of catalysis within the field of energy
  • Be able to formulate reaction mechanisms for chemical reactions and to derive correlations between material properties and catalysis
  • Understand various nanomaterial synthesis and catalyst characterization techniques
  • Have a good understanding of the most common industrial reactors
  • Have a deep understanding on a variety of industrial practices for oil refining and gas conversion, as well as renewable energy conversion techniques
  • Come up with the approaches for literature review of their research background and apply the principles and techniques covered in the course to their own research project
  • Be able to apply the covered theory to known industrial problems

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended prerequisites

Background in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science etc.


Written exam and oral presentation

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam 7/10 4 Hours Letter grades
Oral presentation 3/10 Letter grades

The final grade will consist of two parts1. Written campus exam (70%): calculators will be allowed during the written exam. It is possible to re-take the written exam.2. Oral presentation (30%): This will be a group project work including a written report and oral presentation. It is not possible to re-evaluate the group project work grade, but you could re-take the group project work when the course is taught the next time.

Coursework requirements


Mandatory individual homework will need to be done to get access to the written exam.

Mandatory group laboratory work on catalyst preparation and characterization must be approved to get access to the written exam.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Zhixin Yu

Head of Department:

Øystein Arild

Method of work

Lectures, team projects and oral presentations, laboratory work

Open for

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

Students in Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Energy Engineering are also welcome to take the course.

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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