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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. Course modules will cover the preparation and mechanistic characterization of heterogeneous catalyst systems, kinetics of catalyzed reactions, adsorption and surface reactions. An introduction to heterogeneous catalysis in various energy-related applications, such as syngas production, methanol synthesis, gas to liquid technology, oil refining, CO2 conversion and utilization, hydrogen production, biogas production, etc. will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the design and properties of hierarchical nanostructures that are applied in advanced energy conversion engineering. This course will also provide the engineering students with necessary background for understanding various nanomaterials preparation and characterization techniques, including adsorption/desorption isotherms, X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, etc.

Course description for study year 2021-2022

Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


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Course does not start before spring 2022

Learning outcome
Have a good understanding of the most common industrial reactors and design the reactors for the important industrial energy conversion process.On completion, students should 
  • Understand the historic perspective and future developments of catalysis
  • Be able to formulate reaction mechanisms for chemical reactions and to derive correlations between material properties and catalysis
  • Understand various nanomaterial synthesis/characterization and catalyst characterization techniques
  • 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
  • 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, etc.
  • Laboratory work on catalyst preparation and characterization
Required prerequisite knowledge
Recommended prerequisites
Background in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science etc.

Home exam and written exam

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam 50/100 4 Hours A - F
Homework assignment 20/100 A - F
Project assignment 30/100 A - F

Written exam (50%), project assignment (30%), homework assignment (20%) - Only one final grade will be given.

Coursework requirements
There will be mandatory laboratory work on catalyst preparation and characterization.
Course teacher(s)
Course coordinator: Zhixin Yu
Head of Department: Øystein Arild
Method of work
Lectures, team projects and 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.

The syllabus can be found in Leganto