05-MCM-2-W3C Surface Chemistry and Catalysis

Representative: Marcus Bäumer


- Basic questions and concepts of heterogeneous catalysis
- Different types of het. catalysts
- Preparation of catalysts and different target variables
- Use of het. catalysts in industry: chemical engineering issues
- Mass transport limitation and diffusion
- characterization of pores
- reaction mechanisms of het. catalyzed reactions
- Understanding of het. catalyzed reactions: study of surface reactions under ultra-high vacuum conditions
- Gas flow (types of gas flow, inner friction, diffusion of gases, vacuum regimes)
- Vacuum technology (pumps, pressure gauges, materials, design and of vacuum systems)
- Mass spectrometry (for residual gas analysis and temperature programmed spectroscopies)
- Cryogenics (Methods of cooling, physical and chemical phenomena at low temperature)
- Safety issues
- Hands-on setup of a small vacuum system from components
- Supervised experiments involving sample preparation and the application of standard surface science tools in ultra-high vacuum
- Introduction to industrial synthesis of technical catalysts by a guided tour through an industrial plant.

Learning Outcome

The participants of the module will gain a basic understanding of
heterogeneous catalysis on different scales: from the macroscopic level (reactor) all the way down to microscopic level. They will be able to judge the complexity of the process based on the structural features, such as pores and surface properties, and the relevant processes of transport and reaction taking place at different scales.
The participants of the module will...
- know target variables for the synthesis of het. catalysts and judge possibilities to influence their structure
- be able to describe catalytic processes on surfaces on a macroscopic and microscopic level and predict how the structural properties of a catalysts will influence these processes
- judge the potential of model catalytic studies to clarify catalytic mechanisms
- be able to describe basic principles of vacuum pumps and pressure gauges (for different vacuum regimes)
- judge advantages and disadvantages of different types of vacuum pumps and pressure gauges
- know different methods to reach low temperatures
- be able to design and setup a vacuum system from basic components
- be able to work safely with vacuum and cryogenic systems
After the excursion the participants shall be able to name and discuss major economic, ecological, and technical challenges of the industrial-scale production of catalysts.


Basic knowledge in chemical kinetics, diffusion, adsorption on surfaces, electronic structure of solids


180 hours / 6 CP
Heterogeneous Catalysis
- time for lectures and seminar 28 h
- time for preparation and post processing 30 h

Vacuum and Cryotechnics
- time for lectures and exercises 28 h
- time for preparation and post processing 20 h
- experiment including data analysis (Plasma treatment
of surfaces, photoelectron spectroscopy) 30 h

Industry study trip (BASF Nienburg) 10 h
- preparation of exams 32 h

All: 180 h


module exam (combined marks):

seminar talk50 %
internship report50 %


will be announced in the different courses