ANALYSIS AND CONTROL OF CHEMICAL PROCESSES

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in Chemical Sciences and Technologies
Academic year when starting the degree: 
2014/2015
Year: 
3
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
2016/2017
Credits: 
6
Period: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
60
Requirements: 

This course requires well-established knowledge of basic elements of inorganic and organic chemistry, mathematical analysis and physics.

There is only one final exam, which ensures the acquisition of knowledge and skills expected by conducting an oral test lasting about 20 minutes.
The oral examination consists of three different types of questions aimed at assessing: 1) ability to present an argument in a comprehensive manner (or part of a topic) treated into the course; 2) ability to respond briefly and precisely to a specific request; 3) ability to use the knowledge and skills acquired in order to analyze issues not explicitly addressed in the course.
As regards the first type of question, the student is asked to speak for about 10 minutes (without a break) of a topic covered during the course.
As for the second type of question, the student is proposed to respond in a quick and concise (less than 5 minutes) to a question concerning an issue addressed in the course. It is thus tested the student's ability to synthesize together with the ability to get into the core of a topic and avoid unnecessary digressions.
Finally, as regards the third type of question, the student is asked to analyze an issue not explicitly covered by the course but which has significant similarities (both from a technical and functional point of view) with what has been largely dealt with. The student must be able to identify similarities with already known problems, and he/she must therefore make certain assumptions relating to the proposed solution.
In the oral examination all these three types of question have the same weight (with reference to a thirty rating: 8/30). 6/30 can be attributed to the properties of language (use of correct terminology and ability to formulate precise sentences, logical and grammatically correct).

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

The course aims to provide the basic elements for the definition of safe and productive operating conditions (temperatures, pressures, flow rates, etc ...) for chemical processes of industrial interest characterized by the following features: medium-high exothermicity and high reaction rates. Particular attention will be paid to chemical reactors and all the aspects that influence the rate of production of the compounds under analysis (macro and micro kinetics, thermochemical stability, etc ...). Specific attention will also be devoted to the analysis and reconstruction of accidents that have occurred over the past 10-15 years and that involved these types of processes.

In summary, the contents of the course (divided into modules) will be as follows:

Module 1: Reactors and kinetics.
Duration: 16 hours - Lectures
Illustration of the structure of a chemical company at risk of a major accident with a focus on the risk factors present in the production area; background of kinetics: micro and macrokinetics (kinetic schemes: simple or complex; illustration of the peculiar characteristics of multiphase reacting systems: eg. liquid / liquid reactions and gas / liquid); types of reactors: ideal reactors operating in non-steady state (basics on modeling and control of batch and semibatch reactors, CSTR and PFR reactors in both start-up and shut-down conditions).

Module 2: Calorimetry applied to the study of industrial reacting systems
Duration: 16 hours - Lectures
Thermal stability of reacting systems (thermal runaway).
Illustration of the main calorimetric methods aimed to characterize the thermochemical stability of substances or reacting systems (Differential Scanning Calorimetry, DSC; Accelerating Rate Calorimetry, ARC; C80; PHI-TEC II; RC1) in various conditions typical of an industrial plant operation ("routine", not standard and emergency); use of different calorimetric tests for the definition of the kinetics of a reacting system (even complex). Practical examples of process scale-up.

Module 3: Drawing and critical reconstruction of real accidents (module with tutorials)
Duration: 16 hours - Lectures
Illustration (also by watching videos) of the dynamics of accidents occurred recently in chemical companies. Detailed reconstruction of the causes of the incidental event making use of the methodology outlined in the previous modules.

Lessons: slides and handouts are provided in the classroom by the professor (in pdf or paper format) - available on the educational portal in pdf format.
Movies: files provided in the classroom by the teacher or reachable through links listed directly on the slides and handouts provided to the students in pdf format.

The course will be conducted entirely using lectures in which, in addition to the normal teaching activities, you will make extensive use of multimedia movies in order to promote the learning of all the concepts relating to both the operation of industrial equipment and the dynamics of all processes analyzed.

The teacher receives on appointment. It is possible to book an appointment by sending an email to: sabrina.copelli@uninsubria.it.