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Clean Technology II - Greener Chemical Processing - CHE00010H

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  • Department: Chemistry
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Brian Grievson
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module summary

This module covers how chemical products may be produced on a large scale commercially. Sources of raw materials and processing techniques are investigated, both using traditional technologies and new approaches in order to lower the overall environmental impact. This module will appeal to those who have an interest in how to produce chemical products more sustainably in the future.



Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19

Module aims

The production methods of many chemicals are changing rapidly driven partly by the need to reduce costs but more especially by the search for ‘cleaner’ processes. This module will explore the current methods for producing chemicals and seek to predict where the chemical industry is heading.

The module starts with consideration of the effects of legislation and public concern, concentrating on the cradle-to-grave approach, from obtaining the raw material to the disposal of the used product. Current manufacturing methods will be explored including raw materials extraction, their processing and technology aspects and the uses of particular products before consideration of ‘clean’ alternatives. Finally we will round off with a series of recent case studies.

Module learning outcomes

  • to identify and define the three components of a Life Cycle Assessment
  • to describe the background and nature of green chemistry
  • to calculate the environmental impact of a chemical synthesis using appropriate metrics
  • to describe the extraction of current feed stocks for the chemical industry and their processing into useful chemicals
  • to discuss recent examples of chemistry, solvents, catalysts, processes and reactors with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of chemical manufacture
  • to describe and calculate the design features of a full-scale chemical plant, including reaction, distillation, heat transfer and mass transfer processes

Module content




1 lecture


Life Cycle Assessment

An overview of the life cycle assessment technique and how it may be used to provide supporting evidence for environmental-based decisions.


2 lectures


Current Technology

A review of the current feed stocks used by the chemical industry, including their extraction and processing into useful chemical products.


3 lectures


Chemical Processing

An introduction to chemical engineering principles used to design a chemical production plant.


3 lectures

1 x 3 h workshop


Clean Technology

Green chemistry metrics and a review of different approaches to reducing the environmental impact of chemical production.

Xiao Wu

3 lectures


Chemical Case Studies

Some recent examples of the change to clean technology


2 lectures


2 lectures

1 x 4 h



Workshops: There will be one workshop associated with the Case Studies and one workshop associated with the chemical processing topic.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of chemistry to Year 1 undergraduate level is required. No prior knowledge of environmental science, chemical engineering or industry is assumed.

Assessment: Assessment of the Chemical Case Studies workshop will contribute 30% toward the value of the module with the 1.5 h written examination contributing the remaining 70%.


Task Length % of module mark
Continuous Assessment
N/A 30
University - closed examination
Clean Technology II: Greener Chemical Processing
1.5 hours 70

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Clean Technology II: Greener Chemical Processing
1.5 hours 70

Module feedback

The closed examinations are marked typically within 10 days with mark slips (with per-question break-down) being returned to students via supervisors. Outline answers are made available via the Chemistry web pages when the students receive their marks, so that they can assess their own detailed progress/achievement. The examiners reports for each question are made available to the students via the Chemistry web pages.

Indicative reading

reading list will be provided by the module tutors

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

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