2016 Chemistry of Catalytic Processes I (Homogeneous)

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Chemical Science and Engineering
Kuwata Shigeki 
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Course description and aims

[Summary of the lecture] Chemistry of catalytic processes I (heterogeneous) and chemistry of catalytic processes II (homogeneous) introduce catalytic processes in industry. This course, chemistry of catalytic processes II (homogeneous), covers fundamental concepts in homogeneous catalytic reactions and operative examples.
[Aim of the lecture] Homogeneous molecular catalysis has an important part in production of commodity chemicals and fine chemicals. This course first covers the characteristics of homogeneous catalysis. After that, the background and reaction mechanism of representative industrial reactions catalyzed by transition metal complexes are taught.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Explain the feature of homogeneous catalytic processes.
2) Understand the elementary steps in organometallic complexes and explain the mechanisms of homogeneous catalysis of transition metal complexes.


homogeneous catalysis, transition metal complex, oxidative addition, migratory insertion, reductive elimination, beta-hydrogen elimination, asymmetric hydrogenation, carbonylation, Monsanto process, Wacker process, olefin metathesis, olefin polymerization, cross coupling reaction

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

This course first covers fundamentals in homogeneous catalysis. In the second half of the course, representative reactions catalyzed by transition metal complexes are introduced. In the last day, final examination is set to assess the level of understanding.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Characteristics of homogeneous catalysis Explain the characteristics of homogeneous catalysis.
Class 2 Elementary steps in homogeneous catalysis Explain elementary steps in homogeneous catalysis.
Class 3 Catalytic hydrogenation Explain the mechanism of hydrogenation with homogeneous catalysts.
Class 4 Catalytic carbonylation reactions Explain the mechanism of catalytic carbonylation.
Class 5 Catalytic Oxidation reactions Explain the mechanism of catalytic oxidation and synthetic processes of acetic acid.
Class 6 Olefin metathesis reactions and olefin polymerization Explain the mechanisms of olefin metathesis reactions and olefin polymerization.
Class 7 Cross coupling reactions Explain the mechanisms of cross coupling reactions.
Class 8 Practice problems to assess the level of understanding and explanation of the answers Understand the course contents and solve practice problems.


P. Atkins, T. Overton, J. Rourke, M. Weller, F. Armstrong, "Inorganic Chemistry", 5th Ed., Oxford University Press; ISBN: 978-0199236176.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

R. Whyman, "Applied Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis", Oxford University Press; ISBN: 978-0-1985-5917-7.

Assessment criteria and methods

Final examination (60%), level of class participation (40%) which is assessed by small quizzes and so on.

Related courses

  • CAP.A354 : Chemistry of Catalytic Processes I (Heterogeneous)
  • CAP.A373 : Inorganic Chemistry (Coordination Chemistry)

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students must have successfully completed CAP.B221.R/Organic Chemistry I (Alkanes), CAP.B222.R/Organic Chemistry II (Alkenes), CAP.B223.R/Organic Chemistry III (Aromatic Compounds),CAP.B224.E/Organic Chemistry IV (Nucleophilic Substitution), CAP.B325.E/Organic Chemistry V (Carbonyl Compounds), CAP.B261.R/Inorganic Chemistry I (Chemical Bonding), CAP.B262.R/Inorganic Chemistry II (Chemical Reactions and Structures of Solids) or have equivalent knowledge.

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