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CH40221: Sustainable chemistry in context

[Page last updated: 21 April 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/3
Owning Department/School: Department of Chemistry
Credits: 3 [equivalent to 6 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 60
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Exam (EX 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must ( take CH20147 OR take CH20148 ) AND ( take CH20149 OR take CH20150 ) AND ( take CH20151 OR take CH20152 )
In taking this module you cannot take CH30221
Learning Outcomes:
* Describe and evaluate the 12 tenets of green chemistry.
* Explain and critically evaluate the environmental impact of chemical processes including description of lifecycle analysis.
* Describe some common "green" solvents such as ionic liquids and supercritical fluids including their properties, structure etc, and some examples of their uses and relative advantages.
* Describe and critically evaluate some examples of catalysis in industry.
* Describe and critically evaluate current trends in sustainable chemistry. Appreciate the areas in the field that are progressing.

Aims: The aims of this optional unit are to introduce concepts around the idea of sustainable chemistry including the 12 tenets of green chemistry, the environmental impact of chemical processes as well as some examples of sustainable chemistry including the development of sustainable solvents, their uses as well as examples of industrial processes. The students will have to analyse data and draw conclusions regarding the "greenness" of processes.

Skills: Problem solving (T, F, A), Team working (F, A) Oral communication (F, A).

Content: General principles of sustainable/green chemistry
Lifecycle assessment.
Green solvents including supercritical fluids and ionic liquids - their fundamental nature as well as examples of their use with reference to thermodynamic and kinetic features
Atom economy
Catalysis in industry
Case studies from the literature - PLA, Ethanol and lignin.

Programme availability:

CH40221 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AAM03 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AAM06 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKM03 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKM02 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AFM07 : MSci(Hons) Chemistry with Management (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKM07 : MSci(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Industrial Placement (Year 5)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.