Module code: CHE1038

Module provider


Module Leader

ROTH PJ Dr (Chemistry)

Number of Credits


ECTS Credits



FHEQ Level 4

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 33

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test IN CLASS TESTS (2 x 1 HOUR) 30
Examination EXAMINATION (1.5 HOURS) 70

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The module provides an overview of the industrial production of major chemicals, and their use in society. The focus is on the chemical aspects of processes with a small components looking at economics, societal effects, health and safety and engineering. The delivery is split into the broad areas of bulk inorganic chemicals, polymeric materials, pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals.

Module aims

To introduce the students to aspects of industrial chemical manufacture and processing

To give an overview and some detail of chemical manufacture of important inorganic materials, polymeric materials, pharmaceuticals

introduce aspects of planning the location of industrial chemical plants

outline the processes of bringing drug candidates to market

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Discuss the manufacture of some important inorganic and organic chemicals. KC
2 Understand the origin and winning of the starting materials for these important chemicals e.g. extraction of materials from ores – mining and manufacturing KC
3 Discuss and explain the factors affecting the location of specific chemical industries KC
4 Appreciate the regulatory frameworks in which the modern chemical industries exist KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

General aspects and bulk Inorganic chemicals. Overview of the chemical industry and historical perspective - where are chemicals from? Brief overview of the economics of the chemicals industry. The chlor-alkali industry. Soda-ash industry. Glasses and ceramics. Mineral acids. Mineral fertilizers. Metal refining and extraction. Formulation chemistry and surfactants. Catalysis - hetero and homogeneous, zeolites chemistry.


Polymers – definitions and features, place in the market. Historical perspective – Victorian plastics / Bakelite / rubber, vulcanisation. Modern elastomers, stereospecific polymers, thermoplastics, epoxy resins. Recycling


Pharmaceuticals. The pharmaceutical industry (historical perspective and the industry today). Aspirin: an over-the-counter medicine. Sulfanilamide: the first major antibacterial. Penicillin: nature’s serendipitous by-product. Taxol: the semi-synthetic wonder drug. Drug discovery and testing.


Petrochemicals. Crude oil as a mixture of separable hydrocarbons - fractional distillation. Coal, natural gas and biomass – processing and constituents. The sulphur problem.

Cracking of heavy fractions - basics of catalytic cracking, hydrocracking, thermal cracking. Uses of fractions - LPG, petrol , ingredients for petrochemicals.


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to give a broad overview of aspects of the chemical industry. This includes bulk inorganic chemicals, polymers, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and important processes such as catalysis and formulation chemistry.


The learning and teaching methods include:

An average of 3 h of lectures per week across 11 weeks;

A 1 h revision class in revision week covering practice problems and discussion of past examination papers.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to embed a large amount of information through formative and summative tests, at various points through the module.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

Exam: 70%, 1.5 h (addresses learning outcomes 1-4).

2 class tests with a mix of MCQ and short answers: 30% (addresses learning outcomes 1-4)


Formative work

Formative questions in the form of MCQs in the lecture sessions, using the online voting system



The students are given immediate feedback on the formative in class questions, and given feedback on the in class tests which are completed about 25% hrough the module and 75% through the module.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation MChem 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry MChem 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.