Archived: Heterogeneous Catalytic Hydrogenation

Date: 05 September - 06 September 2022

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Tutors: Dr Felix Roessler

Heterogeneous catalytic hydrogenation is of significant importance for the production of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, flavours and fragrances, agrochemicals and fine chemicals. Indeed, an average of approximately 10% of all chemical steps in the production of such chemicals are catalytic hydrogenations. However, due to the multidisciplinary nature of heterogeneous catalytic hydrogenation, this technology is frequently improperly or inadequately used, which results in problems during scale up and negatively affects the economy of chemical processes and the quality of products.
Participants on this comprehensive course will be familiarized with all the important aspects of heterogeneous catalytic hydrogenation.

Attendees will learn how to successfully design, develop and realize economic, safe, foolproof and ecological hydrogenation processes. The main focus will particularly be on a deeper understanding of the underlying disciplines such as catalysis on surfaces and transport processes.

Guidelines on how to approach specific hydrogenation problems and concepts and tools for the design, development and scale up of catalytic hydrogenation processes will be presented, rather than summing up transformations of functional groups by catalytic hydrogenation, as this information can nowadays easily be searched and found in literature and patents.

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Course Outline

The course covers the following topics:

  • Surfaces and metal surfaces
  • Theory of catalysis on surfaces
  • Transport steps and chemical steps in heterogeneous catalysis
  • Kinetics (micro- and macrokinetics)
  • Influence of variables (overview)
  • Hydrogen sources (molecular hydrogen, hydrogen transfer agents, hydrogen solubilities)
  • Hydrogenation catalysts (catalyst types, catalyst preparation, catalyst properties, catalyst activation and deactivation)
  • Influence of solvents
  • Influence of acids, bases, additives, modifiers
  • Influence of substrates
  • Influence of reaction conditions (concentrations, temperature, agitation)
  • Chemical group transformations
  • Reaction engineering aspects: suspension and fixed bed reactors; batch, semibatch and continuous operation modes
  • Tools and guidelines for selection of chemical systems, determination of basic reaction data and successful scale up from laboratory to plant
  • Hydrogenation in laboratory and plant
  • Economical aspects
  • Safety aspects
  • Analysis of surfaces and catalysts
  • Rules of thumb, pitfalls

Benefits of Attending

  • Obtain a thorough understanding of heterogeneous catalytic hydrogenation
  • Understanding kinetics of heterogeneous catalytic hydrogenation: how to differentiate between intrinsic kinetics and transport kinetics
  • Learn how to systematically design and develop economic, selective, safe and scalable heterogeneous catalytic processes (integrated approach), thus allowing to increase productivity in R&D
  • How to avoid problems upon scale up and how to successfully scale up

Who Should Attend

  • Organic Chemists – working in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical, flavours and fragrances, nutraceuticals and fine chemicals industries
  • Development and Production Chemists
  • Chemical Engineers



What's Included

The course fee includes:

  • comprehensive course manual
  • coffee/tea refreshments breaks throughout each day
  • buffet lunch each day
  • course dinner on the first evening
  • course certificate


ALMAC Sciences

A Tour de Force of Hydrogenation. A great course for organic chemists who have not got a strong background in surface chemistry. Packed with examples and tips


The course was very interesting. A lot of information in a short time but it is very good to have seen all these relevant concepts. This was a very high quality course with an experienced tutor that masters the field. Thank you very much