Chemical and Biological Industries


Know the main technologies used in industrial production of chemicals. Understand the importance of scientific knowledge for the chemical industry.

Know the main licensors for the chemical industry and also the main aspects related to chemical processes including row material sources, energy production, licensing for production and sales and also economic aspects.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Maria de Figueiredo Ligeiro da Fonseca


Weekly - 3

Total - 64

Teaching language



Basic knowledge in inorganic and organic chemistry

Basic knowledge in unit operations of chemical engineering


  • Fundamentals of Petroleum Refining, Mohamed A.Fahim, Taher A.Al-Sahhaf, Amal, Elkila, Elsevier, 2010
  • Handbook of Petroleum Processing, DAVID S. J. STAN JONES and PETER R. PUJAD´O, Springer, 2006
  • Handbook of refining Petroleum processes, Robert A Meyer,2004
  • Hydrocarbon processes, Refining processes, 2004
  • Refining processes Handbook, Surinder Parkash, Elsevier, 2006
  • Petroleum refining, Conversion processes vol 3, Pierre Leprince, IFP, editions Tecnip, 2001
  • Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology
  • Ullmann´s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry
  • Revista Hydrocarbon Processing
  • Industrias Quimicas, Pedro Brito Correia

Teaching method

Theoretical classes, problem resolution classes. Visit to industrial plants. Seminars.

Evaluation method

 The studentas are  evaluated  after  assessment to  one seminars and   two test.

The students  will visit Galp , Repsol , Hovione, Iberol  e Central de  Cervejas.



  • 1 seminar,  and  a 2 tests
  • the final grade is = 0,8 test grade +0,2 seminar

 minimal  grade of  the  test   will be 9,5.

Subject matter

For the most significant chemicals the following aspects are be considered:

- Raw materials

- Chemical reactions and separation processes

- Block diagram of the process according to the indication of the main licensors, where available.

- Differences to alternative processes,

- Recycling of raw materials, recovery of by-products, energy recovery,

- Conversion rates,

-Catalysts and catalysts recycling ,

- Consumption of utilities. Investment value.

- Product applications

- Reference to production units in Portugal

- Typical production capacities

- Investment value and production costs

Industries referred :

1) Primary energy. Refining: Types of crude oil and their selection according to market demands. Primary derivates. Atmospheric and vacuum distillation. Desulfuration by hydrogenation (UOP - Partial Conversion Unicracking, UOP - VGO Unionfining process, UOP -RCD Unionfining process). Dessulfuration by solvent extraction. Alkylation (Chevron Texaco / Alkad UOP process, UOP alkylene process, UOP - Catalytic Condensation Process for Motor Fuel, UOP Catalytic Condensation Process for Higher Olefins, UOP - HF Alkylation Process, UOP - Indirect Alkylation Process for MTBE Complex Conversion), Isomerization (UOP Process Butamer, Par Isom Process), Aromatics saturation, Catalytic Cracking of hydrocarbons (UOP - MSCC process, UOP - Partial Conversion Unicracking), Thermal cracking  of heavy hydrocarbons :  (Foster Wheeler Aquaconversion Process, Foster Wheeler Delayed Coking Process Sydec, UOP Process Hycycle Unicracking, Foster Wheeler Visbreaking Process), Catalytic Reforming to produce high  octane gasoline , Recovery of used lubricants, electricity production from refining residues, separation of asphalts

 2) Aromatic Petrochemistry : Production of aromatics by naphtha reforming, aromatics separation by extraction of reformate, separation of benzene in a mixture of aromatics, conversion of toluene to benzene, mixed xylenes from C9+, separation of isomers of xylene, ethylbenzene, styrene, cumene, phenol, alkylbenzene, phthalic anhydride, terephthalic acid, dimethyl terephthalate, nitrobenzene, aniline, diisocyanates, cyclohexane, adipic acid, hexamethylene diamine, caprolactame, bisphenol A

3) Olefin Petrochemistry : ethylene, propylene and butadiene by steam cracking of naphtha, extraction of butadiene, isoprene and butadiene production from the corresponding aliphatics, linear alfaolefins, ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, acrylonitrile, acrylic acid

4) Synthesis gas Petrochemistry : ammonia, methanol, formaldehyde, methylamines, oxosintese

3) Polymers: Polyethylene high and low density, polypropylene, polystyrene, epoxy resins , alkyde resins and rosin resins , vinyl acetate emulasions and copolymers, unsaturated polyester, polyamides, polyacrylic, polyurethanes, polycarbonates, polyethoxylated, isoprene rubber and styrene butadiene

4) Silicates: Cement, glass, ceramics

5) Cellulose

6) Other industrial chemicals: surfactants, dyes, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, cosmetics, food additives, fertilizers, electronic and photographic products, glues and paints, electrolysis



Programs where the course is taught: