Inorganic Processes in Heterogeneous Systems

NAME OF THE COURSE Inorganic Processes in Heterogeneous Systems



Year of study


Course teacher

Prof Jelica Zelić

Credits (ECTS)


Associate teachers

Asst Prof Mario Nikola Mužek

Type of instruction (number of hours)






Status of the course


Percentage of application of e-learning

0 %


Course objectives

Qualifying students to adopt and apply the knowledge of the fundamental principles of chemical processes of creating and obtaining technically important materials that occur at elevated and high temperatures and about processes that enable the use of these and similar materials, with special emphasis on techno-economic and environmental aspects.

Course enrolment requirements and entry competences required for the course


Learning outcomes expected at the level of the course (4 to 10 learning outcomes)

After passing the course the student will be able to:
1. Apply basic principles of chemical processes that are carried out at elevated and high temperatures in heterogeneous systems.
2. Categorize the processes of thermal decomposition.
3. Assess the conditions for the formation and dissociation of metal oxides.
4. Explain the process of sintering and mechanisms of reactions in the solid state.
5. Interpret phase diagrams for systems important in the production of Portland cement and in the synthesis of pure ingredients of cement clinker.
6. Illustrate ways of applying the basic theory of the reduction of metals in the blast furnace processes, and of the metallothermic reduction of metal oxides in the ferroalloys production.
7. Use the basic theory of oxidation and the metals oxidizing refining processes in the production of steel and other metals.
8. Explain the basic theory of the production of metals by electrolysis of molten salts, and of the production of technical glass from silicate melts.
9. Explain the kinetics and mechanisms of the Portland cement hydration and propose the cement hydration processes for the permanent disposal of hazardous substances and industrial waste in order to support sustainable development and environmental protection.
10. Choosing the correct engineering approach to solving similar problems on the basis of the knowledge acquired.

Course content broken down in detail by weekly class schedule (syllabus)

1st week: Introduction. General principles and rules in the implementation of chemical processes. Thermal decomposition processes (dehydration and dehydroxylation, and thermal dissociation). Dehydration of gypsum. Dehydration and dehydroxylation of clay.
2nd week: Thermal dissociation of the metal oxides, hydroxides and sulfates. Affinity of metals for oxygen and dissociation pressures of oxides. Model, mechanism and conditions of the carbonate dissociation.
Seminar: The thermal dissociation of limestone and the production of lime. Problem solving.
3rd week: Processes of technical silicates formation. Sintering processes and reactions in the solid state. The mechanism of the reaction. The driving force of the process. The mechanism of mass transfer. Chemical and physical changes during sintering.
Seminar: The phase diagrams. Gibbs phase rule. The ternary system CaO-SiO2-Al2O3 with the areas (zones) of the occurrence of certain technical silicates. Problem solving.
4th week: Portland (silicate) cement. Production of Portland Cement. Basic minerals of clinker. Cement modules. Classification of Portland cement according to European norm, EN 197-1.
Seminar: The technological scheme of the Portland cement production. Calculation of the mixture for the Portland clinker production. Problem solving.
5th week: Technical silicates obtained by sintering in the silica-alumina system. Classic ceramic materials. Pottery supplies, tile, porcelain. Refractory materials.
Seminar: The SiO2-Al2O3 phase diagram. Diagram stability of SiO2. Refractory materials based on the MgO-SiO2 system. Forsterite, periclase.
6th week: Processes of silicate and aluminate formation in melts. Examples: water glass, aluminous cement. The written knowledge tests (I Colloquium).
7th week: Silicate melts. Glass. Definition. The role of major ions in the glass. Devitrification. Crystallization. Technical glass. Chemical composition, classification, properties and practical application. Physico-chemical and mechanical properties of glass.
8th week: Technological processes and methods for making technical glass. Raw materials. Melting and transformation of raw materials into glass. The Na2O-SiO2 system. Shaping and processing of glass. Cooling and surface treatment of glass.
Seminar: The technological scheme of technical glass production. Calculation of the mixture for the production of colorless and colored (green) glass. Problem solving.
9th week: Manufacture of carbon materials, graphite, carbides. The reduction of metallic oxides with carbon and carbon monoxide. The blast furnace process. Oxidizing refining processes of the metals in the melts. Mettalothermic reduction and electrothermic reduction of metallic oxides in the production of ferroalloys.
Seminar: Examples of the MeO reduction and of oxidizing refining processes in industrial practice. The reduction of iron oxides and production of iron in the blast furnace. Steel. Ferroalloys.
10th week: Electrolysis in the melts. Electrolysis of alumina for the production of aluminum. Current density. Anode effect. The technological scheme of the aluminium production. Problem solving. The written knowledge tests (II Colloquium).
11th week: Inorganic processes in heterogeneous systems at low temperatures. Hydration processes of products of the thermal decomposition (gypsum plaster and lime). Hydration and hardening of gypsum plaster and lime. The factors affecting the reactivity of lime.
Seminar: The production of lime and gypsum. Plants, basic operations and devices. Furnaces.
12th week: Inorganic processes in heterogeneous systems at low temperatures. The processes of hydration, setting and hardening of the silicate cement (Portland cement). The mechanism and kinetics of hydration. Hydration products in the cement-water system.
Seminar: Application of thermal methods (DTA-TG/DTG) in the chemistry of cement. Kinetics and mechanisms of the Portland cement hydration. Problem solving.
13th week: Development of microstructure and corrosion stability of cement composite binder. Factors affecting the strength of concrete. Hydration and hardening of the aluminate cement.
Seminar: Practical examples. Influence of pozzolanic additions to the strength and durability of cement composites.
14th week: Additives for cement and concrete. Plasticizers and superplasticizers. Air-entraining agents. Supplementary cementing materials. Concrete. Composite materials.
15th week: The role of cement hydration processes in the permanent disposal of hazardous substances and industrial waste. Sustainable development. Environmental protection. The written knowledge tests (III Colloquium).
During the semester is processed numerical tasks (practice examples) to calculate the process parameters with the flow diagrams presentation of selected technological processes (physical and chemical base processes, equipment and environmental impact), which together with lectures seems a whole.
1. Determination of reactivity of lime depending on the production conditions.
2. Determination of particle size and particle size distribution by the Andreasen pipette.
3. Determination of physico-chemical properties of silicate cement (density, specific surface area, normal consistency, setting time, heat of hydration).
4 Determination of the cation exchange capacity of clays by the ammonium acetate method, and identification of the clay minerals.
5. Determination of chemical resistance of the Na2O-CaO-SiO2 glass.
6. Field work - visit technological facilities for the production of concrete, gypsum, lime, Portland cement and glass.

Format of instruction:

Student responsibilities


Screening student work (name the proportion of ECTS credits for eachactivity so that the total number of ECTS credits is equal to the ECTS value of the course):

Class attendance




Practical training


Experimental work








Seminar essay






Oral exam




Written exam






Grading and evaluating student work in class and at the final exam

A student can pass a part or the entire exam by taking three (3) partial tests during the semester. Test passing score is 60%. Students who do not pass the partial exams have to take an exam in the regular examination periods. The exam consists of theoretical (oral) and written part. Exam passing score is 60%.
Grades depending on the test score: 60% - 70% - satisfactory, 71% -81% - good, 82% -92% very good, and 93% 100% - excellent.

Required literature (available in the library and via other media)


Number of copies in the library

Availability via other media

J. Zelić, Praktikum iz procesa anorganske industrije, Kemijsko-tehnološki fakultet u Splitu, Split, 2013. (recenzirani nastavni materijal)


Z. Osmanović, J. Zelić, Proizvodnja Portland-cementa, Univerzitetski udžbenik, Univerzitet u Tuzli, B&H, Tuzla, 2010., ISBN 978-9958-897-04-7.


J. Zelić, Z. Osmanović, Čvrstoća i trajnost cementnih kompozita, Sveučilišni udžbenik, Sveučilište u Splitu, 2014., ISBN 978-953-7803-01-8.


R. Krstulović, Tehnološki procesi anorganske industrije, Sveučilišni udžbenik, Sveučilište u Splitu, Split, 1986.


Optional literature (at the time of submission of study programme proposal)

R. M. German, Sintering Theory and Practice, Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1996, ISBN 978-0-471-05786-4.
M. Tecilazić-Stevanović, Osnovi tehnologije keramike, Univerzitet u Beogradu, Tehnološko-metalurški fakultet, Beograd, 1990., YU ISBN 86-7401-065-2.

Quality assurance methods that ensure the acquisition of exit competences

Quality assurance will be performed at three levels:
(1) University Level;
(2) Faculty Level by Quality Control Committee;
(3) Lecturer’s Level.

Other (as the proposer wishes to add)