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MEng Materials Science and Engineering / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Materials Synthesis and Sustainability
|Unit level||Level 5|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||Department of Materials|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This unit introduces the fundamental concepts required to understand materials synthesis and the issue of sustainability in processing and recycling.
The unit aims to:
- Introduce thermodynamic concepts related to materials recycling, metal-ore reduction/oxidation/extraction, and ceramic materials production, with a focus on the energy cycle, sustainability and emissions footprint.
- Introduce fundamental concepts in polymer science and a selection of commercially-important polymerisation methods.
- Introduce the concept of redox reactions, the electro-chemical series, half cells, in relationship to metal extraction, batteries and fuel cells.
A greater depth of the learning outcomes are covered in the following sections:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Intellectual skills
- Practical skills
- Transferable skills and personal qualities
Teaching and learning methods
Knowledge and understanding
- Compare and contrast metal extraction methods from ores and oxides, with metal recycling and re-use.
- Explain the theory of redox reactions, electro-chemical half-cells, and demonstrate their application in electro-metallurgy, batteries and fuel cells.
- Describe and discuss fundamental concepts in polymer science and important uses, sources and recycling of polymers.
- Discuss and explain the principles and theory underlying important polymerisation methods.
- Possess the knowledge structure of ceramic materials properties and production processes.
- Draw the structures of common monomers, polymers and chemical reaction schemes for the preparation of polymers and perform calculations realting to the polymer synthesis reactions.
- Differentiate the concepts related to recycling, extraction and energy balance.
- Discuss the issues related to energy production and storage by fuel cells and batteries.
- Evaluate the environmental impact of recycling.
- Develop an awareness of the sustainability of resources.
- Develop an awareness of the practical aspects related to perforimng polymerisations and techniques to monitor and analyse the extent of reaction.
- Develop an awareness of the practical aspects related to perforimng simple electrochemical experiments such as: measuring cell potential, measure the current generated by a battery, prepare a simple reference electrode.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Convert word problems into equations and numerical answers.
- Illustrate complex scientific phenomena graphically.
- Compose simple technical reports on laboratory tests.
|Written assignment (inc essay)||30%|
Exam: Marks available on student portal.
Coursework: Marked work returned to students within 15 working days of latest due date.
- “Engineering Materials 1: an introduction to properties, applications and design” M.F. Ashby and D.R.H. Jones, 2005
- “Materials Science and Engineering” W.D. Callister, 2011
- Electrochemistry for Materials Science, W.Plieth, Elsevier Science, 2007
- Understanding Batteries, R.M. Dell, A.J.Rand, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2001
- Fundamental of Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability, D.S.Ginley, D.Cahen, Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2011
- Fuel cells systems explained. Second Edition, Laminie, Dicks, 2013
- Introduction to Polymers, R.J. Young and P.A. Lovell,3rd Edition, CRC Press, 2011
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Michele Curioni||Unit coordinator|