Innovative and Sustainable Chemical Engineering, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

In response to the necessary transition to a sustainable society and heightened global competition, modern chemical processes need to be energy- and material efficient, compact, flexible, less toxic, safe, environmentally benign and conducive to the rapid commercialisation of new products.
This programme provides you with advanced knowledge and the skills necessary to improve and develop innovative processes that are environmentally sustainable as well as technically and economically sound.

Innovative and Sustainable Chemical Engineering​ master's programme at Chalmers

Developing the processes that convert commodities into finished products, decreasing the use of scarce natural resources and fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable alternatives, turning waste into new products, minimizing emissions and developing the next generation of exhaust after-treatment and renewable fuels. These are some examples of where Chemical engineers play a central role in developing the processes and products needed for the transition to a sustainable society.
The courses cover the basis of sustainable technology, the production of renewable materials and the efficient use of energy. More in-depth knowledge is obtained through three profile tracks within the programme: Sustainable development, Modelling and Design and Forest Based Products and Related Processes. Biorefinery, CFD- Computational Fluid Dynamics and Process Analytical Technology are examples of courses focusing on emerging fields for Chemical Engineers.

After the programme, you will have
  • Comprehensive knowledge of chemical engineering subjects central to the production of materials and energy.
  • The ability to design and evaluate sustainable and innovative processes and systems.
  • The ability to plan, perform and evaluate experiments on the lab, pilot and plant scale.
  • Competence in performing and critically analysing advanced technical modelling and simulations of chemical phenomena and processes.
  • Develop new sustainable chemical products and processes
  • Identify environmental and sustainability limitations and possibilities of processes
  • Competence in selecting sustainable pathways and processes for efficient utilization of biomass

Educational methods

In most courses, you will work in groups with open-ended, complex, real-life and case scenario problems i.e. solutions must be found for problems with incomplete and uncertain data. Students have many opportunities to try alternative solutions and evaluate their ideas in comparison to existing industrial solutions. Also, adjunct professors and guest lecturers from industry present their views on product and process development.

As a student you are trained to:
  • Identify and formulate problems and to apply knowledge to the problem-solving process.
  • Collect, interpret, critically examine, analyse and evaluate technical information.
  • Understand and analyse the connections between society, technology, the environment and economics.
  • Present results and information both in writing and verbally.
  • Have a “fearless” attitude and embrace new challenges.
  • Cultivate professional attributes, such as a willingness to make qualified estimations and assumptions and a readiness to face open-ended problems and uncertain data.
  • Work in an international environment and be culturally aware. 

Topics covered

The subjects of chemical engineering and sustainable development are fundamental areas in the Innovative and sustainable chemical engineering master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as process design, biorefining and cellulose technology. ​

Master's programme structure 

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. The programme consists of compulsory courses, compulsory elective courses and elective courses. 

Compulsory courses year 1 ​

During the first year the programme starts with four compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Innovative and Sustainable Chemical Engineering. Each course is usually 7.5 credits. ​
  • Biorefinery
  • Design and analysis of experiments
  • Industrial energy systems
  • Advanced chemical reaction engineering

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice. 
  • ​Master’s thesis 

Compulsory elective courses
Through compulsory elective courses, you can then specialize in modelling and design, forest based products and related processes, sustainable development, or a combination thereof. ​​During year 1 and 2, you need to select at least 4 compulsory elective courses out of the following in order to graduate. 
  • Advanced chemical engineering design + PAT
  • Cellulose technology
  • Global chemical sustainability
  • CDF for engineers
  • Advanced separation technology
  • Preliminary plant design
  • Linear control system design
Students seeking more in-depth knowledge in a selected field are recommended to select courses based on the three profile tracks within the program.​

Profile tracks: Modelling and design

  • Design and analysis of experiments
  • Industrial energy systems
  • Advanced chemical reaction engineering
  • Advanced chemical engineering design +PAT
  • Computational fluid dynamics for engineers
  • Advanced separation technology
  • Preliminary plant design
  • Linear control system design

Forest based products and related processes

  • Biorefinery
  • Industrial energy systems
  • Cellulose technology
  • Advanced chemical engineering design + PAT
  • Advanced separation technology
  • Preliminary plant design
  • Paper technology

Sustainable development

  • Biorefinery
  • Industrial energy systems
  • Global chemical sustainability
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Preliminary plant design
  • Waste management
  • Sustainable biomass supply

Elective courses 

You will also be able to select courses outside of your programme plan. These are called elective courses. You can choose from a wide range of elective courses.​

Other Master's programmes that might interest you


Many traditional industrial sectors recruit students who graduate from this programme; some examples include pulp and paper, petrochemical, food and biotechnology, pharmaceutical, energy and consultancy companies. Many new areas have emerged at the intersection between chemical engineering and other fields of engineering and science, and graduates of Innovative and Sustainable Chemical Engineering have many new and exciting career opportunities in a wide range of fields.
Following graduation, students are qualified to work within research and the development of innovative and sustainable products and processes, production and process technology and advanced technical support. In general, they work as project managers or experts on teams to develop new products and processes or as process engineers responsible for operating large processes.

Connections to research and socie​​ty

Chalmers holds a leading position in chemical process research and the programme provides a first-rate base for PhD studies in strong research areas as well as a broad education at the forefront of the new technologies that are required by the industry. Examples of active research areas at Chalmers include:
  • Particulate and porous systems, e.g. drying, granulation and coating processes of importance in pharmaceutical and food process industries.
  • Multiphase fluid flow and mixing with chemical reactions applicable to a wide range of industries.
  • New chemical processes and products from the forest industry such as the development of biorefining processes and renewable fuels.
  • Chemical and environmental performance of products and processes.
  • Catalytic reaction processes for biofuel production and exhaust aftertreatment.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

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Page manager Published: Fri 23 Apr 2021.