Environmental Chemistry II

Course code CHEM3610Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Science and Information TechnologySchool of Environmental and Life Sciences

This course is an extension of the introductory Environmental Chemistry I/CHEM2610 course. Topics in the broad divisions of the environment, namely, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere and the geosphere, will be addressed. Topics related to the hydrosphere that will be discussed are the speciation in and removal of inorganic compounds from water and waste water, aspects of pollution by small organic, usually anthropogenic, molecules, and the relationship of microbial biochemistry to freshwater chemistry. The chemistry of the atmosphere will focus on the nature of organic compounds present, the reactions they undergo and photochemical smog. The physico-chemical processes, nutrient cycling and environmental problems associated with soils will be covered in topics related to the geosphere. Waste reduction, treatment and disposal will be reviewed.

Not available in 2015

ObjectivesOn completion of the course, the student will be expected to have an understanding of:

1. The fundamentals of aquatic chemistry, acid-base and complexation equilibria as well as reduction-oxidation chemistry.
2. The role of phase interactions in the sedimentation, surface chemistry and ion exchange reactions of clays and how this relates to an understanding of the nature of water pollution and water treatment.
3. The structures of a range of organic compounds present in the atmosphere and the importance of naturally occurring versus anthropogenic compounds, their concentration, lifetime and toxicity.
4. How to explain the production of new organic compounds in the atmosphere by drawing the appropriate reaction mechanisms
5. Atmospheric pollution, the genesis and development of photochemical smog, the greenhouse effect and the ozone hole.
6. The ion exchange process associated with clays, organic matter and hydrous oxides, chemisorption and precipitation of inorganic ions
7. The cycling of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the environment and particularly in soils
8. Some environmental soil problems e.g. acidity, salinity and organics
9. The problems of and solutions for hazardous waste storage, treatment and disposal.
Content1. The fundamentals of aquatic chemistry
2. Redox reactions
3. Water pollution
4. Water treatment: ion exchange, reverse osmosis, heavy metals
5. Ion exchange, chemisorption
6. N,P,K cycles, micronutrients
7. Soil acidity, salinity, organics; soil pollution and land contamination
8. Treatment of toxic waste in the geosphere
9. The composition of the atmosphere, and smog, the greenhouse effect, and ozone
10. Resources and Energy
11. Organic atmospheric pollutants including PAHs
12. Chemical Reactions of Organic compounds in the atmosphere.
Replacing Course(s)NA
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeCHEM2610
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsProblem Based Learning
Assessment Items
Examination: Formal
Other: (please specify)Tutorial assessments
ProjectsGroup project report and presentation
ReportsLaboratory reports
Contact HoursLecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Tutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Laboratory: for 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term