Environmental Chemistry

Course Environmental Chemistry
Corresponding Module
Chemistry or Elective

In this module students will be introduced to the Central Science Chemistry. In unit 1 From Atoms to Macromolecules they will study the main building blocks of our material world composed of atoms, ions and molecules. In unit 2 Chemical Reactivity students will investigate fundamental chemical reactions, specifically proton-transfer reactions (acid-base chemistry) and electron-transfer reactions (redox chemistry). In addition, they will be introduced to basic thermodynamic (conservation of energy) and kinetic (catalysis) principles driving chemical reactions. In unit 3 Bio-Inorganic Applications students will explore the essential elements of life on Earth and their biogeochemical cycles, and they will take a closer look at the chemistry of several important biological processes. In the tutorials selected topics will be presented by the students and discussed in depth.

Upon successful completion of this module, you should be able to:           

1) Describe the basic electronic and structural features of molecules (nature of chemical bonds; three-dimensional structures; chirality).

2) Set up and complete chemical equations (stoichiometry; acids and bases; oxidants and reductants; transfer of protons and electrons).

3) Understand elementary thermodynamic (heat) and kinetic (velocity) aspects of chemical reactions.

4) Apply the principles of structure and reactivity to essential life processes in the presence and absence of dioxygen (extreme forms of life; respiration; photosynthesis; nitrogen fixation).

5) Present/discuss a selected topic and write a paper (short publication).

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