University of Technology Sydney

65621 Environmental Chemistry

6cp; 3hpw (practical class), 2hpw (asynchronous learning)
Requisite(s): 65111 Chemistry 1


This subject focuses on the importance and role of chemical changes in the natural environment, and those resulting from human activity. Chemical changes are examined for the hydrosphere and atmosphere with particular emphasis placed on the importance of organic and inorganic pollutants, and changes in organic molecular structures. Chemical changes are examined for inorganic matter (soil clays) and organic matter (plant materials), having as their end products humic substances, petroleum and coal. Important pollutants including halogenated hydrocarbons, and the oxides of nitrogen, sulphur and carbon, are discussed in the contexts of their origins and effects on the geosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The subject concludes with discussions regarding sustainable chemistry processes, with a focus on green synthetic routes, solvent selection, catalysis and atom economy.

The practical component of this subject involves the application of titrimetric and spectrophotometric methods of analysis along with the use of analytical probes to measure and assess water quality. Students are also introduced to the importance of green chemistry methods in the laboratory.

Typical availability

Spring session, City campus

Detailed subject description.

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