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CHM3960 - Environmental chemistry

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Ron Beckett


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)
Malaysia Second semester 2007 (Day)


The 3 major components of the environment, air, soil & water, are considered. Environmental issues related to energy are outlined. Soils: natural, constituents, properties; chemical processes; organic matter; fertility; acidity; salinity; remediation. Water: major components; treatment, adsorption, coagulation & flocculation, settling, filtration, reverse osmosis, artificial wetlands; ecotoxicology; water quality guidelines, environmental risk assessment; remediation strategies. Energy: importance to society; CO2 & greenhouse effect, global warming; combating atmospheric problems; fossil fuel alternatives, biofuels, fuel cells, solar cells, rechargeable batteries.


On completion of this unit, students will have developed an understanding of the major components and processes in the atmosphere, soils and water and be aware of a range of environmental problems. They will have gained an understanding of the major options for overcoming the environmental problems confronting our planet. They will be capable of assessing environmental problems and designing appropriate monitoring programs. The course will further develop students skills in working in small groups and in the written and oral presentation of scientific data, as well as in solving problems in environmental chemistry and in the use of modern analytical instrumentation.


One 3-hour examination: 50%
Laboratory work field trips and short laboratory reports and proforma reports: 30%
Assignments: 20%+ Students must achieve a pass mark in their laboratory work to achive an overall pass grade.

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures/tutorials and the equivalent of 3 hours laboratory activity per week


6 points of level-one chemistry and 12 points of level-two science units


CHM3961, CHM3962