Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Chemistry


Associate Professor Perran Cook



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


The three major components of the environment, air, soil and 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; nutrient pollution including consequences and tracing methods; water treatment including sewage treatment, drinking water treatment and artificial wetlands. Air and energy: importance to society; fossil fuel use; combating atmospheric problems associated with fossil fuel use; alternative fuels, including biofuels; CO2 emissions reduction, carbon capture and sequestration.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the major components and processes in the atmosphere, soils and water;

  1. Show awareness of a range of environmental problems;

  1. Understand the major options for overcoming environmental problems confronting our planet;

  1. Assess environmental problems and design appropriate monitoring programs;

  1. Use modern analytical instrumentation;

  1. Solve problems in environmental chemistry;

  1. Work in small groups and communicate effectively through the written and oral presentation of scientific data.


One 3-hour examination: 50%
Laboratory work field trips and short laboratory reports and proforma reports: 30%
Assignments: 20%

To pass this unit a student must achieve a minimum score of 50% in the laboratory practical component and a minimum of 30% for the end-of-semester exam.

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


6 points of level one chemistry and 6 points of level two chemistry. Students without this should consult the third year coordinator.