CHM3972 - Sustainable chemistry - 2017

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


Professor Philip Wai Hong Chan

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The development of chemical tools that allow realisation of the concept of a sustainable future - meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs - is the basis for the course of sustainable chemistry. This will be dealt with in three interconnected streams: Introduction to green chemistry, Sustainable technologies and Green energy technologies.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the historical and modern context of the birth and expansion of 'Green chemistry';
  2. Explore the social and environmental responsibility of chemists in the global community;
  3. Investigate the principles of green chemistry and green metrics such as atom economy and e-factors to recognise green chemistry criteria in the practice of chemistry;
  4. Identify reagents, reaction mechanisms and technologies that should be and realistically could be targeted for replacement by green alternatives;
  5. Research examples of successful and recent sustainable chemistry technologies which enable environmental benefits through process changes and product substitution;
  6. Debate the significance of energy in the global economy and associated energy related societal controversies;
  7. Explore chemical processes involved in new technologies for the transport, storage and conversion of energy;
  8. Construct strategies for improving energy efficiency and striving towards sustainability in energy consumption;
  9. Practice technical skills for synthesising chemicals, interpreting chemical data, and collecting unique data using a range of sophisticated apparatus and technologies;
  10. Develop methods and skills for communicating sustainable chemistry to a broad audience.


Continuous/laboratory assessment: 35% (Hurdle)

Group assessment: 15%

Examination (2 hours): 50% (Hurdle)

Hurdle requirement: 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 per week for 12 weeks and one 4-hour laboratory class every week for 10 weeks

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Six points of level one chemistry and six points of level two chemistry. Students without this should consult the level three co-ordinator.