CHM3960 - Environmental chemistry - 2019

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

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Philip Wai Hong Chan


Professor Perran Cook

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


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


Permission by the unit coordinator is required for students in S6002 who are undertaking the Environmental Security (Science) specialisation.


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;
  2. Show awareness of a range of environmental problems;
  3. Understand the major options for overcoming environmental problems confronting our planet;
  4. Assess environmental problems and design appropriate monitoring programs;
  5. Use modern analytical instrumentation;
  6. Solve problems in environmental chemistry;
  7. Work in small groups and communicate effectively through the written and oral presentation of scientific data.


Examination (2 hours): 50% (Hurdle)

Laboratory work field trips and short laboratory reports and proforma reports: 30% (Hurdle)

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.

Supplementary assessment is not available for the lab practical component.

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour workshops, one hour directed independent study and the equivalent of 3 hours of laboratory activity per week

See also Unit timetable information

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