CHM3972 - Sustainable 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 Tanja Junkers

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


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


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.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

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.

Supplementary assessment is not available for the lab practical component.

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour workshops per week for 12 weeks and one 4-hour laboratory class every week for 10 weeks and one hour directed independent study

See also Unit timetable information

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