Environmental analysis and monitoring

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to provide students the knowledge of the main classes of high environmental impact organic compounds, with particular reference to those used in agriculture, and of the main methods of organic analytical chemistry in environmental analysis.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student shall have acquired:
- knowledge of the main classes of organic compounds, their transformations and reactivity in the environmental compartments.
- capacity to use different analytical techniques in relationship to the various classes of polluting substances.
- capacity to manage the fundamental operations in the manipulation of organic compounds and in the use of laboratory instruments.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
More specific information of the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/2022 will be provided ower the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
MAIN ISSUE 1: Environmental water chemistry: alkalinity and acidity, oxidation reactions, reduction, complexation and chelation. The atmosphere: physical characteristics, chemical and photochemical reactions of the atmosphere. Definitions of macro- and micro-pollutants. Unit of measure. Organic pollutants in the water and soil sector: Hydrocarbons; polymers; oils and lubricants. Polychlorophenols and their derivatives (polychlorobiphenyls, furans and dioxins). Polychlorinated compounds as organic micro-pollutants Surfactants: persistence, solubility, transport and hydrolytic reactivity. MAIN ISSUE 2: Organic pollutants of the atmosphere: aliphatic hydrocarbons and simple and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Biogenetic hydrocarbons. Gasoline: additives, combustion by-products. Transformations and fate of hydrocarbons in the atmosphere: photochemical smog. Oxygenated, sulfur and nitrogen derivatives as products of photochemical combustion and oxidation reactions: acid rain. Halogenated compounds and the problem of ozone. Elements of toxicological chemistry. Chemistry, energy and the environment; alternative sources: hydrogen, fuel cells; solar energy, semiconductors and photovoltaic cells; radionuclides and radioactivity, nuclear energy. MAIN ISSUE 3: Pesticides: insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, plant growth regulators. Main chemical classes and outline of the mechanism of action. Formulations and application methods. Degradation processes of plant protection products in the environment. Persistence, adsorption, volatilization of plant protection products in the environment. Distribution of plant protection products in environmental compartments. Forecasting methods for the distribution of pesticides in the environment. MAIN ISSUE n.4 Principles of Organic Analytical Chemistry. Chromatography: theoretical considerations, partition coefficient, resolution, theoretical plate concept. Types of chromatography: adsorption, partition, ion exchange, exclusion. Chromatographic Methods: TLC, Gas Chromatography, HPLC; techniques and equipment. MAIN ISSUE n. 5 Spectroscopy: the electromagnetic spectrum, interaction between radiation and matter, effect of the chemical structure on absorption, Lambert-Beer law. Spectroscopic methods: UV, IR, NMR; techniques and equipment. Mass spectrometry and atomic absorption. MAIN ISSUE 6 (1 credit) Laboratory of organic analytical chemistry of multi-component systems. Practical exercises using manual and instrumental techniques for the analysis of organic substances of environmental interest: determination of the COD, analysis of anionic surfactants by spectrophotometry, determination of logKow by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, solvent extraction from a solid matrix and HPLC analysis.
The articulation of the themes over time is coordinated with the practical exercises so that the theoretical part of the exercise is treated in advance.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic Knowledge of Organic Chemistry, General and Inorganic Chemistry and Physic
Teaching methods
Lectures, classroom exercises, pratical laboratory exercises. Attendance at lessons is recommended. The material used for the lessons of the course is available on the online teaching site. Pratical aboratory exercises are subject to the attendance of a safety lesson and a test.
Teaching Resources
C. Baird, Environmental Chemistry, Zanichelli. The material used for the lessons of the course is available on the online teaching site; on the site, material for the analytical part, exam topics and solutions are also available. For further information on the NMR part: A practical guide to the interpretation of NMR spectra, A. Randazzo Ed. Loghia
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of a written test aimed at ascertaining the student's knowledge both on the theoretical aspects of the subject and on the practical aspects treated in the laboratory. The exam consists of exercises and open questions (for a total of six). The duration of the test is 1 hour and 30 minutes. Correct execution involves the acquisition of 5 points for exercise / open question.
The exam will be considered passed having reported a sufficient evaluation (18/30). It is allowed to use a calculator during the tests. Any reports relating to the practical part will be evaluated during the exam and will give rise to an additional score. The correctness of the candidate's expression, the chemical language and the ability to link the various topics covered in the course will be evaluated. Non attending students will be assessed in the same way as attending students. The result of the exam will be communicated to the students by email.
Students enrolled in an exam session and no longer wishing to support it are required to cancel the registration and eventually to notify the teacher promptly. In case of default, they will not be able to present themselves to the next appeal

For DSA students
In order to take advantage of the facilities provided, you must communicate your situation to the Unimi Disabled Office http://www.unimi.it/studenti/serviziodisabiliedsa.htm. Furthermore, it is suggested to discuss with the lecturer during the frequency or during the preparation of the exam in order to have useful suggestions; in any case it is mandatory to communicate that you intend to use the compensatory / dispensatory tools with adequate advance (at least 10 days) to the teacher to agree on the examination procedures, which remain the responsibility of the same
CHIM/06 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Laboratories: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Educational website(s)
Thursday 10:30 to 12:30 am