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Facoltā di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Universitā degli Studi di Milano
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Environmental analysis and monitoring
Code: G260N-
Teacher:  Gigliola Borgonovo
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 4,5
Practices in classroom: 0,5
Practices in laboratory:  1
Basic aims:  This course will supply the students the knowledge of the main organic compounds with environmental impact, with particular emphasis of compounds used in the agricolture sector. The course will supply the students the knowledge of the main analitical methods used in the environmental chemical analysis.
Acquired skills:  Knowledge of the main classes of organic compounds, their transformations and reactivity in the environmental comparts. Use of different analytical techniques in relationship to the various classes of polluting substances; fundamental operations in the manipulation of organic compounds and in the use of laboratory instruments.
Course contents:  The chemistry of the main environmental comparts. The structure, reactivity, toxicity and destination of pollutants will be discussed. Methods of separation and analysis of organic compound will be described with particular reference to the instrumental techniques. Analytical chemistry laboratory.
Program:  Main themes (credit n.1): Environmental chemistry of water: alkalinity and basicity, redox reactions, complexation and chelation. The atmosphere: physical characteristics, chemical and photochemical reactions. Reactions of atmospheric oxygen and atmospheric nitrogen. Definition of macro- and micropollutants. Unit of measure. Organic pollutants in the water and soil compartments: hydrocarbons; polymers; oils and lubricants. Polychloro biphenyls and their derivatives (PCDF, dioxins). The chlorocompounds as micropollutants from garbage incineration. Tensioactives: persistence, transport and hydrolytic reactivity. Main themes (credit n.2): Organic pollutants in the atmosphere: aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Biogenetic hydrocarbons. Gasolines: additives, combustion byproducts. Trasformations and destiny of hydrocarbons in the atmosphere: photochemical smog. Oxygen- and nitrogen- derivatives as products from combustion reactions and photochemical oxidations. Alkyl halides and the ozone?s hole problem. Toxicological chemistry (short account). Chemistry, energy and environment; alternative and renewable energy sources: hydrogen, fuel cells, photovoltaic cells; radionuclides and radioactivity, nuclear energy. Main themes (credit n.3): Pesticides: insecticides, fungicides, herbicides. Main chemical classes, mode of action (short account). Formulations. Degradation pathways of pesticides. Persistence, adsorption, volatilisation of pesticides in the environment. Distribution in the environment compartments. Main themes (credit n.1): Principles of Organic Analytical Chemistry. Separation of mixtures: crystallization, solvent extraction, distillation, chromatography. Chromatography: theoretical considerations, distribution coefficient, resolution, theoretical plate. Chromatography techniques: TLC, Gas chromatography, HPLC. Main themes (credit n.2): Spectroscopy: the electromagnetic spectrum, interaction between radiation and matter, chemical structure and absorption of radiation. Lambert-Beer's law. Spectroscopy methods: UV, IR, NMR. Mass spectroscopy and atomic absorbtion. Main themes (credit n.3): Organic Analytical Chemistry Laboratory of multicomponent systems. Practical experiments about the separation and analysis of environmental organic compounds. Spectrophotochemical analysis of tensioactives, distillation of mixtures and their analysis by NMR, extraction of a pollutant from soil and its analysis by HPLC.
Prerequisites:  Basic chemistry knowledge .
Preparatory instructions:  General and Inorganic chemistry, Organic chemistry and Physics.
Learning materials:  Suggested Books :C. Baird, Environmental chemistry, Zanichelli. S.E. Manahan, Chimica dell’ambiente, Piccin. The slides of the course are available at the on-line site with exercises.
Other info:  The exam consists in a test at the end of the course with exercises and open questions (five is total number). The duration of the test is two hours. Correct performance implies the acquisition of six points for each exercises. All the arguments treated, included the practical experiments, will be object of the exam. Students have to attend a lesson on the safety rules in chemistry laboratory before the beginning of laboratory practice.
Program of Environmental analysis and monitoring (pdf version)
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