CHEM 3530 - Environmental and Analytical Chemistry III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

The course aims to apply environmental and analytical chemistry concepts and techniques to chemical variations in the environment. A sound physical understanding of the techniques used to determine chemical composition and analyse for trace compounds is core. Techniques introduced in the course include x-ray fluorescence, x-ray diffraction and photochemical methods. A central theme of the course is energy and fuels, e.g. fossil fuels, the hydrogen economy, solar power and nuclear power. Accordingly, the course content touches on the energy problems faced by Australia going forward into the 21st century.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHEM 3530
    Course Environmental and Analytical Chemistry III
    Coordinating Unit School of Chemistry & Physics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 9 hours per week
    Prerequisites CHEM 2530 or CHEM 2510 & CHEM 2520 or equivalent
    Course Description The course aims to apply environmental and analytical chemistry concepts and techniques to chemical variations in the environment. A sound physical understanding of the techniques used to determine chemical composition and analyse for trace compounds is core. Techniques introduced in the course include x-ray fluorescence, x-ray diffraction and photochemical methods. A central theme of the course is energy and fuels, e.g. fossil fuels, the hydrogen economy, solar power and nuclear power. Accordingly, the course content touches on the energy problems faced by Australia going forward into the 21st century.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor David Huang

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Conduct, analyse and interpret results of an experiment, and effectively communicate these in written reports.
    2 Convey knowledge and understanding of a variety of chemical concepts, including the principles of quantitative analysis.
    3 Convey knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles of the sustainable use of chemicals as they relate to a variety of quantitative chemical contexts.
    4 Develop interdisciplinary solutions to a variety of chemical problems identified from an analytical context.
    5 Critically analyse and evaluate quantitative & qualitative chemical information.
    6 Obtain and evaluate information from a variety of sources.
    7 Communicate effectively in a variety of forms.
    8 Use terminology appropriate to the field of study correctly and contextually.
    9 Undertake laboratory investigations using appropriate apparatus; make observations and draw appropriate conclusions.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 2-6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 5, 6-8
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1, 7, 8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 2, 3, 9
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-4, 6, 7, 9
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1, 2, 9
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2,3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no prescribed text for this course.
    Recommended Resources
    • ‘Pushing Electrons’ (Weeks, 3rd Edition, Harcourt College Publishers, 1998).
    • ‘Organic Chemistry’ (Bruice, 5th Edition, Pearson Education, 2007)
    • ‘Organic Chemistry’ (Clayden, Greeves, Warren and Wothers, Oxford University Press, 2001)
    • ‘Inorganic Chemistry’ (Shriver & Atkins, 4rh Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006)
    • ‘Physical Chemistry’ (Atkins, 8th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006)
    • ‘A Guide to Lasers in Chemistry’ (Van Hecke & Karukstis, Jones & Bartlett, 1998)
    • 'Spectrometric Identification of Organic Compounds' (Silverstein, 7th Edition, Wiley Press, 2005)
    • 'SI Chemical Data' (Aylward, 6 Edition, Wiley Press, 2007)
    • ‘Pushing Electrons’ (Weeks, 3 Edition, Harcourt College Publishers, 1998)
    • ‘Modern Physical Organic Chemistry’ (Ansyln and Dougherty, University Science Books)
    • ‘Molecular Spectroscopy’ (Banwell, 4 Ed., McGraw Hill, 1994) out of print
    All of these texts (except where noted) are available for purchase from UniBooks and all are available for
    loan from the Barr Smith library. Some are also available for consultation in the Chemistry Resource
    Centre (Rm 120, Johnson Laboratories).

    References to other material and recent literature will be given in lectures.
    Online Learning
    MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    • Lectures  2 x 2-hour sessions with one session per week
    • Tutorials  12 x 50-minute sessions with one session per week
    • Practicals  9 x 6-hour sessions (including presentation)

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course content includes the following:

    X-ray spectroscopy
    Nuclear chemistry
    Heavy metal chemistry
    Analytical techniques
    Spectrophotometric techniques

    Practical exercises will provide students with "hands on" experience in the quantitative use of various
    analytical methods. In addition, students will be involved in the analysis of "real world" chemical

    Tutorials will be used to reinforce the concepts introduced in lectures through a combination of
    quantitative problem solving (what is present, and in what quantity), a discussion of the operational
    principles, including the strengths and weaknesses of various quantitative chemical methods, and
    consideration of appropriate possible solutions to chemical problems that have been identified through
    quantitative chemical analysis.

    Students will be required to present a 10 min verbal presentation to the class based upon their res
    Specific Course Requirements
    Rather than a printed lab manual for the course, you will access all the experiments from the MyUNI
    website. You are expected to print off the experiment you will be doing and bring this to the lab. In
    addition, you will be provided with a carbon-copy lab book, which you will use to enter your data and
    write your reports.

    Safety glasses (please note that prescription glasses cannot be worn as safety glasses), lab coats and
    shoes that cover the feet completely (no holes or cutouts – lace-up shoes, sneakers or boots only; ballet
    flats are not acceptable) must be worn in the laboratory. Long hair must be tied back.
    You will not be allowed into the laboratory unless you are wearing safety glasses, a lab coat and
    appropriate footwear.

    NOTE: If you miss a lab without a valid reason for doing so, you will receive a mark of 0 for that lab.

    Practical work for all courses (both Semester 1 and Semester 2) will start in Week 2 and will end in Week
    12. Each practical session runs from 12:10 pm to 6:00 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays &
    Fridays. It is essential that you consult the Laboratory Schedule (on MyUNI) so that you turn up for the
    right lab on the right day(s)! For all courses, there are a number of different locations for experiments –
    again, check the Laboratory Schedule on MyUni for details. However, the laboratories are only open
    from 12:30 pm to 5:45 pm to allow for practical pre-work (see below) and clean-up to occur.

    There is a variety of pre-work (including safety knowledge) required for all of the experiments. This is
    outlined at the beginning of each experiment. You will not be able to begin practical work until all of the
    pre-work has been completed to a satisfactory standard. It is intended that you complete this pre-work in
    the time allocated between 12 noon and 12:30 pm.

    More information and details of experiments may be found on the MyUNI website.
    Details of labs for Semester 2 courses will be made available later in Semester 1.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Hurdle
    Yesor No
    Learning Outcome
    Presentation Summative

    Week 12

    5% No 1, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Practical Formative and Summative Every 1–2 weeks 25% Yes (60%) 1–9
    Exam Summative Semester 1 examination period 70% Yes (45%) 2–8
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Practical work is compulsory – This includes attendance, conduct of required experimental work, attendance at demonstrator interviews (as required) and submission of laboratory reports. Practical work constitutes 30% of the total assessment.

    To pass this course students must:

    Attain a minimum of 60% for the practical reports:
    Students who do not attain this minimum requirement will not be offered an additional assessment.
    Attain a minimum of 45% for the exam:
    Students who attain a final course grade of at least 45% but do not attain a minimum of 45% for the exam may be offered an Additional Academic Exam during the Replacement/Additional Assessment period, in line with the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy.
    Assessment Detail

    The end-of-semester examination will be based primarily on lecture/tutorial material. Students must sit the exam and achieve a minimum mark of 45% in order to pass the course.

    5% - This assessment activity covers a topic beyond the lecture course content and is designed to assess students' ability to apply general knowledge to real world situations. It will also develop team work, time management and verbal presentation skills within the context of environmental and analytical chemistry.

    The laboratory course is worth 25% of your assessment at Level 3. This will come from assessment of your experimental lab books (marked out of 15) and reports (marked out of 20). Attendance at practical sessions is compulsory, and students must achieve a minimum overall mark of 60% for the practical component to pass the course.



    Submission of Assigned Work
    Coversheets must be completed and attached to all submitted work. Coversheets can be obtained from the School Office (room G33 Physics) or from MyUni. Work should be submitted via the assignment drop box at the School Office.

    Extensions for Assessment Tasks
    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Coordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application form can be obtained from: 

    Late submission of assessments
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.