SCIE H4122 - Physico Chemical Science

Module Title:Physico Chemical Science
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 10
NFQ Level:8
Module Delivered In 1 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: This module will be taught as a 3 hour theory class for thirty weeks and ten three hour practical sessions to be delivered over ten weeks. The module content will be delivered via lectures and practicals, guided reading, and written assignments on selected topics. To develop independent and active learning, emphasis will be on the analysis and critique of reading materials. Students may be required to access material by guided reading in advance of class and practicals. Course lecture notes, additional materials, announcements and other course-related information will be available on Blackboard, a virtual learning environment. Any course-related issue or questions that may arise will be discussed at lectures. Students can contact lecturer outside of class hours to discuss feedback on reports, assignments and assessments.
Module Aim: The aim of this module is to impart knowledge regarding the principles of the physical and chemical nature of the dynamics of the natural environment and to equip the student with the skill set to monitor, analyse and manage the environment sensitively and sustainably with regard to safety best practice and current legislation. This module covers advanced theory of physicochemical principles in the global environment and practical applications in relation to the monitoring and protection of water quality and air quality.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Explain the overall interactive nature of the global environment.
LO2 Describe the environmental impacts of natural and anthropogenic pollutants.
LO3 Describe the chemistry and processes of modern waste treatment methods.
LO4 Describe modern analytical methods and technologies for environmental monitoring
LO5 Discuss the methodologies of emission monitoring.
LO6 Describe the applications and importance of remote sensing.
LO7 Discuss workplace pollutant monitoring including air quality and sound.
LO8 Understand and interpret official reports.
LO9 Perform analytical procedures and be able to collate data, interpret results and write environmental reports
LO10 Explain the environmental impacts of natural chemicals and anthropogenic pollutants.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
Successful completion of year 3 or equivalent

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Environmental pollutants
Review of organic and physical chemistry to include kinetics and gas laws; Polluting chemicals: pesticides, herbicides, chlorinated hydrocarbons, PAH, heavy metals: chemistry and toxicities; Processing waste chemicals: landfill, incineration, SCWO, recycling; Chemicals in the workplace: radon, NOx, CO, ETS, asbestos; Outdoor pollutants, PM Index; Chemistry and reactivity of the hydroxyl radical (OH*)
Transport of pollutants
Transport mechanisms of chemical in the environment (LRTAP, Kow etc)
Environmental analytical methods
Environmental applications of chromatography (HPLC, IC), solvent extraction, chelation.
Fluid dynamics
Point, line and continuous sources of pollution.
Monitoring of air quality and emissions to air
Emissions monitoring: manual and continuous monitoring techniques for particulate and gaseous emissions from stacks and ducts; Ambient and outdoor air monitoring.
Remote sensing
Principles and applications of remote sensing. LIDAR and spectroscopic techniques.
Noise monitoring, noise nuisance criteria and standards
Biogeochemical cycles
Atmosphere-earth-hydrosphere as dynamic system. Sources, sinks, reservoirs. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Carbon and Sulphur cycles.
Properties of water; Hydrological cycle; Lake stratification and effects; Eutrophication; Acidification, neutralisation and buffering. Drinking water sources and treatment; Waste-water treatment.
Water quality monitoring
Monitoring requirements under Water Framework Directive, Catchment monitoring, Priority substances. Sampling and laboratory methods; Portable devices and test kits. In situ monitoring technologies.
Chemistry of the earth (biosphere)
Mineral composition, groundwater protection; Physical/chemical interactions in soils; Speciation, N and P nutrients.
Chemistry of the atmosphere
Structure and composition of the atmosphere; Photochemistry; Chapman and catalytic reactions, halogenated gases, ozone depletion. Greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases, climate change.
Practicals are designed to reinforce and amplify the theoretical content of the course and will be based on relevant applications of techniques such as ion exchange and ion chromatography, HPLC, solvent extraction/chelation of metals, ashing / dissolution techniques, graphite furnace and flame AAS, various parameters by titrimetry and spectroscopy, determination of chemical oxygen demand, FTIR spectroscopy of trace gases, jar tests / flocculation and residuals monitoring, conductivity / mass-charge balance evaluation.
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment10.00%
End of Module Formal Examination70.00%
Special Regulation
Students must achieve a minimum grade (35%) in both the practical/CA and final examination.
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Other Two continuous assessment examinations of 1 hour duration 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10 10.00 n/a
No Project
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation Written reports/laboratory book and other appropriate assignments 3,4,8,9 20.00 n/a
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam No Description 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10 70.00 End-of-Semester

SETU Carlow Campus reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture 30 Weeks per Stage 3.00
Laboratory 30 Weeks per Stage 1.00
Estimated Learner Hours 30 Weeks per Stage 3.00
Total Hours 210.00

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_SASES_B Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science 4 Mandatory