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The lecture component of this subject covers the main sources and types of environmental contaminants with a focus on water contaminants and their effect on water quality. Frequently used analytical techniques in environmental and industrial monitoring and analysis, not covered in the prerequisite or other second year level chemistry subjects, will be outlined in the context of achieving desirable environmental outcomes. These include: volumetric analysis; gravimetric analysis; optical techniques (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry); electroanalytical techniques such as potentiometry (ion-selective electrodes, potentiometric stripping analysis) and voltammetry (polarography, anodic stripping voltammetry); analytical separation techniques (ion chromatography, extraction); and automatic analytical techniques (flow injection analysis).
The practical component of this subject involves the application of chromatographic (ion chromatography, gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography), electroanalytical (potentiometry, polarography and anodic stripping volatmmetry) and optical (atomic absorption spectrometry) analytical techniques to environmental samples.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of the subject, students should:
- Have acquired an in-depth understanding of the origin, distribution and role of environmental contaminants;
- Be able to select suitable methods for monitoring them;
- Be able to apply analytical and problem-solving skills to the consideration of treatment options for industrial effluents; and
- Have acquired enhanced laboratory skills and competence in using modern laboratory techniques.
This subject will provide students with opportunities to develop the following generic skills:
- the ability to comprehend complex concepts and effectively communicate this understanding to the scientific community and in a manner accessible to the wider community;
- the ability to analyse and solve abstract technical problems;
- the ability to connect and apply the learnt concepts to a broad range of scientific problems beyond the scope of this subject;
- an awareness of advanced technologies;
- the ability to use conceptual models to rationalise observations;
- the ability to think and reason logically;
- critical thinking;
- data evaluation and interpretation;
- conducting literature searches using scientific databases;
- oral presentation (must show in assessment);
- working collaboratively with other students.
Last updated: 29 July 2022