701-0201-00L  Introduction to Environmental Organic Chemistry

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersM. Sander, K. McNeill
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThis course presents significant organic environmental pollutants and the physical-chemical bases required to understand their environmental behavior, and deepens this knowledge through exercises. The most important analytical methods for the qualitative and quantitative determination of organic pollutants in environmental samples are discussed.
ObjectiveThe students are able to
- name and recognise the most important classes of environmentally-relevant anthropogenic chemicals.
- explain, on the basis of physical-chemical foundations, the most important processes which determine the environmental behavior of organic pollutants.
- name fundamental methods of trace analysis of organic pollutants in environmental sampling.
- propose experimental methods for determining substance-specific properties.
- identify, on the basis of chemical structure, the processes relevant for the environmental behavior of a compound.
- critically evaluate published work and data.
Content- Overview of the most important classes of environmental organic pollutants
- Molecular interactions that determine the partitioning behavior (adsorption and absorption processes) of organic compounds between different environmental compartments (gas,liquid,solid)
- Physical-chemical properties (vapor pressure, aqueous solubility, air-water partition constant, organic solvent-water partition constants, etc) and partitioning behavior of organic compounds between environmentally relevant phases (air, aerosols, soil, water, biota)
- Basics of trace analytical methods to determine organic componds (enrichment techniques, separation (chromatography), detection)
- Chemical transformation reactions of organic pollutants in aquatic and in terrestrial systems (reactions with nucleophiles incl. hydrolysis, elimination, addition)
Lecture notesScript will be distributed
LiteratureSchwarzenbach, R.P., P.M. Gschwend, and D.M. Imboden.
Environmental Organic Chemistry. 2nd Ed. Wiley, New York, 1313 p.(2003)

Goss, K.U. and Schwarzenbach, R.P. (2003). "Rules of thumb for assessing equilibrium partitioning of organic compounds-success and pitfalls", Journal of Chemical Education, 80, 4, 450-455.
Prerequisites / NoticeDie Lehrveranstaltung richtet sich nicht nur an jene Studierenden, welche sich später chemisch vertiefen wollen, sondern ausdrücklich auch an alle jene, welche sich mit der Problematik von organischen Schadstoffen in der Umwelt vertraut machen wollen, um dieses Wissen in anderen Vertiefungen anzuwenden