The course addresses the biogeochemical classification and behavior of trace elements, including key processes driving the cycling of important trace elements in aquatic and terrestrial environments and the coupling of abiotic and biotic transformation processes of trace elements. Examples of the role of trace elements in natural or engineered systems will be presented and discussed in the course.
The students are familiar with the chemical characteristics, the environmental behavior and fate, and the biogeochemical reactivity of different groups of trace elements. They are able to apply their knowledge on the interaction of trace elements with geosphere components and on abiotic and biotic transformation processes of trace elements to discuss and evaluate the behavior and impact of trace elements in aquatic and terrestrial systems.
(i) Definition, importance and biogeochemical classification of trace elements. (ii) Key biogeochemical processes controlling the cycling of different trace elements (base metals, redox-sensitive and chalcophile elements, volatile trace elements) in natural and engineered environments. (iii) Abiotic and biotic processes that determine the environmental fate and impact of selected trace elements.
Selected handouts (lecture notes, literature, exercises) will be distributed during the course.
Prerequisites / Notice
Students are expected to be familiar with the basic concepts of aquatic and soil chemistry covered in the respective classes at the bachelor level (soil mineralogy, soil organic matter, acid-base and redox reactions, complexation and sorption reactions, precipitation/dissolution reactions, thermodynamics, kinetics, carbonate buffer system). This lecture is a prerequisite for attending the laboratory course "Trace elements laboratory".