GV2ECH-Environmental Chemistry

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: GV1A3 Chemistry of the Earth and Environment
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Tom Sizmur

Email: t.sizmur@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
Through a series of interactive lectures, laboratory practicals and computer classes, this module provides the skills necessary to predict how environmentally relevant elements behave in the chemical environment.

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of and ability to predict key chemical processes that occur in contaminated and natural environments.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module, you should be able to: - Predict the solubility of minerals - Calculate the speciation of metals in solution - Analyse soils and waters in a chemistry laboratory - Use computer programmes to model the fate of metals in water and soil - Differentiate non-specific and specific adsorption

Additional outcomes:
You will enhance your teamwork, mathematical, laboratory, data handling and reporting skills.

Outline content:

This module is designed to help you develop your ability to predict reactions in the water and soil environment. The course will use examples of reactions pertinent to agriculture, contamination, and water quality. The Interactive Lecture Content covers: - Skills in Environmental Chemitry - Solubility - Aqueous complexes - Specific and non-specific adsorption - Sorption modelling and pollutant movement

The Practical Content covers: - Preparation of water samples for chemical analysis - Use of geochemical models - Batch sorption experiments

Global context:

Understanding how elements react in the environment and how we can analyse and predict their behaviour is critical to many of the global challenges facing 21st century communities, including Climate Change, Environmental Pollution, Food Security and the exploitation of Natural Resources.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be - Five interactive lectures - Three laboratory practicals - Two computer classes

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
Practicals classes and workshops 15
Guided independent study 70
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

100% Coursework: Reports and a laboratory notebook from two practicals will be assessed:

  • Assignment 1: Water Chemistry, due week 6 of spring term

  • Assignment 2: Soil Chemistry, due week 1 of summer term

  • Laboratory notebook, due week 1 of summer term

Formative assessment methods:

Interactive lectures and homework assignments will provide the opportunity for you to practice exam-style questions and receive instant feedback on performance.

An opportunity for guided self-assessment of laboratory notebooks will be provided after the first practical session.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Resubmission of laboratory reports (using class data)

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


    Things to do now