Chemistry and Environment
Cod: 21096
Department: DCET
Scientific area: Chemistry and Biochemistry
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 26

This course unit introduces the main concepts and methodologies associated with Chemistry, in order to understand the environmental phenomenon. There it will be addressed several topics explaining Nature’s chemical systems, including techniques to unravel natural and polluting phenomena of the environment, as well as assessing the risks taken and that may lead to a change of attitude towards the Environment.

  1. Atmosphere Chemistry
  2. Water Chemistry
  3. Toxicity

• Identify environmental phenomena based on chemistry and physics.
• Learning how to apply the chemical principles involved in environmental systems, in order to recover, maintain and/or improve the quality of the Environment.
• Developing a conscious, critical and justified attitude towards the effects of human activity on the environment.

The atmosphere: constitution; polluting substances; sulfur dioxide; acid rain; ozone and CFCs.
The water: Water constituents of oceans and freshwater; chemical and physical properties; reactions of oxidation-reduction; pE sclae; the carbonate system; ions in freswaterwater; water purification; underground water; chemical contamination and sewage treatment.
Toxic substances: lethal dose; corrosive and metabolic poisons; heavy metals; toxic organic compounds - pesticides, dioxins and PCBs.

Environmental Chemistry, Colin Baird, Michael Cann, W.H. Freeman and Company, 2005.
World of Chemistry, Joesten & Wood, Saunders College Publishing, 2nd Ed., 1996.
Química: Príncipios e Aplicações, Daniel Reger, Scott Goode, Edward Mercer, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 1997.
The extraordinary chemistry of ordinary things, Carl H. Snyder, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1995.
Other study materials will be available at the e-learning platform.


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 or 3 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a presence-based final exam (p-folio) in the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final presence-based exam (100%).