701-0201-00L  Introduction to Environmental Organic Chemistry

SemesterAutumn Semester 2021
LecturersM. Sander, K. McNeill
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThis course is an introduction to the environmental chemistry of organic molecules, focusing on equilibrium partitioning processes and non-redox reactions.
ObjectiveThe students are able to
- name and recognize the most important classes of environmentally relevant anthropogenic chemicals and identify chemical moieties governing their fate processes.
- explain, on the basis of physical-chemical foundations, the most important processes (i.e., partitioning and substitution and elimination reactions) which determine the environmental behavior of organic pollutants.
- 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)
- Chemical transformation reactions of organic pollutants in aquatic and in terrestrial environments (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