701-0201-00L  Introduction to Environmental Organic Chemistry

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersM. Sander, K. McNeill
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


701-0201-00 GIntroduction to Environmental Organic Chemistry2 hrs
Tue10:15-12:00CHN F 46 »
M. Sander, K. McNeill

Catalogue data

AbstractImportant organic environmental pollutants are presented. The physical and chemical basics required for understanding the environmental behavior of such pollutants are taught and deepened in exercises.
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
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersM. Sander, K. McNeill
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationwritten 60 minutes, oral 30 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationThe exam questions will be in both German and English.
Die Prüfungsfragen werden in Deutsch und Englisch gestellt.
Written aidsnone
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Environmental Sciences BachelorBiogeochemistryWInformation
Environmental Sciences BachelorEnvironmental Chemistry/EcotoxicologyWInformation