Course Title: Environmental Chemistry 2A

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Chemistry 2A

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Andrew Hung

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 992 51974

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.24

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Students undertaking this course are assumed to have a thorough grounding in second-year-level knowledge of basic aquatic and soil chemistry and related physical, inorganic and organic chemistry such as provided by CHEM1015 Environmental Chemistry 1B Fundamentals or equivalent tertiary studies.

 You may be able to demonstrate that you already have the skills and knowledge gained in Environmental Chemistry 2A. Contact the course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning. For further information go to Recognition of prior learning (RPL) in Higher Education


Course Description

The course aims to give you further understanding of fundamental chemical and physical processes occurring in aquatic and soil environments and of the chemistry underlying anthropogenic impacts on these environments.

 Topics covered typically include:

Aquatic and geochemistry: Bonding and Structure of Water; Ice and Water in aqueous solutions; Ligands; Complex Formation, Stability Constants; Humics, pH Dependence of Complex Formation; Speciation Diagrams; Carbon Dioxide/Calcium Carbonate System, Water Alkalinity and Acidity; Alkalinity and Acidity, Seawater, Salinity; Redox Reactions in the Environment; Structures of Primary and Clay Minerals; Sedimentation Processes; Exchange Properties of Soils; Acidity and Basicity of Soils; and Groundwater.

 Physical chemistry: Chemical reaction kinetics; Enzyme catalytic mechanisms; Radiochemistry and rate of radioactive decomposition; Numerical simulation methods for studying complex chemical reactions; Surface chemistry and surface-mediated catalysis; and Chemical and physical properties of colloids.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for:

BP192 Bachelor of Environmental Science and;

the environmental science side of the following double degrees:

BP161 Bachelor of Environmental Science / Bachelor of Business (Management);

BH096 Bachelor of Environmental Science / B Engineering (Environmental Engineering) (Honours) and;

BP193 Bachelor of Environmental Science / Bachelor of Environment and Society:


 PLO-2   Scientific Knowledge: Exhibit depth and breadth of environmental science knowledge.

PLO-3   Inquiry and Problem Solving: Critically analyse and solve problems in environmental science.

PLO-4   Communication: Be an effective communicator of environmental sciences.

PLO-5   Personal and Professional Responsibility: Be accountable for individual learning and scientific work in environmental science


On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. demonstrate broad and coherent knowledge of aquatic chemistry and soil chemistry;
  2. gather, synthesize and critically evaluate information from a range of sources;
  3. collect, record, interpret and draw conclusions from scientific data;
  4. communicate results, information or arguments in aquatic and soil chemistry effectively in written mode;
  5. perform practical and other tasks effectively, responsibly, ethically and safely in individual contexts and work collaboratively in team contexts.



Overview of Learning Activities

This course offers you the following learning opportunities:

  • lectorials, where syllabus material will be presented, explained and illustrated with examples and exercises;
  • participation in practical work;
  • completion of written structured laboratory reports;
  • private study, working through the coursework and other learning materials and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems.

These activities will enhance your employability by further developing your knowledge and skill set, teamwork, oral and written communication and independent learning skills.

Total Study Hours

Your total workload should be 120 hours.

This course is typically 2hrs/week for lectorials and 3hrs/week for practical work (which is concentrated into nine laboratory exercises). You should devote the remaining time (up to 5hrs/week) to private study, including completion of exercises and laboratory reports and exam preparation.


Overview of Learning Resources

The course Canvas site will give you easy access to learning materials such as theory notes, laboratory safety guide and practical manual, assessment task details and electronic submission folders.

The library has subject guides for Environmental Science ( and for Chemistry.

There is no prescribed textbook for this course. However, suggested textbook reading references will be provided on Canvas.

You will require a clean, white laboratory coat free of any graffiti, a pair of safety glasses or safety over-glasses and a laboratory notebook for all practical sessions.


Overview of Assessment

 Note that:

The Practical assessments are a hurdle for this course, meaning that you must achieve more than 50% on the Practical component in order to pass the course. The skills learned in Practical are essential to ensure that you can operate safely as a professional. This hurdle has been approved by the SEH PVC Learning & Teaching.

 Assessment for this course consists of:

  1. Practical Tasks (25%) For OHS and professional practice reasons, practical work has an assessment hurdle. Practical tasks include laboratory performance and reports. This assessment supports CLOs 2, 3, 4 and 5. 
  2. Written Assignments (20%)This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  3. Mid-Semester Test (25%) This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, and 4. 
  4. End-of-Semester Examination (30%)  This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 and 4.