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Physical and Inorganic Chemistry

Code: MA217     Acronym: QFI

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Chemistry

Instance: 2018/2019 - 1T (of 17-09-2018 to 02-11-2018)

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Chemistry
Course/CS Responsible: First Cycle Degree (BSc) in Aquatic Sciences

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
LCMA 43 Oficial Plan 2018 2 - 5 49 135

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Victor Manuel Fonseca Morais

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical and practical : 5,00
Laboratory Practice: 2,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical and practical Totals 2 10,00
Victor Manuel Fonseca Morais 10,00
Laboratory Practice Totals 2 4,00
Victor Manuel Fonseca Morais 4,00

Teaching language



The Fundamental Principles of Chemistry will be addressed and studied with special emphasis to the quantitative chemical description of natural as well  as non-natural water systems. Among the main topics we emphasize the following: Chemistry and  Transformations; stoichiometry and mass balances; Energy and transformation; Spontaneity, entropy and  Gibbs energy; Phase Equilibria, Chemical Equilibrium; rates of chemical transformations. Acids and Bases and their equilibria; Equilibrium Processes involving the Precipitation and Dissolution of solid minerals, the processes of electron transfer and the formation of metalic complexes and coordination compounds. Quantitative accurate treatments of the equilibrium processes studied earlier will be studied and conducted, as a means of quantitatively describing the composition of aquatic systems and its evolution, in order that speciation of the substances can be adequately described and characterized. In addition, a set of laboratorial classes is offered in order to introduce students to the main analytic techniques used in the chemistry and environmental chemistry laboratory.

Learning outcomes and competences

After completing the course the student will be able to understand and correctly interpret relevant information and data relating to the specification of the qualitative and quantitative laboratorial chemical analysis of natural water samples. The student should also be able to understand the main mechanisms dsecribing the physico/chemical phenomena which control the composition and chemical speciation of natural water systems. The student completing this course will finally be able to continue more advanced and specialized studies in other related scientific areas.

Working method



- Fundamentals and Theory - Properties of the gases. Avogadro's Law. Ideal Gases and Real Gases. The Equation of State of Ideal Gases. Mixtures of Gases. Dalton's Law.
Intermolecular Forces. Real Gases. van der Waals Equation of State. Pressure and Fugacity. - Basic Principles of Chemical Energetics. - Work and Energy. Heat. First Law of Thermodynamics. State Functions. Enthalpy. Heat Capacity. Phase Change Enthalpy Variations. Heating Curves. - Reaction Enthalpy. Enthalpy and Internal Energy Changes. Reaction Standard Enthalpy. Hess's Law. Influence of Temperature on the heat of reaction. - Spontaneous and non-spontaneous Transformations. Entropy and molecular disorder. Entropy variations in physical changes. Standard Molar Entropy. Standard Reaction Molar Entropy. - Gibbs Energy. Giggs Energy variations for reactions. Temperature dependence of reaction Gibbs Energy Variation. Chemical equilibrium and Gibbs energy change. - Physical Equilibria. Vapour Pressure. Volatility and intermolecular forces. Variation of Vapour Pressure with Temperature. Melting and Boiling Temperatures. Solubility. Solubility of gases. Henry's Law. - Fundamentals of the rates of chemical reactions. - Chemical Kinetics. The rate of a chemical reaction. Instantaneous reactions. - Reaction rate and collision theory. Rate equations and order of reaction. - Differential and Integrated rate laws. - Characteristic times and rate constants. Half-Life. Complex Reactions. Reaction Mechanisms. - Chemical Equilibrium. - Proton Exchange. Acid/Base Equilibria. Acid/Base Equilibria without algebra: Graphical Methods for the determination of equilibrium state and composition. - The calculation of Acid/Base equilibria. Neutralization Reactions. ACid/Base Titrations. The calculation of titration curves. - Reactions at Interfaces. Heterogeneous Equilibria. Phase Rule. Dissolution and Precipitation Equilibria. Accurate numerical calculations of dissolution/precipitation equilibria. - Electron Exchange. The concepts of oxidation state and oxidation number. Balancing Redox Equations. Electrochemical Potential. Standard Half-Reaction or Electrode Potentials. Standard Reaction Potential and Electromotive Force. Oxidation/Reduction Equilibria. Standard Reaction Potential and Equilibrium Constant. Nernst Equation and Peters Equation. Quantitative Calculations of Redox Equilibria. Potentiometric Titrations. - The Chemistry of Complex Formation. Complexation Equilibrium. The Stability of Molecular Complexes. Metal Complexes. Complexation Reactions. The concepts of coordination state and of coordination number. Types of Complexes. Stability and Stability Constants. Complexation Equilibria.

- Tutorial Classes - Resolution of Selected Applied Numeric Problems evidencing the importance of the concepts already studied, as a  means of providing a better understanding of the physico/chemical concepts involved.

- Laboratory Projects

 P1 - Preparation of aqueous solutions with predetermined concentrations.
 P2 - Preparation of a pH buffer solution.
 P3 - Potentiometric Titration of a carbonate aqueous solution.
 P4 - Accurate determination of the concentration of a 0.01 M sodium thiossulfate solution.
 P5 - Quantitative Determination of dissolved oxygen in natural water samples.

Mandatory literature

Chang Raymond; Química. ISBN: 972-9241-68-6
Chang Raymond; Chemistry. ISBN: 0-07-111318-5

Complementary Bibliography

Jones Loretta; Chemistry. ISBN: 0-7167-3595-4
Atkins Peter; Chemistry. ISBN: 0-7167-2832-X
Sawyer Clair N.; Chemistry for environmental engineering. ISBN: 0-07-054971-0
Chang Raymond; Physical chemistry for the chemical and biological sciences. ISBN: 1-891389-06-8

Teaching methods and learning activities

Three types of classes are provided: 

 - expositive lectures will introduce the students to the basic principles and methods of Chemistry, mainly of Analytic Chemistry.

 - tutorial classes where the students explore the principles and methods already studied by solving numeric application problems.

 - laboratory projects, concerning the studied principles, conducted by the students under the supervision of the teacher.

   The last two types of classes are supposed to involve extensive student participation.

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Exame 70,00
Participação presencial 10,00
Trabalho laboratorial 20,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 86,00
Frequência das aulas 39,00
Trabalho laboratorial 10,00
Total: 135,00

Eligibility for exams

The students must complete at least 75% of the laboratory projects and respective reports. The frequency thus obtained remains valid for three consecutive academic years.

Calculation formula of final grade

The final classification will result from the weighted average of the classification of the final exam (weight of 0.7), the mean value of the classifications the student obtained in the laboratory classes (weight 0.2) and the average of the classifications obtained in the presential classes (weight 0.1). The students must obtain a classification of at least 9.5 in the final examination in order to obtain a successful final classification.

Classification improvement

Further final exam completed by the student.
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