Office of Academic Affairs
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal

Earth and Environmental Sciences

EES 413: Environmental Chemistry (3)

Prerequisites (Desirable): CHM and EES 100 and 200 level courses

Learning Objectives:

To understand the chemistry that governs natural and polluted environments by utilizing and building on the tools acquired in general chemistry, chemical kinetics, and thermodynamics. The chemistry of species in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and their interactions will be examined. Additionally, concepts of ecotoxicology will be introduced.

Course Contents:

Introduction to Environmental Chemistry:
Natural processes in the biosphere and processes associated with pollution; Review of chemical equilibria, acid-base reactions, redox parameters, chemical kinetics including photochemistry and radiochemistry.

Composition of tropospheric air, sources, transport, and sinks of important trace gases (O3, CO, OH, SOx, NOx, and VOCs); Tropospheric aerosol, sources, composition, chemistry, transport, residence times, and sinks; Urban pollution episodes and smog formation; Overview of stratospheric chemistry, Chapman mechanism for O3 formation/destruction, NOx cycle, and halogen cycles; Ozone hole; Stratospheric aerosols.

Natural waters and their composition, aquatic chemistry – Henry’s law, dissolved O2, CO2, physico-chemical processes – acid base reactions, redox reactions, complexation in natural and polluted waters, photochemical reactions.

Weathering – physical and chemical, dissolution and precipitation of solids, dissolution of natural oxides, stable and metastable processes, biological weathering; Soil composition and characteristics; Acid-base and ion-exchange reactions; Micronutrients and macronutrients.

Global Biogeochemical Cycles:
Carbon cycle – the short and long term carbon cycles, atmospheric and marine Carbon; Carbon cycle in the terrestrial biosphere, human influences on the cycle; Nitrogen - forms of nitrogen, Nitrogen biochemistry, microbial processes, other natural Nitrogen processes, fertilization, human influences on nitrogen cycling; Sulfur - forms, natural processes, Sulfur reservoirs, natural Sulfur cycles, cloud and gas phase processing in the atmosphere.

Toxic chemicals in the environment, carcinogens, and biochemical effects of some species including As, Cd, Pb, Hg, SOx, NOx, O3, and pesticides.

Suggested Readings :

  1. Manahan, S. E., 2009, Environmental Chemistry, CRC Press.
  2. Andrews, J. E., Brimblecombe, P., Jickells, T. D., Liss, P. S., and Reid. B. J., 2004, Introduction to Environmental Chemistry, Blackwell Publications.
  3. Schlesinger, W. H., 1997, Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change, Academic Press.
  4. Jacobson, M. C., Charlson, R. J., Rodhe, H., and Orians, G. H., 2000, Earth System Science: From Biogeochemical Cycles to Global Change, Elsevier.
  5. Sawyer, C. N., McCarty, P. L., and Parkin, G. F., 2003, Chemistry for Environmental Engineering, McGraw-Hill Inc.

Previous Back to Course List Next