Inorganic and Environmental Chemistry - CHEM5340

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


Here, you will explore the chemistry of the d- and f-block elements, including their electronic and colour properties as well as their magnetic behaviour, both in lectures and workshops and also practically through a lab component. Environmental chemistry is of growing importance and this module will also equip you to understand environmental concerns such as toxicity, bioavailability and environmental mobility. (Lab component.)


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 41
Private study hours: 109
Total study hours: 150


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Assignment 1 (~2 hours) – 7.5%
Assignment 2 (~2 hours) – 7.5%
Practical Laboratory Reports (~3 hours) – 25%
Examination (2 hours) – 60%

Indicative reading

Cotton, Wilkinson and Gaus, Basic Inorganic Chemistry, (3rd edition, 1995, Wiley).
Greenwood and Earnshaw, Chemistry of the Elements, (2nd revised edition, 1997, Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd)
Winter, d-Block Chemistry, (1994, Royal Society of Chemistry)
Jones, d- and f-Block Chemistry, (2001, Royal Society of Chemistry)
Bell, Forensic Chemistry, (2nd edition, 2012, Prentice Hall)
Tan, Principles of Soil Chemistry, (2010, CRC Press)
Sparks, Environmental Soil Chemistry, (2003, Academic Press)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Understand the characteristic properties of the d and f-blocks elements and their compounds.
An understanding of the composition of soil and its analysis.
Appreciate developments in soil analysis and environmental chemistry in terms of heavy metal toxicity, diffusion, detection and remediation.

Intellectual skills:
Ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to the subject and to apply such knowledge and understanding to the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems. In particular, the ability to link chemical structure to physical properties.
Ability to recognise and analyse problems and plan strategies for their solution by the evaluation, interpretation and presentation of scientific information and data.
The ability to use data-processing skills to search for, assess and interpret chemical information and data, particularly in performing comprehensive literature searches.

Subject-specific skills:
A knowledge and understanding of soil structure in relation to silicate composition, and how this affects ion diffusion in soils.
A knowledge and understanding of the impact of heavy metal toxicity environmental mobility and bio-availability.
An understanding of preparation, purification and analysis of a range of inorganic compounds using techniques such as ion-exchange chromatography, infrared and uv-vis spectroscopy.
Skills in the safe handling of chemical materials, taking into account their physical and chemical properties, including any specific hazards associated with their use and to risk assess such hazards, and the ability to implement the execution of experiments.
Skills required for carrying out documented standard laboratory procedures involved in synthetic and analytical work in relation to organic and inorganic systems. Skills in observational and instrumental monitoring of physiochemical events and changes. The systematic and reliable documentation of the above. Operation of standard analytical instruments employed in the chemical sciences.
The ability to collate, interpret and explain the significance and underlying theory of experimental data, including an assessment of limits of accuracy.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Have a knowledge and understanding of:
Communication skills, covering both written and oral communication.
Generic skills needed for students to undertake further training of a professional nature.
Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information.
Interpersonal skills, relating to the ability to interact with other people and to engage in team working within a professional environment.
Time-management and organisational skills, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working. Self-management and organisational skills with the capacity to support life-long learning.
An ability to make use of appropriate texts, or other learning resources as part of managing their own learning.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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