94483 - Elaboration and Interpretation of Chemical-Environmental Data

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Luca Ciacci
  • Credits: 4
  • SSD: CHIM/12
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Rimini
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Chemistry and Technologies for the Environment and Materials (cod. 8514)

Learning outcomes

In this course, the students will learn how to apply the most common techniques of multivariate analysis and experimental design in the environmental chemistry field. On the basis of the theoretical and practical skills acquired, the students will be able to extract and interpret the relevant information, not achievable a priori, from environmental chemistry dataset.

Course contents


Knowledge of essential concepts of Environmental Chemistry and of main classes of pollutants. Proficiency in basic mathematical functions (e.g., powers, squares, exponentials, logarithms) and descriptive statistics (e.g., mean, standard deviation, frequency, correation, covariance).

Main contents of the course

Introduction to chemometrics and and recall of basic statistics. Extraction and interpretation of variance in environmental chemistry datasets. Principal component analysis. Data pre-treatment and transformation of variables. Cluster analysis for unsupervised pattern recognition of samples and groups of objects. Classification methods, evaluation and validation parameters. Regression models and predictive techniques. Hints of experimental design. Basic modelling and case studies from the environmental chemistry.


Einax, J. and S. Geiss. 1997. Chemometrics in environmental analysis. Weinheim : VCH.

Brereton, R. G. 2007. Applied chemometrics for scientists. Chichester : John Wiley & Sons.

Gemperline, P. 2006. Practical guide to chemometrics. Boca Raton [etc.] : Taylor & Francis.

Todeschini, R. 1998. Introduzione alla chemiometria. Edises.

Teaching methods

The course is taught through theoretical lectures and discussion of case studies. Basic modelling skills are developed to foster practical application of the models described at lessons for the analysis of environmental matrices and pollutants. Free-access chemometrics softwares are employed for calculation.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 on Health and Safety online.

Assessment methods

The final exam consists of oral discussion on a written report (about 10 pages) focused on a topic of this course, and chosen based on personal interest. A case study of principal component analysis, cluster analysis, classification, regression and design of experiments or methodological discussion on techniques reported in the literature can be considered.

The cited references should be commented critically, providing personal comments on the authors' assumptions and interpretations. The student's ability to carry out a critical analysis of a research based on bibliographic sources will be evaluated.

The oral discussion will also include other topics covered in the course to verify the general preparation of the student.

The final exam aims to verify that students have learned how to approach the set of chemometric strategies to solve problems of environmental pollution and optimization of processes, and take decisions motivated by environmental sustainability.

At the end of the course, the main issues associated with environmental pollution phenomena are summarised. Pontentially applicable solutions are commented together.

To take the exam, registration through AlmaEsami is required. Those who fail to register by the scheduled date are required to communicate the problem to the teacher, who will have the right to admit them to take the test anyway.


Teaching tools

The course is taught with the aid of IT supports for the projection of texts and images. The slides of the course are available to students on the portal https://iol.unibo.it/

IT tools will be also used for literature examples and to run calculation softwares.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Ciacci


Good health and well-being Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.