Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Lucia Maini (Modulo 1) Enrico Rampazzo (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Chemical methodologies for products and processes (cod. 6006)

Learning outcomes

The course provides the basic notions of chemistry and the ability to apply this knowledge to the solution of numerical and practical problems. In particular, students will be able to: understand and describe the composition, structure and reactivity of molecules; use the Periodic Table as a basis for the rationalization of chemical phenomena; perform stoichiometric calculations using the concepts of mole, concentration, pH, solubility; apply the general principles that regulate the equilibrium of chemical reactions to homogeneous and heterogeneous systems; apply the concepts of electrochemistry to chemical processes; recognize inorganic compounds.

Course contents

The course is divided into two modules held by Profs. Lucia Maini and Enrico Rampazzo:

Chemistry - 6 credits module (60 hours)

Introduction to Chemistry: the importance of chemistry as basic science. Introduction to the scientific method.

Chemical classification of matter: substances and mixtures - elements and compounds - homogeneous and heterogeneous systems. Considerations on the limitations of experimental measures.

The atom: Atomic theory - Composition of atoms, atomic number, and mass - Isotopes and atomic weight - The atomic structure and outline of quantum theories - Atomic orbitals, quantum numbers, spin. - Orbitals in polyelectronic atoms and order of filling - Electronic configurations of the elements.

Periodic Table: relationship with electronic configurations - Ionization energies; electronic affinities; atomic dimensions and their periodic trends.

Compounds: Minimum and molecular formulas - valence; degree of oxidation and its determination. Nomenclature. Mole, Avogadro number, and number of moles. Binary compounds with O (oxides) and their nomenclature. Classification of their hydrolysis products. Binary compounds with H.

Chemical bond: General concepts, the sharing of electronic pairs. Molecules and structures. Lewis structures of polyatomic molecules and ions (formal charges, octet expansion). - Molecular geometry with structural formulas (VSEPR method) - predictions on the polarity of molecules as a function of geometry and electronegativity - Resonance - Isomeries - molecular weight and formula weight.

Ionic bond: lattice energy and crystal lattice; stoichiometry of ionic compounds.

Covalent bonds: Valence bond theory and electronic configuration. Notes on the theory of molecular orbitals. Dative bond: acceptors and donors. Type of bond and position within the periodic table. Valence, degree of oxidation, coordination number.

Non-covalent molecular interactions: Van der Waals, London, hydrogen bonds. Metals and non-metals, notes on the metallic bond.

Elements of inorganic chemistry: review of periodic properties (electronic configuration, main degrees of oxidation, electronegativity). Acid-base and redox properties of the main elements. Introduction to coordination compounds.

Aggregation states of matter: general properties of solids, liquids, and gases. Allotropy. Relationship between P, T, and V in gases; theoretical gas model; equation of state. Deviations from the law of ideal gases - Mixtures of ideal gases; partial pressures - State changes - State diagrams.

Solutions: Definitions, and methods for indicating the concentration of a species: percent by weight and volume, mole fraction, molality, molarity. Conversions between them - Solubility and saturated solutions - Electrolyte solutions: strong and weak electrolytes; degree of dissociation; coeff. by van’t Hoff - Characteristics of ideal, diluted, and concentrated solutions.

Chemical reactions and equations: mass conservation law and balance - Redox reactions and their balance. - Reactions in solution: ionic form of their equations - Weight relationships in chemical reactions - notes on equivalent weight - Stoichiometric calculations.

Chemical equilibria: complete and incomplete reactions; Spontaneity of a reaction; Reaction quotient; law of mass action; equilibrium constant - Homogeneous and heterogeneous equilibria. Solubility and solubility product. - Effect of pressure, volume, the quantity of reactants and products on equilibria - Effect of heat and temperature on equilibria - Le Chatelier's principle - Simultaneous equilibria - Stoichiometric calculations.

Acids and bases: Protonic theory of acids and bases; conjugated acids and bases. Reactions of autoprotolysis; the ionic product of water. - Determination of the strength of acids and bases: Ka and Kb and classification. Polyprotic acids and bases. - Relationship between molecular structure and acid-base properties. Acid-base properties of ions. - Acidity and basicity of aqueous solutions: pH and pOH. - Reactions between acids and bases. Acidity and basicity of salt solutions. Reactions between acids and salts or bases and salts. - Properties of buffer solutions - Stoichiometric calculations.

Electrochemistry: Galvanic Cells. f.e.m. and reduction potentials; use of potentials. Nerst equation; Concentration, corrosion, electrolysis batteries.


It is essential to use the didactic material provided: slides, examples, and exercises, which can be found in the web portal https://virtuale.unibo.it/ . It is recommended to integrate the study with a UNIVERSITY text dedicated to first-level General and Inorganic Chemistry courses.

Foreign students owing other chemistry texts in English are invited to verify with the teacher their contents.

Teaching methods

Classroom lectures with power point presentations to illustrate the theoretical aspects of the course. Presentation through online applications of animations and images for understanding the contents and phenomena described in the course (molecular geometry, acid-base balances ...).

Exercises and examples carried out on the classroom blackboard related to the main topics of the course, and useful for facing the final exam. Group work and student presentations.

Attending the lessons and consulting the teaching material is essential for passing the final exam.

Assessment methods

Final exam consists of a 90-minute written test and an oral exams (20-30 min) to assess knowledge and ability to solve numerical exercises.

Examples of topics:  redox reaction balancing and stoichiometric calculations - limiting reagent, acid-base equilibria, colligative properties, solubility, galvanic cells, prediction of the molecular geometry of small molecules or inorganic ions, calculations related to concentration and preparation of solutions.

To access the oral exam it is necessary a mark greater than or equal to 18/30 on the written test. A final grade greater than or equal to 18/30 must be obtained to pass the exam.

NB: an identity document with photo is needed to access to the exams.

During the written test the student can use: - a periodic table of the elements that does NOT report indications on the nomenclature of ions and oxyacids; - a scientific calculator.

The use of textbooks, notes, and handouts is forbidden.

The use of ANY electronic device other than the calculator is severely forbidden.

Teaching tools

Projectors, interactive whiteboards, and classroom blackboards.

Teaching material will be available in the online portal (https://virtuale.unibo.it/), and lesson recordings will be available upon request via email to the teacher.

The didactic material contains detailed information regarding the participation and execution of the exam and its registration. Students with a disability certification or with a certified Specific Learning Disorder (DSA) can contact the teacher via email to - integrate the tools to support teaching - have additional time to perform the exam tests. The request must be received at least 15 days before the examination date (cc communication to the referent office: https://site.unibo.it/studenti-con-disabilita-e-dsa/it/contatti).

Office hours

See the website of Enrico Rampazzo

See the website of Lucia Maini


Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure

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