00090 - Analytical Chemistry

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide the student with: - the basic knowledge of Analytical Chemistry required to understand the principles of the most common quantitative analytical techniques, including both classic and instrumental methods; - the ability to select the most suitable analytical technique to solve a given analytical problem; - the ability to develop and optimize all the steps of an analytical procedure; - the ability to evaluate the performance of an analytical procedure and to assess the quality of an analytical result; - the ability to properly describe and comment an analytical procedure and correctly report an analytical result; - the ability to increase and update his knowledge through books, scientific publications and databases.

Course contents

- Statistical treatment of experimental data: errors in analytical chemistry, statistics of errors, tests of significance, error propagation, significant figures, reporting experimental data in accordance to the error, calibration (external calibration, standard additions, internal calibration), least squares fitting, characteristics of an analytical procedure (accuracy, precision, specificity and selectivity, linearity range, LOD, LOQ, robustness).

- Equilibria in solution: systematic approach to equilibrium problems, mass balance equation, charge balance equation, ion activity and concentration, the Debye-Huckel equation, solubility and solubility product, common ion effect, effects of secondary solution equilibria: hydrolysis and complexation, effect of pH, precipitation and separation of ions.

- Gravimetric analysis: the precipitation process, types of precipitates and their characteristics, homogeneous precipitation, impurities in precipitates, digestion, double precipitation, masking reagents, washing, drying and ignition, calculus for gravimetric analysis.

- Titrations:,acid-base conjugate couples, buffer solutions, theory of acid-base neutralization titrations, acid-base titration curves, species in a buffer solution as a function of pH, polyprotic acids and bases titration curves for polyprotic acids and bases, amphiprotic species, titration curves for amphiprotic species, precipitation titrations, titration curves, complexometric titrations, titrations with EDTA, redox titrations, redox titration curves, calculus for titration analysis.

- Electrochemical analytical methods: redox reactions, electrochemical cells, electrode potentials, junction potentials, reference electrodes, potentiometry, ion-selective electrodes, glass electrode for pH measurement, combined pH electrodes, measurement of pH, other ion-selective electrodes, cells for gas measurement, overview on other electrochemical analytical methods.

- Spectroscopic analytical methods: electromagnetic radiation, molecular absorption spectra in gaseous and condensed state (electronic, vibrational and rotational contributions), absorbance and transmittance, Lambert-Beer law, deviations from the Lambert-Beer law, analysis of mixtures, error in spectrophotometric measurements, derivative spectra, spectrophotometers (light sources, filters and monochromators, sample cuvettes, detectors, instrument configurations), fluorescence and phosphorescence, emission and excitation spectra, quantitative analysis, analyte derivatization for fluorescence-based analysis.

- Chromatographic analytical methods: principles of chromatographic separations, parameters of chromatographic separation, factors that affect the separation process, planar and column chromatography. Gaschromatography: principles. colum and stationary phases, instrumentation and detectors, applications. Liquid chromatography: principles and separation mechanisms, columns and stationary phases, isocratic and gradient elution, instrumentation and detectors.


Skoog, West, Holler, Crouch - Fondamenti di chimica analitica - 3° Ed - EdiSES (2015);  Harris - Chimica analitica quantitativa - 3° Ed - Zanichelli (2017); Hage, Carr - Chimica analitica e analisi quantitativa - 1° Ed - Piccin (2012).

Teaching methods

The course consists in lessons dealing about the basic principles of quantitative analytical techniques and of their applications. In addition, the notions acquired during the course will be applied to the solution of numerical problems in order to improve the knowledge of the principles of analytical chemistry and illustrate practical applications of the most important analytical techniques.

Assessment methods

The learning assessment will take place through the final exam, which ensures the acquisition of knowledge and expected skills by an oral examination, which may include simple numerical exercises. The exam will assess the achievement of the following learning objectives: - knowledge of procedures for processing and evaluating experimental data; - knowledge of the main chemical equilibria in solution and ability to solve numerical problems involving these equilibria; - knowledge of the basic principles and of the procedures of the most important classical and instrumental analytical techniques; - ability to select the most suitable technique for solving a particular analytical problem.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint presentations were used for the lessons, as well as numerical exercises. Presentations and other material (e.g., the text of numerical exercises) will be available for the students in the repository of teaching material of the University of Bologna.

Office hours

See the website of Massimo Guardigli