00130 - General Inorganic Chemistry

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: -will have the basic knowledge of the atomic structure, chemical bounds, properties of solutions, principal chemical reactions and their main thermodynamic and kinetic quantities; - is able to understand nomenclature and to determine the geometry of the different species; - can balance chemical equations starting from reagents and establish the direction of their spontaneity; - is able to apply the acquired knowledge to solve problems.

Course contents


Experimental measurements limitations. Homogeneous and heterogeneous systems. Chemical species

The atom

The atomic theory; atomic composition; atomic and mass numbers. Isotopes and atomic weight. Bohr’s atomic theory; energy quantization. Atomic structure and quantum theories ; orbitals, quantum numbers and spin. Orbitals in poly-electronic atoms, electronic configurations of elements. Periodic Table and relation with electronic configuration. Ionization energy, electron affinity, atomic and ionic radii.

Chemical bonds: ionic, covalent, metallic and intermolecular.

General concepts. Covalent bonds: generalities on the valence bond theory. Molecules and infinite structures. Electronegativity and bond polarity; bond energy and distance. Covalent bond and electronic configurations. Valence bond theory and Lewis structures for polyatomic molecules and ions. Molecular geometry. Resonance and hybridization. Molecular orbital theory. Ionic bond: lattice energy, stoichiometry and geometry of ionic compounds. Metallic bond: conductibility and semiconductors. Intermolecular forces: Van der Waals, London, hydrogen bond and mixed and intermediate bonds. Correlations between the bond type and the atomic position in the Periodic Table for elements and binary compounds.


Minimum and molecular formula. Valence and oxidation degrees. Nomenclature. PM and PF. The mole and the Avogadro’s number. Molar mass and numbers of moles.

Solid, liquid and gaseous states

Solid, liquid and gaseous states: general properties. Gas theoretic model. Equation of state for gases. Gas mixtures: partial pressure. Changes of state and phase diagrams.


General properties of solutions. Concentration. Solubility. Solutions of electrolites. Ideal, diluted or concentrated solutions. Changes of state in liquid solutions. Raoult and Henry laws. Osmosis. Colligative properties and determination of molecular weight.

Chemical reactions

Chemical reactions and equations; mass conservation law. Equation balancing. Redox reactions and their balancing. Reactions in solution and ionic equations; redox half-reactions. Mass relation in the reactions; equivalent weight.


Generalities of thermochemistry; reactions and heat ( internal energy, enthalpy). Hess’s law. Spontaneous reactions (entropy, free energy). Study of the variations of the thermodynamic quantities during a chemical reaction. Complete and non-complete reactions.


Rate of reaction, kinetic equation. Radioactive decays and generalities on their medical applications. Reaction mechanisms. Activated complex and activation energy. Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. Chain reactions.

Chemical equilibrium

Uncomplete reactions. The equilibrium constants: Kc and Kp. Homogeneous and heterogeneous equilibria. Le Chatelier’s principle. Solubility and Kps. Effects of P,V,T, concentrations of reagents and products on the position of the equilibria. Simultaneous equilibria. Stoichiometric calculations on equilibria.

Acids and bases

Brønsted–Lowry theory of acid and bases. Conjugated acids and bases. Autoprotolysis of water Kw.; determination of acids and bases strength: Ka and Kb. Polyprotic acids and bases. Molecular structure and acid/base properties. Acidity of solutions: pH. Acid-base reactions. pH and solubility. Buffers. Stoichiometric calculations on acids and bases.


Galvanic cells. Reduction potentials and cells e.m.f. Electrolysis.

Coordination compouns

Nomenclature, structures and properties.

Inorganic chemistry

Elements: hydrogen; carbon; silicon; nitrogen; phosphorous; oxygen; sulphur; halogens. – Transition elements: general characteristics. For these elements the student will have to know: position in the Periodic Table, properties of their more common species. (the student can find forms on line)


General and inorganic chemistry is a basic science therefore ANY university textbook is fine. This are only some suggestions:

- Fusi, et al., Chimica: principi generali con esercizi. Idelson Gnocchi editore; ISBN:9788879476539.

- James E. Brady, John R. Holum, "Fondamenti di Chimica", Ed. Zanichelli.

- Kotz, Treichel, Weaver, Chimica, EdiSES

- P.Atkins, L. Jones, "Chimica Generale", Ed. Zanichelli

The notes that the student will take at the classroom-taught lessons will be foundamental and all the slides can be downloaded from the link:


To study the single elements it will be very usefull to read the tables that you can open clicking on each element at this link:


Teaching methods

The course consists only of classroom-taught lessons (no laboratories). The professor will use PC and projected presentations.

Assessment methods

Final written test and oral.

The final evaluation will be determined by the results of both exams.

To attend to both exams the student will have to register in a list, that will be present on the University dedicated link (Almaesami), with his/her personal credentials.

When the list will be closed it will be no longer possible to cancel the name, therefore if the student will not be able to attend to the exam (oral or written test) he/she will have to send a mail to the professor to notify the absence.

Written test.

The students will have to pass a written test based on 5 exercises (no open questions) to be solved in a maximum of 2 hours, in order to be allowed to attend to the oral exam (compulsory). The test will be passed with a score ≥ 18/30.

The result of the written test will be published in the web page of the exam on Almaesami and each single student will be able to visualize it accessing to the page with the personal login institutional credentials.

NB: to access to the classroom of the written test the student must exhibit a valid identity paper with picture, he/her will have to take a Periodic Table and a scientific calculator. It is strictly forbidden not only to use (even as a calculator) but also to switch on electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and PCs in the classroom. Any student with an operative device of this kind during the written test will be expelled and his/her exam canceled.

It will be instead possible to take in the classroom and to consult during the test the book of chemistry and the lesson notes.

Oral exam.

After passing the written test it will be possible to register to the oral exam in any of the orals that will be scheduled in the same academic year.

If the student does not pass the oral exam (or he/she decides to refuse the score) the written test will be still valid (always in the same academic year).

Teaching tools

PC, projector and microfone in the classroom.

The student has the possibility to download all the didactic material used in the classroom from the dedicated link of the University of Bologna (https://iol.unibo.it/).

Office hours

See the website of Nelsi Zaccheroni