66972 - Waste Management and Control of Pollutants with Laboratory

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be able to describe the Integrated Waste Management System and the problems related to recycling, in a national and European regulatory framework: a reference to the Best Available Techniques (BAT), to the process working conditions and to the environmental controls, together with the presentation of significant case studies, will allow students to achieve professional skills in this field. Furthermore, students will understand the criteria to identify priority pollutants, apply main models to describe behavior and partition of chemicals in the different environmental compartments, and know the main methodologies of sampling and analysis of contaminants, on environmental matrices and waste. Finally, students will acquire practical proficiency by performing laboratory experiences related to the theoretical content of the course.

Course contents

Regulatory framework, at National and European level, concerning waste management. Integrated Waste Management System. Product and physico-chemical analysis of waste. Separated collection system. Thermic treatments and incineration. Sanitary landfill. Outlines of raw and secondary materials, treatments and process performance, size characteristics and dimensional reduction of materials. Waste sorting and material and energy recovery (e.g., paper, glass, plastics). Organic fraction treatment; composting and anaerobic digestion systems. Mechanical Biological Treatment and SSF (Secondary Solid Fuel). Case Studies on different waste flows.

Pollutants: definition; identification of chemical species hazardousness. Priority pollutants: physical-chemical characterisation; properties which govern environmental distribution and persistence; models of pollutant partitioning in the environment according to the fugacity approach. Air pollutant dispersion: description and predictive models. Sampling strategies of environmental matrices. Analysis of priority pollutants in water, air and soil. Analysis of pollutants in conveyed gas flows.


Real functions: power functions, roots, exponential and logarithm. Solutions of algebraic equation. Basic knowledge of differential and integral calculation (subject: Mathematics)

Knowledge of main physical properties and relations among them, main units of measurements. Specific, latent heat (subject: Physics)

Organic compounds nomenclature and structure. Risk related to organic chemical substances (subject: Organic Chemistry I)

Knowledge of thermodynamics applicable to systems in equilibrium. Phase equilibrium in mono or two-component systems. Equation of state of an ideal gas. Molar fraction and partial pressure. Principles of thermodynamics. Physical transformation of pure substances. Fugacity and activity. Simple mixtures (subject: Physical Chemistry)

Structure of polymers (subject: Fundamentals of Polymer Science).

Main spectroscopic and separation techniques. Basic statistics and interpretation of analytical data (subject: Analytical Chemistry)

Structure and physico-chemical characteristics of the atmosphere. Water properties. Geosphere and soil system. Main causes and routes of environmental contamination of anthropic origin (subject: Environmental Chemistry)


Pichtel J.: Waste Management Practices, II ed., CRC Press, 2014

McKay D.: Multimedia Environmental Models, II ed., Lewis Publ., 2001.

Tinsley Ian J.: Chemical Concepts in Pollutant Behavior, II ed., Wiley Interscience, 2004

Luciano Morselli, Fabrizio Passarini, Ivano Vassura (edited by). Waste Recovery - Strategies, Techniques and Applications in Europe, Franco Angeli Editore, 2009

Luciano Morselli, Roberto Marassi. I RIFIUTI. La chimica, il ciclo di vita, la valorizzazione, lo smaltimento, il controllo ambientale. Franco Angeli Editore, Milano, 2004;

Luciano Morselli, Fabrizio Passarini, Ivano Vassura (edited by). Innovative Technologies and environmental Impacts in Waste Management, Maggioli Editore, Rimini, 2006

Teaching methods

The course will be taught with theoretical lectures and deepening on application case studies. Furthermore, seminars by experts on specific fields will possibly be held. Laboratory experiences will be performed on the sampling of environmental matrices and pollutant analysis and, possibly, a visit to an industrial plant is organised. Finally, a work on multimedia instruments for database interrogation and knowledge of calculation software will be performed.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 [https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas] online, while Module 3 on health and safety is to be attended in class. Information about Module 3 attendance schedule is available on the website of your degree programme

Assessment methods

The final test is aimed at verifying the achievement of the following educational goals:

- ability to employ the knowledge provided by the course to identify possible environmental critical aspects in productive processes and suggest suitable techniques for their management, in view of a higher process sustainability

- ability to predict possible dynamics and interactions among pollutants and different environmental media

- ability to provide applicable solutions to the management of main environmental aspects: waste, enegy, purification of liquid and gaseous emissions

The exam consists in a final written tests, concerning both the contents of waste management, and those related to chemistry, control and monitoring of pollutants.

In case of failure, a final oral examination can be done.

The exam is aimed at verifying that the students have learnt how to apply their chemical education to the problems of waste management, to the comprehension of chemical processes at the base of environmental pollutants partitioning, to the knowledge of performing sampling and analysis of contaminants; thus, they must be able to use a proper technical-scientific language, succeeding in employing the concepts of basic chemical courses, and in particular of environmental chemistry.

Before the end of the course, frequently asked questions are usually recalled, discussing together on the possible answers.

Furthermore, a score for the redaction and discussion of a brief relation will be awarded, both on the part of waste management and on the one of control of pollutants.

For the formulation of the final score, modules concur in proportion to the assigned credits.

In order to sit for the examination, it is necessary to enter one's name in the list through AlmaEsami. Those who are not able to register themselves in time, must tell it to the teacher, who however have the faculty of admitting them to the exam.

Teaching tools

The course will be taught with the aid of computer support for the projection of text and images. The slides will be left available to the students, usually uploaded on the Unibo platform (https://virtuale.unibo.it/). Information instruments will be used for database interrogation and use of calculation software

Office hours

See the website of Fabrizio Passarini

See the website of Ivano Vassura