00090 - Analytical Chemistry

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 Clean water and sanitation

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Thestudent acquiresthe basic knowledge ofanalytical chemistry and lerns the tools tocritically and statistically evaluate the resultsobtained byanalytical methods. In the laboratory practice the student delves intothe useofanalytical techniques tounderstand thetheoretical conceptslearned, and acquiresthe skillsnecessarytowork ina chemical laboratory.

Course contents

The student is supposed to be familiar with the following topics:
General Chemistry: Chemical reactions, classification of chemical reactions, redox reactions, balancing redox reactions, solutions, electrolytes and non-electrolytes, solubility, solubilization process, activity and concentration, concentration of solutions, definition of acids and bases, acid-base systems in water, Autoprotolysis of water, acid and basic constants.
Purpose of Analytical Chemistry
The process of Analytical chemistry - basics of analytical instrumentation
Statistical processing of experimental data:
Elements of Chemometrics: Calculations and significant figures in relation to uncertainty (instrumental). Main expressions of concentration.
Average value of a data series.
Standard deviation and relative standard deviation.
Systematic and random errors.
Absolute error and relative error.
Probability distribution: Gaussian curve.
Accuracy and precision
How to measure precision and accuracy.
Propagation of uncertainty.
Limit of detection and limit of quantification
Sensitivity and analytical sensitivity
Standards and reference materials (certified or not)
Calibration curves
Student's t test
Limits (or intervals) of trust or confidence
Ways of expressing the analysis results
Comparison between true value and average comparison between means, paired samples for comparison.
Correlation and regression: Method of least squares, correlation coefficient
Qualitative and quantitative analysis, selection and validation of an analytical method
Safety in the chemistry laboratory

 Volumetric analysis:
Equipment and techniques of volumetric analysis, calibration of glassware

Preparation of standard solutions
Standardization of solutions
Volumetric analysis calculations
Acid-base titration: acid-base indicators. Titration curve of a strong monoprotic acid, a strong base, a weak acid with a strong monoprotic base and vice versa. Titration conditions and related errors.
Complexometric titrations. Principles and applications. Titration with EDTA. Application to the determination of water hardness.

Spectrophotometry: Definition of electromagnetic radiation. Interaction between electromagnetic radiation and matter: absorption and emission, energy levels and transitions. Qualitative and quantitative aspects: absorption and emission spectra; Beer-Lambert law. Molecular absorption spectroscopy (UV-Vis): principles and instrumentation. 

CALIBRATION: Calibration of glassware and automatic pipettes, expression of results (mean and standard deviation). Writing a report. 
-Acid / base titration: application to strong and weak acids, and to a real sample (vinegar). 
- Determination of water hardness by a complexometric method 
- Determination of glucose in aqueous solution by means of and end-point enzymatic method and absorption spectrophotometry


- Slides available on Virtuale (virtuale.unibo.it - requires authentication)

- Analytical Chemistry: an introduction, D.A. Skoog, D.M. West, F.J. Holler (Saunders College Publishing).

- Elements of Analytical Chemistry, Daniel C. Harris (W. H. Freeman).

- Principles and practice of analytical chemistry, F.W. Fifield, D. Kealey (Wiley).

- Quantitative Chimical Analysis, Daniel C. Harris (W. H. Freeman).

- Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry by Skoog and West, F.J. Holler, S.R. Crouch (Saunders College Publishing).

Teaching methods

The course is made up of 6 credits (4 credits room lectures, 2 credits laboratory) During the lectures the topics of the course will be presented and discussed, with theoretical insights and explanatory examples. The course includes laboratory exercises, which will be illustrated during lectures. The exercises are designed to allow each student to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge of the basic analytical techniques for working in a laboratory according to quality and safety guidelines. Each student will elaborate the results obtained in the laboratory by using the statistical tools learned in the cours, and will write down reports on the exercises.

"In consideration of the type of activities and teaching methods adopted, the attendance of this couse requires all students to attend modules 1 and 2 in e-learning mode and participate in module 3 of the specific training on safety and health. Information on dates and methods of attendance of module 3 can be consulted in the specific section of the degree program website. "

Assessment methods

Note: assessment methods could vary in case of extension of the anti-COVID measures. The teacher will promptly inform students of any variation.

Examination on the whole program, including:

  • Mid-term test on statistics and stoichiometry: a 60 min written test including numerical exercises for the solution of analytical problems.
  • Laboratory reports: reports on the laboratory exercises must be submitted before the date of the final test.
  • Final test: a 90 written test including 3 open questions and 2 numerical exercises. The students that have passed the mid-term test will only answer the open questions in 60 minutes.

The evaluation criterion is based on the demonstration by the student to be able to use and apply the knowledge, information and cultural tools provided by the course, and on the examination of the laboratory reports. The topics of the examination will be in particular: - Generality of the analytical process and rules for the application to the solution of real problems - Principles of chemical equilibrium in analytical chemistry - Methods for volumetric titration - Spectrophotometric methods. The threshold of learning sufficiency is represented in particular by the demonstration of skills and critical understanding of the course topics for discussion.

The teacher is available for further clarification and to verify the level of preparation prior to examination.


Teaching tools

Projector, computer, laboratories, tools and glassware, spectrophotometers. Material: the material presented in class will be made available to the student in electronic format via the Internet. Such material should be printed and brought to class.
To get educational materials: https://virtuale.unibo.it/
Access is reserved to the students enrolled on the course.

Possible distance teaching will be given through Microsoft Teams with the support of Microsoft 365 software suite.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Andrea Zattoni