90024 - Pollutant Organic Compounds and Fundamentals of Microbiology for Depollution t

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Lorenzo Bertin

  • Credits 6

  • SSD CHIM/11

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Environmental Engineering (cod. 9198)


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

Industry, innovation and infrastructure Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students will know the structure and the nomenclature of main chemical organic compounds, and in particular those of priority pollutants in atmosphere, waters and soils; moreover, they will know the mechanisms that rule the reactions among organic compounds and their typical reactivity. Students will also know the main biological constituents of microbial cells of environmental interest, and the basic aspects of their physiology and culturing strategies.

Course contents

Organic Compounds

The industrial and scientific importance of organic compounds, their role in the food industry and biotechnology.

The formulas of organic compounds and their graphical representation.

The classification of organic compounds. The conventional and rational IUPAC nomenclature of organic compounds.

The aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons: structure, nomenclature, physical properties, preparation and reactivity.

The isomerism in organic chemistry: structural isomerism and stereoisomerism; the R, S and E, Z classifications.

Organic reactions and their yealds. The mechanism of organic reactions: General principles and thermodynamic and kinetic aspects. The inductive, steric and resonance effects.

Heterocyclic compounds, aromatic and non aromatic (basics).

Halogenated organic compounds. Alcohols and phenols. Ethers and epoxides. Thioethers, thiols and other sulfur organic derivatives. Amines and other organic fertilizers. Aldehydes and ketones. Carboxylic acids and their derivatives


Structure and functions of the living matter and biomolecules of major interest. Structure and functions of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Virus.

Enzymes: structure, functions, classification and nomenclature. Enzymatic reactions, their rate and parameters that may affect/control them. Enzyme inhibition and regulation mechanisms. DNA and RNA: structure and their role in the replication, transcription and translation of genetic information. Regulation of proteins synthesis.

Classification of living organisms. Main features, cellular organization and physiology of bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoa occurring in environments and/or applied in the environmental remediation.

Microbial media: nutrients required and general composition of synthetic and natural, liquid and solid media, for microorganisms of environmental interest. Mixed cultures, co-cultures and pure cultures and conventional and molecular procedures for their characterization. Isolation of tailored pure cultures. Methods for microbial culture conservation.


Organic Chemistry:

J. McMurray - Fondamenti di Chimica Organica - Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna.

In general, any universitary book dedicated to the organic chemistry subject can be utilized.


Madigan M.T. et al. (2000) Brock: Biology of Microorganisms. 9th Edition, Prentice Hall International, Inc. New Jersey, USA

Rittmann B.E., McCarty P.L. (2001) Environmental Biotechnology: principles and applications. McGraw-Hill Higher education, New York, USA

Teaching methods

the Course consists of 60 hours of class lectures.

Assessment methods

the examination consists in a written  test.

the students will be asked to reply to four questions, about the topics proposed in the aulas. Two question (maximum ten and five marks, respectively) per course section (organic chemistry and microbiology) will be proposed. The examination will last 2 hours.

Teaching tools

class lectures will be supported by power point presentations.

Office hours

See the website of Lorenzo Bertin