00088 - 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 Quality education Affordable and clean energy Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has the basic knowledge of the structure of matter and the thermodynamic and kinetic principles that regulate its transformation. He has acquired the fundamental bases for understanding the relationships between structure, properties and reactivity of organic molecules with particular reference to their acid-base properties. It is able to understand and critically analyze, from the molecular point of view, the chemical reactions that take place in the agro-environmental ecosphere

Course contents

The course is divided into 2 modules held by Prof. Enrico Rampazzo:

Chemistry - 6 credits module (60 hours),

Fundamentals of organic chemistry (Module 2) - 2 credits module (20 hours),

The course program follows a logical path. It starts from the description of atoms and atomic structure, and then tackles the properties of systems characterized by a level of increasing complexity: molecules, substances, homogeneous and heterogeneous systems.

Introduction to Chemistry: the importance of chemistry as a basic science. Problem solving and improvement of the life quality. The importance within the degree program.

Chemical classification of matter: substances and mixtures - elements and compounds - homogeneous and heterogeneous systems. Atoms, atomic symbols and formulas, atomic and mass number, isotopes, ions. Considerations on the limitations of experimental measures.

The atom: Atomic theory - Composition of atoms, atomic and mass number - Isotopes and atomic weight - Structure of the atom: Bohr's model - The undulatory nature of matter: wave-particle duality. The atomic structure and outline of quantum theories - atomic orbitals, quantum numbers, spin. - Orbitals in the polyelectronic atoms and electronic filling order - Electronic configurations of the elements. - Periodic Table: relation with the electronic configurations- Ionization energies; electronic affinity; Atomic dimensions and their periodic trends.

The compounds: empirical and molecular formulas - Valence; oxidation number and its determination. Nomenclature. Lewis structures of molecules and polyatomic ions (formal charges, octet expansion). - Molecular geometry and structural formulas (VSEPR method) - predictions on the polarity of molecules with geometry and electronegativity - Resonance - Isomerism - molecular weight and weight formula - Mole, Avogadro number and number of moles.

The chemical bond: General concepts, the sharing of electronic pairs. Number of bonds, molecules and infinite structures. Ionic bond: reticular energy and crystal lattice; stoichiometry of ionic compounds. Covalent bonds: valence theory and electronic configuration. Electronic promotion. Introduction to the theory of molecular orbitals. Dative bond: acceptors and donors. Molecular geometries and Lewis structures, hybridization. Type of bond and position within the periodic table. Non-covalent molecular interactions: Van der Waals, London, hydrogen bonds. Metals and non-metals, introduction to the metallic bond. Valence, oxidation number, coordination number. Binary compounds with O (oxides) and their nomenclature. Classification of their hydrolysis products. Binary compounds with H.

Aggregation states: general properties of solids, liquids and gases. Allotropy. Relationship between P, T and V in the gases; theoretical model of gas; equation of state. Deviations from the ideal gas law - Ideal gas mixtures; partial pressures - state changes - state diagrams.

Solutions: methods to indicate the concentration of a species: percent by weight and volume, molar fraction, molality, molarity, normality and conversions between them. Solubility and saturated solutions - Electrolyte solutions: strong and weak electrolytes; degree of dissociation; van't Hoff coefficient. - Characteristics of ideal solutions, diluted and concentrated. - Changes in the status of liquid solutions: laws of Raoult and Henry - Osmosis and osmotic pressure. - Colligative properties and determination of solute PM; stoichiometric calculations.

Chemical reactions: Reactions and chemical equations; mass conservation law and balancing - Redox reactions and their balancing. - Reactions in solution: ionic form of their equations - Weight relationships in chemical reactions - overview of the equivalent weight - Stoichiometric calculations.

Thermodynamics: Introduction to Thermochemistry: reactions and heat (internal energy, enthalpy), entropy and its meaning, spontaneous reactions (entropy, free energy), calculation of thermodynamic quantities, variation of free energy during the course of a reaction.
Introduction to Chemical Kinetics: reaction speed; kinetic equations; reaction order; kinetic constants and factors that influence them.- Reaction mechanisms and elementary stages. Activated complex, activation energy - Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis.

Introduction to Chemical Kinetics: reaction speed; kinetic equations; reaction order; kinetic constants and factors influencing them - Reaction mechanisms and elementary stages. Activated complex, activation energy - Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis.

Chemical equilibria: Complete and incomplete reactions; chemical equilibria - reaction quotient; mass action law; equilibrium constant - Homogeneous and heterogeneous equilibria. Solubility and solubility product. - Effect of pressure, volume, quantity of reagents and products on the balance - Effect of heat and temperature on the equilibrium - Le Chatelier's principle. - Simultaneous equilibria. - stoichiometric calculations.

Acids and bases: proton theory of acids and bases; conjugated acids and bases. Autoprotolysis reactions; ionic water product - Determination of the strength of acids and bases: Ka and Kb. Polyprotic acids and bases - Relationship between molecular structure and acid-base properties. Acid-based properties of ions - Acidity and basicity of aqueous solutions: pH and pOH - Reactions between acids and bases. Acidity and basicity of salt solutions. Reactions between acids and salts or bases and salts - Properties of buffer solutions - Stoichiometric calculations.

Elements of inorganic chemistry: Periodic properties (electronic configuration, oxidation numbers, electronegativity). Acid-base and redox properties of the main elements. Introduction to coordination compounds.

Foundations of Organic Chemistry - Biomolecules Chemistry (MODULE 2)
Methods for representing the structures of organic compounds.
Orbitals, electronic structure, chemical bond, polarity and electronegativity. Hybrids and hybridization concepts for the carbon atom.
Acids and bases according to Lewis, nucleophiles and electrophiles.
The main classes of organic compounds and the main functional groups will be briefly described with reference to their nomenclature: hydrocarbons (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, arenes), alcohols and phenols, amines, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives (esters, amides, anhydrides, acyl halides).
Polarity and acid-base properties of the main functional groups. Relationship between the polarity and the basic acid properties of simple organic molecules.
Introduction to the fundamental building blocks, structure and properties of biomolecules: amino acids, peptide bond and proteins, enzymes and their function. Lipids: Fats, oils, soaps. Phospholipids. Steroids. Biological membranes.
Notes on the composition and structure of wood and humic acids.
Outline of the cycle of the main elements of biological interest: C, N, O, S, P.


It is recommended to use the teaching material and lecture notes. As a supplement to the study any UNIVERSITY text dedicated to General and Inorganic Chemistry courses of the first level is suitable.

Students who already have a book are invited to verify with the teacher its contents.


Teaching methods

Classroom lectures with power point presentations concerning the theoretical aspects of the course.

Practical lectures dealing with chemistry numerical problems, with particular reference to final exam examples.

Compatibly with time, the possibility of using small videos and / or simple experimental demonstrations in the classroom will be evaluated.

The attendance to the lectures and the study of the teaching material is essential to passing the final exam.

Assessment methods

A final written exam of 2.5 hours will be used to verify the learning outcomes.

The exam will be made by a set of:
- three numerical exercises: a maximum of 6 points / exercise.
Examples of topics: balance of an oxidation-reduction reaction and stoichiometric calculations - limiting reagent, acid-base equilibria, colligative properties, solubility, calculations related to the concentration and preparation of solutions.

- four exercises concerning the whole program, two of which refer to Module 2 (Foundations of Organic Chemistry - Chemistry of Biomolecules): a maximum of 3 points / exercise.
Examples of topics: obtaining the molecular geometry of simple molecules or ions by means of the VSEPR method; electrolytes and colligative properties; definitions and short descriptions of theoretical topics; description of the polarity and acidity properties of simple organic molecules; nomenclature exercise on an organic compound; identification of the main functional groups within an organic molecule

The passing of the written test takes place with a score larger or equal than 18/30.

To single exercises will be assigned a partial score in the case of errors or incompleteness. The cum laude is assigned according to the quality of the performance: completeness, clarity and argumentation of the answers.

Students who wish to improve the result of the written test, can ask for an oral test that will cover the topics presented during the course. This oral exam is not mandatory.

NB: at the written exam, students must present themselves with an ID document.

During the written test is allowed the use of:

- a periodic table of the elements that does NOT report indications on the nomenclature chemical compounds

- a scientific calculator.

The use of textbooks, notes and handouts is NOT permitted.

During the examination the use of ANY electronic device other than the calculator is NOT allowed.

Students who wish to do the exam in English are allowed: please contact the teacher by email no later than one week before the examination.

Teaching tools

Projectors, interactive whiteboards and classroom whiteboards.
Possibility to download (https://virtuale.unibo.it/) the lectures teaching material given by the teacher.

A section of the teaching material will be dedicated to the information related to the participation of the course and for undertake of the final exam.

Students with a disability certification and with DSA are invited to contact the teacher to:
- implement the teaching methods
- fix and undertake with sufficient advance compensatory and dispensative measures during the final exam

Office hours

See the website of Enrico Rampazzo