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Analytical and Organic Environmental Chemistry

Module CH3121

This Module is offered by TUM Department of Chemistry.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

CH3121 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 45 h 5 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The module consists of two parts, namely lectures (120 minutes) and exercises (60 minutes). The lectures are intended to familiarize the students with the fundamental concepts of environmental processes and analytical techniques used for investigating the fate of organic chemicals. Whereas, the exercises enable the students to apply the fundamental concepts to solve practical problems.

Lectures will include:
- Occurrence and sources of organic chemicals and appropriate sampling strategies.
- Enrichment and purification techniques (in air, water, organic phases, soil), analytical techniques based on sorption and poly parameter linear free energy relationships.
- Reaction chemistry and analytical techniques to decipher mechanisms (Transformation kinetics, hydrolysis, Hammett relationships, oxidation & reduction, isotope effects, concentration dynamics).
- Photo-stability of organic compounds (direct & indirect photolysis, photo-produced reactive intermediates).
- Analytical tools for decision-making on remediation, and environmental risk assessment.

Exercises will include, among others:
- Databases on properties and fate of organic chemicals.
- Construction of ppLFER for a given dataset.
- Estimation of chemical fate in porous media.
- Calculation of breakthrough volumes.
- Estimation of degradation rates of organic contaminants through direct photolysis.
- Prediction of distribution of chemicals in different phases (i.e. air, water, solid).
- Designing a field sampling campaign.
- Selection of analytical tools for demonstration of degradation.

Learning Outcome

Upon completion of the module, students will be able to:
- Understand different chemical, physical, and biological processes that influence fate of organic chemicals in the environment as well as in the analytical process chain.
- Apply fundamental concepts to predict environmental fate of contaminants such as persistence, transport, and bioaccumulation.
- Evaluate sampling strategies and analytical tools for investigating organic contaminants in a given environmental compartment.
- Differentiate pathways through which contaminants degrade in the environment.


Analytische Chemie I, Instrumentelle Analytik
Fortgeschrittene analytische Verfahren mit Übungen
Physikalische Chemie 1 (CH0655)
Organische Chemie 2 (CH0939)

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VI 3 Environmental Chemistry Bakkour, R. Elsner, M.
Assistants: Popp, C.
Tue, 08:00–09:30, 2408

Learning and Teaching Methods

The fundamental concepts will be presented in the lecture part by demonstrating a relevant environmental analytical problem followed by elaborating on the fundamental concepts necessary to solve it along with practical examples. The lectures will make use of power point slides and blackboard. An interactive exchange between the lecturer and the students will be promoted using a web-based live feedback system that enable all students to vote for multiple-choice quizzes that will be presented during the lectures followed by a discussion of the votes outcome.

Practical exercises will be distributed every week for topics that are linked to the fundamental concepts taught during the lecture. The assigned tasks will be presented by the students in the dedicated sessions, as small subgroups, using slides and/or blackboard. Discussion and feedback on the contents of each session will take place between the tutor and the students.


Slides, blackboard, videos, tweedback


Environmental Organic Chemistry (Schwarzenbach, Imboden, Gschwend, 2017)

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The learning outcome of the module will be assessed through a written exam of 90 minutes. The exam aims to assess the students’ learning outcome based on their (i) understanding of chemical/physical/biological processes that determine fate of organic chemicals, (ii) ability to apply the relevant processes to particular a environmental/analytical task, (iii) and ability to evaluate appropriate analytical techniques to investigate behavior of organic chemicals.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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