SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMF724008
Module Leader Jiaqian Jiang
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module combines environmental processes and pollution with monitoring and analysis; it contains elements of chemistry, biology, ecology, and pollution control. The module uses a systems approach to review the processes (natural and industrial) and dynamics of environmental systems (ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles). The effect of human perturbation on the environment is delivered in the context of ecosystem functions. Pollution sources and the nature of pollution at the atomic and molecular level are considered. Basic chemical and biochemical dynamics within ecosystems is considered. Measurement of such quantities involved in environmental pollution are evaluated using chemical and biochemical analytical methods. Case studies of industrial and natural environmental pollution events are included and regulatory frameworks placed in context.


The teaching syllabus will include the following: Chemical principles and environmental pollution involving case studies of air, water and land contamination by hazardous organic and inorganic chemicals (this includes back to basics: including moles, equivalents, and other units and definitions). Aqueous chemistry; solubility product constant, the behaviour of acids and bases and the concept of pH, water hardness and alkalinity, kinetics and equilibria, and electrochemistry. Biodiversity and ecology: The effects of harmful substances from environmental processes (eg natural disasters: volcanic eruptions, climate change, flooding, hurricanes etc). The effect of urban and industrial processes (eg landfill waste, stack emissions, transport emissions, sewage discharge to waterways) Toxicology and the role of toxins in the environment. Diffuse sources, transfer between media, event triggered sampling. Outline of the regulatory framework for monitoring environmental pollution. Data treatment: means, standard deviations, probability distribution, cumulative distributions, t-test, F-test. Analytical chemistry: assessment of basic parameters in water and waste water (e.g., total solids, pH, conductivity, COD) and eco-toxicology data, measurement of Cl demand and demonstration of Jar test operation.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Demonstrate and enhance understanding of the underlying biological, physical, chemical and ecological science principles and governing equations applicable to environmental pollution and remediation.2. Explain the normal functioning of basic processes occurring in the environment e.g. interpret the fate and transport of contaminants, select major pollution examples such as acid rain, eutrophication and desertification, describe the complexity of biogeochemical cycles and the dynamics of population.3. Select and scientifically examine case studies that reflect aspects of the physical, chemical and biological character of air, water, soil with respect to pollution.4. Choose techniques for sampling, monitoring and analysing pollution events.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is delivered via lectures (Power Point, CD-ROM, DVD, blackboard, web), tutorials (group work, individual problem solving), laboratory and field work (demonstrations / hands-on experience with analytical equipment). Fieldwork may include sampling techniques and use of chemical and biochemical portable equipment and analytical kits. The strategy is to integrate and measure the effects of pollution on the environment using basic concepts of chemical and ecological understanding.

Indicative Reading

Scientific Books and Reports Sawyer CN, McCarty PL and Parkin GF, "Chemistry for Environmental Engineering", 4th ed, McGraw-Hill, 1994. (ISBN 00711 39087) Lester JN and Birkett JW, "Microbiology and Chemistry for Environmental Scientists and Engineers", E & F Spon, 1999. (ISBN 04192 2680X) Reeve, Roger, "Introduction to Environmental Analysis" John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2002. (ISBN 0471 49295 7) Harrison R M, "Pollution: Causes, Effects cand Control", Royal Society, (4th Ed) (2001) Jackson A R W, Jackson J M, "Environmental Science", Longman, Harlow, England, (1999) Pepper I L, Gerba C P, Brusseau M L, "Pollution Science", Academic Press, San Diego, (1996) http://environmental.techindex.co.uk/ Environmental Data Services Reports (ENDS) Campbell M (Ed), "Sensor Systems for Environmental Monitoring"(Vols 1&2), Blackie Academic & Professional, (1997) Metcalf E, "Atomic Absorption and Emission Spectrometry, (ACOL Series), J Wiley & Sons, (1987) Rendell D, "Fluorescence and Phosphorescence Spectrometry", (ACOL Series), J Wiley & Sons, (1987) Lindsay S, "High Performance Liquid Chromatography", (ACOL Series), J Wiley & Sons, (1987) Miller J C and Miller J N, "Statistics for Analytical Chemistry (6th Ed), Ellis Horwood, (2000) Gardiner W P, "Statistical Analysis for Chemists ( A Software-based Approach), RSC, (1997) Stewart K, Ebel E, Chemical Measurement in Biological Systems, J Wiley & Sons, (2000) Hemond H, and Fechner-Levy E, Chemical Fate and Transport in the Environment, Harcourt Pub Ltd, (1999) Refereed Journals (Selected Papers) 1. Xinbin Feng et al, "Mercury mass balance study in Wujiangdu and Dongfung Resevoirs, Guizhon, China", Environmental Pollution J, pub by Elsevier, Vol 157, Issue 10, pp2594-2603, Oct 2009. 2. Y Yang and Thilo Hofmann, "Aqueous accelerated solvent extraction of native polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's) from carbonaceous river floodplain soils", Environmental Pollution J, pub by Elsevier, Vol 157, Issue 10, pp2604-2609, Oct 2009. 3. Dingfei Hu and Joel R Coats, "Laboratory evaluation of mobility and sorption for veterinary antibiotic, tylosin, in agricultural soils", J Environmental Monitoring, RSC, 8th July 2009. 4.Andizej Szczurek et al, "Application of a sensor system for determining the kind and quality of two component VOC mixtures in air after the use of solvents", J Environmental Monitoring, RSC, Web Pub 30th July 2009. (DOI:10.1039/b90782g). 5.Polizzi et al, "Fungi, mycotoxins and microbial volatile organic compounds in mouldy interiors from water damaged buildings", RSC, WEB Pub 15th July 2009. (DOI: 10, 1039/b906856b). 6. S H Hong et al, "Response of wild plant species to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil", RSC, 6th July 2009, (DOI:10.1039/b906560a) Web Tutorials 1. L I Smith, http://www.es.otego.ac.nz/cosc453/student-tutorial/principal-components.pdf(26 Feb 2002) 2. J Shiens, http://www.snl.salk.edu/~shlens/pub/notes/pca.pdf (22 Aug 2009)p

Transferrable Skills

Verbal communication skills in presentations (eg poster presentation, tutorial group work). Data handling and interpretation skills. Understanding monitoring strategies for improving environmental quality. Appraisal and development of environmental protection strategies. Information technology skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 6.00
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Practicals (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 86.00
Assessment (FT) 16.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 45% Lab Report
Exam (School) n/a 50.00 45% Class Test - Time Constrained Test