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ENV2105 Applied Chemistry and Microbiology

Semester 1, 2019 Online
Short Description: Appld Chemistry & Microbiology
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 019999 - Natural and Physical Sciences
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 20 May 2019


Examiner: Antoine Trzcinski


This course is intended to provide an understanding of chemistry and microbiology from an environmental engineering perspective. Knowledge from this course will be essential in subsequent ENV coded courses including ENV3103 Environmental Pollution, ENV4203, ENV4204 and ENV4205.


This course provides the required knowledge of both chemistry and microbiology in order to understand more advanced courses in environmental engineering. The course is an applied course focusing on (1) the aspects of chemistry that are particularly valuable for solving environmental problems, and (2) laying the groundwork for applied water and wastewater analysis - a fundamental precept in environmental engineering practice and research.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Explain key chemistry concepts (including matter, atoms, elements, molecules, ions, electronegativity, inorganic and organic compounds) and different types of chemical reactions (such as precipitation-dissolution, acid-base, pH, complexations, redox, with gases, oxidation).
  2. Solve problems based on fundamental principles (moles and Avogadro’s number), interpret phenomena using chemical laws (such as Le Chatelier, Raoult and Henry’s Laws) and apply calculations based on activity coefficients and ionic strength.
  3. Evaluate the effect of chemical reactions including initiation and rate (using concepts of thermodynamics and kinetics) and chemical balance as expressed by stoichiometry, valence and units.
  4. Describe and discuss water chemistry theoretical concepts including water hardness, alkalinity, buffers, buffering capacity, chlorination and salinity.
  5. Describe chemical properties of pollutants and evaluate how pollutants can interact with a range of environments (atmosphere, receiving water and soils) depending on the type of chemical reaction taking place.
  6. Discuss the microbiological aspects affecting the diversity and function of microorganisms in environmental engineering systems and apply methods of detection and monitoring.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to chemistry including matter, elements, atoms, molecules, ions, electronegativity, stoichiometry, moles, valence and Avogadro’s number 15.00
2. Theoretical concepts from equilibrium chemistry including activity coefficient, pH, acid and bases, solutions and Le Chatelier, Raoult and Henry’s Laws 15.00
3. Introduction to different types of reactions including oxidation-reduction, precipitation-dissolution, acid-base and complexations 15.00
4. Introduction to thermodynamics principles including enthalpy, entropy, free energy, equilibrium constant and chemical kinetics 10.00
5. Introduction to water chemistry including hardness, buffer, buffering capacity alkalinity and chlorination 15.00
6. Apply chemical principles to remove hardness from given water characteristics 10.00
7. Introduction to organic chemistry and carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus cycles 10.00
8. Introduction to microbiology as applied to environmental engineering 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

OpenStax College, Chemistry OpenStax College. 11 March 2015. <>.
(free to download).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Blackman A, Bottle S, Schmid S, Mocerino M, Wille U 2016, Chemistry, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton QLD.
Davis ML and Masten SJ 2013, Principles of Environmental Engineering and Science, 3rd edn, McGraw Hill.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 52.00
Private Study 63.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
ON LINE QUIZ 1 100 10 25 Mar 2019 1,2,3
ON LINE QUIZ 2 100 10 10 Apr 2019 1,2,3
ASSIGNMENT 200 20 27 May 2019 2,4
EXAM 600 60 End S1 1,2,3,4,5,6 (see note 1)

  1. This will be a Restricted Examination. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    RESTRICTED: Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are:
    o writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination);
    o calculators which cannot hold textual information
    o Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination.
    o Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at