USQ Logo
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

ENV2105 Applied Chemistry and Microbiology

Semester 1, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agriculture and Environmental Science
Student contribution band : Band 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 17 May 2022


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.

Course learning outcomes

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

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

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz 1 No 15 1,2,3
Assignments Written Quiz 2 No 15 1,2,3
Assignments Written Problem Solving No 20 2,4
Examinations Non-invigilated Time limited online examinatn No 50 1,2,3,4,5,6
Date printed 17 May 2022