D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Agraria
A.A. A.A. 2016-2017
Credits 12
Hours 108
Period Corso annuale
Language ENG
U-gov code (STA SFA STAL) 3A476


Knowledge of some chemistry topics including both molecular structure and types of chemical bonds.

Development of the course

Lectures are planned (12 credits, 108 hours) concerning the most important topics of General Chemistry and most significant reaction mechanisms of Organic Chemistry. The lectures’ educational activity is supported in e-learning mode with all slides discussed in class and audio files of all the lectures; the final examinations texts with solutions are also given, thus allowing students to assess their level of preparation.

Learning outcomes

The course enables students to acquire the basic knowledge about the fundamental topic of Chemistry and reactions mechanisms of most relevant organic compounds present in biological systems, in order to understand their action in living organisms.


Ability to apply knowledge:

The student should acquire the ability to define chemical ideas so that he can apply this knowledge within other courses, in particular those dealing with biological chemistry and molecular biology.


Transversal skills:

The solution of selected problems, with single and group work, can improve the student insight together with the ability to communicate stemming from teamwork.



Section A – General Chemistry (6 ECTS)

1. Classifications of matter.  Physical and chemical properties of matter.  Measurement units. Atomic mass. The Avogadro’s number. Molecular mass. Chemical reactions and chemical equations.  The atomic theory. The structure of the atom. Atomic number, mass number, and isotopes. The periodic table. Molecules and ions. Chemical formulas. Naming compounds (0.5 ECTS).

2. From classical physics to quantum theory. The photoelectric effect. The hydrogen atom. The dual nature of the electron. Quantum numbers.  Atomic orbitals.  Electron configuration.  Development of the Periodic Table. Periodic classification of the elements. Periodic changes in physical properties. Ionization energy. Electron affinity. Variation in chemical properties of the representative elements (0.5 ECTS).

3. Lewis dot symbols. The ionic bond. The covalent bond. Electronegativity. Formal charge and Lewis structures. The concept of resonance. Bond enthalpy. Molecular geometry. Dipole moments. Hybridization of atomic orbitals in molecules containing double and triple bonds (0.5 ECTS).

4. Substances that exist as gases. Pressure of a gas. The gas laws. The ideal gas equation. Dalton’s law of partial pressures. The kinetic molecular theory of gases (0.5 ECTS).

5. General properties of aqueous solutions. Precipitation reactions. Acid-base reactions. Oxidation-reduction reactions. Concentration of solutions. Solution stoichiometry. Types of solutions. A molecular view of the solution process. Concentration units. Effect of temperature on solubility. Effect of pressure on the solubility of gases. Colligative properties (0.5 ECTS).

6. The nature of energy and types of energy. Energy changes in chemical reactions. Introduction to thermodynamics. Enthalpy of chemical reactions. Standard enthalpy of formation and reaction. The three laws of thermodynamics. Spontaneous processes. Entropy. The second law of thermodynamics. Gibbs free energy. Free energy and chemical equilibrium (0.5 ECTS).

7. The kinetic molecular theory of liquids and solids. Intermolecular forces. Properties of liquids. Crystal structure. Bonding in solids. Phase changes. Phase diagrams (0.5 ECTS).

8. The rate of a reaction. The rate laws. Activation energy and temperature dependence of rate constants. Transition states and intermediates. Reaction mechanisms. Catalysis (0.5 ECTS).

9. The concept of equilibrium. Ways of expressing equilibrium constants. What does the equilibrium constant tell us? Factors that affect chemical equilibrium (0.5 ECTS).

10. Brønsted acids and bases. The acid-base properties of water. pH - A measure of acidity. Strength of acids and bases. Weak acids and acid ionization constants. Weak bases and base ionization constants. Molecular structure and the strength of acids. Lewis acids and bases (0.5 ECTS).

11. Homogeneous versus heterogeneous solution equilibria. Buffer solutions. Acid-base titrations.  Acid-base indicators.  Solubility equilibria (0.5 ECTS).

12. Redox reactions. Galvanic cells. Standard reduction potentials. Thermodynamics of redox reactions (0.5 ECTS).


Section B - Organic Chemistry (6 ECTS).

1. Introduction to the structure of organic molecules. Atomic orbitals and electronic configuration. The chemical bond. The rendering of an organic structure. Functionalities and nomenclature of organic compounds (0.5 ECTS).

2. Resonance structures. Non-covalent interactions. Relationship between non-covalent interactions and physical properties of organic compounds (0.5 ECTS).

3. Conformations of linear and cyclic molecules.   Configurations and stereochemistry: chirality and chirality centres. Enantiomers and diastereomers (0.5 ECTS).

4. Introduction to reaction mechanisms. Thermodynamics and kinetis of organic reactions. Energy graphics and reaction plots. Electrophiles and nucleophiles (0.5 ECTS).

5. The acid-base processes. Structure effects on acidity and basicity (0.5 ECTS).

6. The nucleophilic substitution to sp3 carbons. Associative nucleophilic substitution: SN2 mechanism. Dissociative nucleophilic substitution: SN1 mechanism. Leaving groups and their properties. The SN1 o SN2 mechanism can be easily provided starting from structural considerations.

7. Elimination reactions leading to double bonds. E1 and E2 mechanisms (0.5 ECTS).

8. The p moieties as bases and nucleophiles. The electrophilic addition process. Cations as reaction intermediates. Intermediate cations stabilized by mesomeric or hyperconiugative effect. Cationic intermediates within alkylation of aromatic substrates (0.5 ECTS).  

9. Addition of nucleophiles to the carbonyl group. Keto-enolic tautomerism. Steric and electronic effects within the addition process. The addition process occurs as an equilibrium reaction. Kinds of nucleophiles. Nucleophiles at carbon: cyanide anion and enolate anions (1 ECTS).

10. Aldol reaction, retroaldol reaction and aldol condensation. Addition of nucleophiles to the carbonyl group followed by removal of a leaving group. Nucleophiles at carbon leading to b-dicarbonyl compounds. Addition of nucleophiles to a,b-unsaturated systems (1 ECTS).

Development of the examination

Learning measurement criteria

The examination consists of a written test and oral discussion with commentary of the written test results and explanation of three slides of Organic Chemistry presented within the lectures. In the task there are six exercises concerning concepts of general chemistry. For each response is given a score between zero and five. In order to overrun the written test, the student must attain a score not less than half of the available points.  The exam is passed when after the oral test final vote is greater than or equal to 18.



Learning evaluation methods

Within the written test, the student must demonstrate knowledge of the major chemical reaction mechanisms and to have acquired basic knowledge about the reactivity of the most common  class of compounds.


Learning evaluation criteria:

The final mark is awarded out of thirty. The examination is passed when the grade is greater than or equal to 18. It is expected to be awarded the highest marks with honors (30 cum laude).


Final mark allocation criteria

The final grade is given by adding to the written score the evaluation of the oral interview, up to a maximum of five points. Praise is attributed when the score obtained from the previous sum exceeds the value 30, while the student has demonstrated full mastery of the subject.


Recommended reading

Whitten, K.W., Davis, R.E., Peck, M.L., Stanley, G.G. “Chimica Generale”, VII Ed., Piccin

Hart, H., Craine, L.E., Hart D.J. “Chimica Organica” Zanichelli


Tutorial session

Monday from 12.00 am to 1.00 pm

  • C.L.T. - Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie Curriculum TECNOLOGIE AGRARIE (STA - TA)
  • C.L.T. - Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie Curriculum VITICOLTURA ED ENOLOGIA (STA - VE)

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