Environmental Analysis

Module aims

  • This hands-on laboratory-based module involves undertaking a number of weekly experiments which will introduce the participants to water quality indicator, environmental sample analysis techniques and analytical data quality that relate to the overall scope of the Environmental Engineering course.  
  • Over the term-long course the student will gain an in-depth understanding of how to perform essential wet chemical processes and instrumental analysis techniques relevant to water quality, soil and waste assessment and treatment. The instrumental and wet chemical analysis methods introduced and utilised will provide a deeper understanding of the challenges and problems commonly encountered during the assessment of environmental samples.  
  • Ultimately, familiarity with chemical techniques will enable a better communication between environmental engineers and chemical laboratories.  
  • Completion of this course is essential for students without prior laboratory experience who wish to undertake a laboratory-based research project. 

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this course unit, students will have knowledge of:

  • The core principles of good laboratory practice.
  • Laboratory health and safety.
  • Understanding and applying risk assessments for laboratory work.
  • The application of the different ways of expressing the quantities of chemicals in samples.
  • Correct sample preparation for reliable data and reproducible analysis.
  • An understanding of key wet chemical and instrumental analysis methodologies.
  • The importance of data quality assurance.
  • Limitations of analytical techniques.
  • Key methodologies as applied to laboratory work
  • How to use laboratory equipment correctly

Module syllabus

  • The core experiments will use techniques and procedures which include: titrations, pH, colourimetric wet chemical analysis, acid digestions, COD, Kjeldahl nitrogen, ozonation, activated carbon adsorption, metal analysis using AAS and ICP-OES and organic analysis by UV-Vis techniques.    

Page Break 

No.  

Topic 

Staff 

01 

Laboratory Induction, Safety briefing 

Experiment 1 – Titrations & analytical data quality 

Dr G. Fowler 

Dr T. Kelly 

Dr A. Nievas-Pino 

02 

Experiment 2 – Ultraviolet/Visible Spectroscopy for the analysis of water 

Dr G. Fowler 

Dr T. Kelly 

Dr A. Nievas-Pino 

03 

Experiment 3 – Chemical Oxygen Demand: COD 

Dr G. Fowler 

Dr T. Kelly 

Dr A. Nievas-Pino 

04 

Experiment 4 – Determination of Metal contamination in Soil: Acid digestion and ICP-AES analysis 

Dr G. Fowler 

Dr T. Kelly 

Dr A. Nievas-Pino 

05 

Experiment 6 – Ozonation for the treatment of contaminated waters 

Dr G. Fowler 

Dr T. Kelly 

Dr A. Nievas-Pino 

06 

NO CLASS  

07 

Experiment 7 – Adsorption of pollutants by activated carbon 

Dr G. Fowler 

Dr T. Kelly 

Dr A. Nievas-Pino 

08 

Experiment 8 – Ca and Mg hardness of water 

Dr G. Fowler 

Dr T. Kelly 

Dr A. Nievas-Pino 

09 

Experiment 9 – Kjeldahl nitrogen 

Dr G. Fowler 

Dr T. Kelly 

Dr A. Nievas-Pino 

10 

Experiment 10 – Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry  

Dr G. Fowler 

Dr T. Kelly 

Dr A. Nievas-Pino 

Teaching methods

This laboratory course is delivered as practical classes with detailed written methods, demonstrations and instructions.

Assessments

Information will be provided separately.

Reading list

Module leaders

Dr Geoff Fowler