Aquatic Chemistry (Env 543)

Course Information

Aquatic Chemistry
Course Information
Reading Assignments



Time and Location:        8:30-10:0 AM  Tuesday and Thursday

                                       Room 229  Lopata Hall          


Instructor:      Prof. Dan Giammar       229 Cupples II   (314) 935-6849


                        Office Hours:                Mondays 3:00-4:00 PM

                                                            Wednesdays 4:00-5:00 PM




Course Description.  Aquatic chemistry governs aspects of the biogeochemical cycling of trace metals and nutrients, contaminant fate and transport, and the performance of water and wastewater treatment processes.  This course examines chemical reactions relevant to natural and engineered aquatic systems.  A quantitative approach emphasizes the solution of chemical equilibrium and kinetics problems.  Topics covered include chemical equilibrium and kinetics, acid-base equilibria and alkalinity, dissolution and precipitation of solids, complexation of metals, oxidation-reduction processes, and reactions on solid surfaces.  Course lectures on aquatic chemistry principles are supplemented by detailed examinations of case studies. 


Course Objectives.  After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Explain the relevance and importance of significant reactions in aquatic systems.

  • Formulate and solve chemical equilibrium problems for complex aqueous systems.

  • Critically evaluate experimental studies of aquatic chemistry reactions and systems.  

  • Apply a software application to assist in solving chemical equilibrium problems.

  • Communicate and explain aquatic chemistry principles in multiple formats. 


Texts and Readings:

Required Text:        Water Chemistry, M. M. Benjamin, 2002          

Supplemental Texts on Reserve at Olin Library:

Aquatic Chemistry, W. Stumm and J. J. Morgan, 1996

Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry, D. Langmuir, 1997

Environmental Organic Chemistry, 1st Edition, R. P. Schwarzenbach, P. M. Gschwend, D. M. Imboden, 1993

Principles and Applications of Aquatic Chemistry, F. M M. Morel and J. G. Hering, 1993

Additional supplemental reading will be handed out in class or made available at the library.


Required Software:     MINEQL+:  A chemical equilibrium modeling system, version 4.5.  Environmental Research Software, Hallowell, MA.  The software will be available on the computers in Cupples II Room 111.  Each student may also make one additional copy for use during the course.  Please see the instructor to get the access code to Room 111 and to make a personal copy of the software. 



  • Problem Sets (40% of Grade)Eleven problem sets will provide practice applying the material covered in class and in the reading, including quantitative problems and qualitative discussion questions.  Each studentís overall problem set score will be the average of his/her ten best scores. 
  • Laboratory Report (10% of Grade).  A written report will examine the results of one laboratory session on acid-base chemistry. 
  • Midterm Exam (25% of Grade)There will be one midterm exam.  The exam will be closed book and students may bring a single sheet of paper (both sides) with handwritten notes.     
  • Course Project (25% of Grade).  Each student will complete a course project that critically examines a set of three of more published papers on a topic selected by the student.  The project will result in a written report and an oral presentation given during the final exam period. 


Late Policy.  No late work will be accepted.  Exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances. 


Collaboration Policy

Students are encouraged to discuss the course material outside of class and are permitted to work together on problem sets; however, each student is expected to turn in his/her own work.  All students are expected to adhere to high standards of academic integrity as outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy (  If you have any doubts or questions about the policies, please ask the instructor. 

Course Evalutions.  To continually improve this course, students are requested to complete the on-line course evaluation ( in the last few weeks of the semester. 



Home | Aquatic Chemistry | Course Information | Assignments | Reading Assignments

This site was last updated 08/31/06