Bansi L. Kalra

Professor of Chemistry

Hollins University


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Chem 112: Environmental Analysis


Spring 2006

Instructor:  Bansi Kalra        Office: Dana 230     Phone: x6542

Text: Laboratory Experiments in Environmental Chemistry by D. Neal Boehnke and R. Del Delumyea
  Some Lab handouts will be provided by the instructor.

Meeting Times:     

Lectures:    Monday        9:10-10:00  a.m.     Dana 113

Labs:         Wednesday      1:30-5:00 p.m      Dana 222

Quizzes and Grades
Tests (3) 30%
Homework Assignments 10%
*Final Paper and Class Presentation 10%
Lab Attendance and Reports 50%
  • The tests will consist of the reading material assigned to you, the material covered in class, and experiments done in the lab.
  • *You will write a 7-10 page paper and present a talk on a topic (chosen in consultation with the instructor) in environmental chemistry at the end of the class.

To a large extent, this is a hands-on class. It will introduce you to some of the techniques involved, and the instruments used, in the chemical analysis of environmental pollutants. The techniques and instruments used range from simple titrations using burets and pipets for the determination of water hardness, to determining the amount of CO present in your car exhaust using a Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) Spectrophotometer, and determining the amount of trace metal(s) in used oil from an airplane engine using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer.  In general, you will perform experiments to determine water quality, check air quality, and collect and test a soil sample for the presence of trace metals.

Attendance: Regular attendance is a must for a class of this nature.

  • More than TWO unexcused absences from the lab will result in a grade of F.
  • Every absence from the lecture part of the course will reduce your grade by 10% and more than three absences will result in a grade of F.
  • No make-up labs will be allowed, except if you had to miss a lab due to an emergency (Proof Required). Lab Reports are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday following the lab period.

If you miss a class because of a medical problem, a note from your attending physician is required for an excused absence. For an excused absence from a class due to a required court appearance, or other unavoidable circumstances, appropriate proof is required

You are responsible for making up the missed work.

Please check the dates for tests, quizzes and exams, and, if possible, do not make any medical appointments with your doctor or plane reservations that will keep you away from the class. Grade on a missed test/quiz will be a ZERO

To avoid disturbing the class, the doors to the classroom will be closed at the beginning of the class. Please make sure, you are seated by that time.

Tentative Schedule of Labs
Day  Experiment
Feb. 1

Check In, Safety Rules, Introduction, Use of Balances, and Microsoft Excel.

Feb. 8 Review of Solution Chemistry: Concentration Units, and making of Solutions.
Feb 15 Water Analysis I: Measurement of Alkalinity and Acidity
Feb 22 Water Analysis II: Hardness of water (EDTA Titration) 
March 1 Water Analysis III. Conductivity of various waters/Total dissolved solids)
March 8 Water AnalysisIV: Determination of Dissolved Oxygen (Winkler Method)
March 15 Water Analysis V: Measurement of Phosphate Concentration (Spectronic 20)
March 29

(i) Chloride in Natural Waters: Mohr Method
(ii) Collection of Soil Samples from around the Hollins Campus

April 5 Trace Metal Analysis: Iron in used Airplane Oil (AA)
April 12 Preparing soil samples. (Grinding, sieving, dissolving etc.)
April 19 Analysis for calcium in soil and lead in dust (Read EPA Fact Sheet: Identifying Lead Hazards in Residential  Properties)
April 26 Air Analysis I: Determination of CO to CO2 ratio in the car exhaust (FTIR)
May 3 Student Presentations, and Checkout