CEG8640 : Environmental Organic Analysis

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the theory and practice of environmental organic analysis using modern instrumental techniques.

Basic analytical concepts are covered, with emphasis on the monitoring and interpretation of data quality derived from the organic analytical analysis of soils and experimental microcosms designed to test oil bioremediation. The operation of analytical techniques such as GC, GC-MS, HPLC and LC-MS are explained, along with the shortcomings of each approach.

Practical classes which will include health and safety considerations, practical analysis of soil/sediment samples linked to the impact of microbial transformation of organic contaminants.

Data interpretation and data quality are considered during tutorial workshop.

Outline Of Syllabus

Sampling techniques for organic analytes, choice of analytical techniques appropriate for the chemical and physical properties of the analyte and matrix, solvent and solid phase extraction, spectroscopic techniques, theory of chromatography, theory and practise of liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and hyphenated techniques. Practical classes will apply these approaches in the context of understanding the application of microorganisms for the degradation of pollutants.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:309:00Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Coursework (report)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30written examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical131:0031:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Data interpretation workshop
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study137:3037:30N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Specialist knowledge and understanding are primarily imparted via lecture classes, supported by computer-hosted reference materials. Subject specific skills are taught through laboratory practical classes, supported by a tutorial.
Students are encouraged and expected to learn through independent reading and subsequent reflection. They are supported in this by the provision of an extensive, but prioritised, reading list. Practical skills are learnt by active participation in the laboratory practical classes.
Key skills are practised during the implementation of a geochemical study, and in the communication of the results of the study.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination602A40N/A
Oral Presentation152M18Oral presentation (15 minutes)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M42Practical report (1000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The specialist skills, knowledge and understanding imparted during this module are assessed by means of unseen written examination, an oral presentation and a single coursework item (a report on the organic geochemical approaches taught in the practical classes and the data generated). The examination paper employs a range of approaches in order to accurately assess student abilities. These may include essay, calculation, data interpretation, and multi-part questions.

Reading Lists