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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[70/77]  CHEMICAL ENGINEERING [77/00 - Ord. 2017]  PERCORSO COMUNE 6 60
[70/78]  MECHANICAL ENGINEERING [78/00 - Ord. 2019]  PERCORSO COMUNE 6 60


The aim of the course is to give the necessary bases to interpret the chemical phenomena, to know the structure and properties of matter, to evaluate and to understand the energetic phenomena related to chemical and electrochemical systems.
In particular, the student will have the following learning outcomes:
Knowledge and understanding: At the end of the course the student will acquire the basic knowledge of chemistry with particular regard to the structure of matter and the principles governing its chemical and physical transformations (phase transformations and chemical reactions). The correlation between the chemical equilibria, the energetic phenomena and mechanisms of transformation with the atomic structure and the nature of chemical bonds, is the main objective of the course. The systematic study of the chemical behaviour is limited to some elements and their derivatives of practical interest.
Applying knowledge and understanding: the student will be able to apply the knowledge on the structure of matter and the principles governing its transformation with regard to the interpretation and stoichiometric balance of chemical reactions, knowledge of the structure of solids (ionic, covalent, metallic and molecular), basic chemical properties of liquids, gases and solutions, interpretation and calculation of energetic phenomena related to chemical and electrochemical systems. The student will be able to apply this knowledge to the solution of numerical problems.
Making judgements: The student will be able to assess:
- The validity and limitations of the approximation of the interpretative models of the structure of matter;
- Fields of application of the principles of thermodynamics and kinetics to conducting chemical reactions.
Communication skills: The student will acquire the ability to communicate those concepts concerning the structure of matter and the principles of thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions using appropriate scientific language.
Learning skills: The knowledge gained will contribute to the formation of knowledge of the physical and chemical disciplines; this will allow the student to continue his engineering studies with higher autonomy and discernment.


The course is in first year (first semester) and therefore the prerequisites are those required for passing the test of access to the Faculty of Engineering. The basic knowledge on the constituent of the atom and the periodic table of elements, the symbols of elements and compounds, the balance of the elementary reactions, bases of stoichiometry are useful to attend the course. The knowledge of unit of measurement, logarithm and one-variable linear equations are required to attend (or to study individually) the course.


- ATOMIC STRUCTURE AND PERIODIC CLASSIFICATION OF ELEMENTS (5 hours of lecture-2 hours of exercise): Fundamental particles of the atom, atomic number and mass number; nuclides, isotopes and chemical elements; Relative atomic mass; The mole. Hydrogen atom structure and atomic models of Bohr, Bohr-Sommerfeld and quantum-wave. Quantum numbers, Pauli exclusion principle and Hund's rule; Construction of the electronic structure of an atom; Periodic Table and periodic properties of the elements.

- CHEMICAL BONDS (5 hours of lecture - 1 hour of exercise): The ionic bond, covalent bond, metallic bond and intermolecular bonds. Single, double and triple bonds. Molecular geometry, hybridization and VSEPR. Notes on the theory of molecular orbitals.

- SUBSTANCES AND STOICHIOMETRY (3 hours of lecture-3 hours of exercise): Elemental composition of chemical compounds and their empirical formula, chemical reactions and stoichiometry.

- STATE OF MATTER (4 hours of lecture-2 hours of exercise): Gaseous State. Macroscopic properties of the gas and ideal gas equation of state; Application of gas law in chemistry; Gaseous Mixtures: molar fractions, partial pressures; solid state. Ionic solids, molecular solids, covalent solids, metallic solids.

- CONCEPTS OF THERMODYNAMICS: (3 hours of lecture-2 hours of exercise): I and II law of thermodynamics-enthalpy (Hess law) free energy and entropy in a reaction. Criteria of spontaneity. Phase equilibria (3 hours of lecture): Balance between different phases of the same substance: equation; phases diagram of water and carbon dioxide.

- PROPERTIES OF SOLUTIONS (3 hours of lecture-2 hours of exercise): Colligative properties: vapour pressure lowering, freezing point depression and boiling point elevation.

- OUTLINE OF KINETICS AND CATALYSIS (2 hour lesson): Speed of reactions. Activation energy and catalysts

- CHEMICAL EQUILIBRIUM (4 hours of lecture-3 hours of exercise): Law of mass action. Homogeneous and heterogeneous chemical equilibria. Le Chatelier's principle and the influence of temperature on the equilibrium.

- IONIC EQUILIBRIUM IN AQUEOUS SOLUTION (4 hours of lecture-2 hours of exercise): Definition of acid and base according to Arrhenius, Bronsted acid-base reaction; Neutral solutions, acids and basic: pH, Calculation of the pH of solutions, strong acid-strong base titration.

- ELECTROCHEMISTRY (4 hours of lecture-3 hours of exercise): Redox reactions, conversion of "chemical energy" in electrochemical devices: galvanic cells and electrolysis cells, the Nernst equation; electromotive force of a galvanic element; semielement standard hydrogen; Tables of standard reduction potentials of redox couples, oxidising and reducing couples; Electrolysis and Faraday's law.

Teaching Methods

The course includes 40 hours of lectures and 20 of exercises in the classroom. Multiple choice tests will be done by smartphone at the end of each section in order to assess the level of advances of the class. The discussion of the real time response will allow to recall some arguments. Facultative tutoring will be done during the course.

Verification of learning

The final exam consists of a written test. The oral exam is not compulsory. The written test includes the resolution of one or more numerical problems, similar to those carried out in the classroom exercises, and a series of questions on the topics of the course. In particular, the numerical problems are aimed to ascertain the ability to apply knowledge on the structure of the matter and on principles of its transformation including stoichiometry, chemical properties of gas liquids and solutions, energetic evaluation of chemical and electrochemical systems. The answers of theoretical questions are devoted to the asses the level of understanding of chemical equilibria, energetic phenomena and transformation of the matter. Moreover, also the communication skills such as, synthesis, clarity and use of technical language will be ascertained with the written exam. The written test examination contributes to vote up to a maximum of 27/30. The assessment of learning outcomes is complemented by the oral test (not compulsory). Moreover, two written intermediate tests during the course can be done with a punctuation of 12 and 15 respectively: the sum of the two intermediate tests constitute the final score of the written exam.
In order to pass the exam (18/30), the student must demonstrate basic knowledge of the fundamental principles governing the properties and transformations of the matter, must be able to identify and use the procedures necessary for solving some of the proposed questions. To achieve a score of 30/30 and praise the student must demonstrate the achievement of excellent knowledge of the subject, with a great degree of deepening. It will also be able to propose and develop the most appropriate approach to problem solving. The student will also be able to easily connect the different topics of the course and illustrate the with language-specific and explicative exposure the subjects of the oral test.


D.W.Oxtoboy, N.H.Nachtrib – “Chimica moderna” – Edises
Schiavello-Palmisano, “Fondamenti di Chimica”,
Edises Napoli;
Silvestroni, “Fondamenti di Chimica”; ed. Veschi.

More Information

The didactic material including lecture slides, exercises and exam texts from previous sessions can be downloaded from the website people.unica.it/annalisavacca in the section “didattica”.

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