Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2016/17
Environmental chemistry/Applied ecology
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Environmental And Land Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Comino Elena ORARIO RICEVIMENTO A2 ICAR/03 50 10 0 0 9
Fiore Silvia ORARIO RICEVIMENTO A2 ICAR/03 48 12 0 0 10
SSD CFU Activities Area context
B - Caratterizzanti
B - Caratterizzanti
Ingegneria ambientale e del territorio
Ingegneria ambientale e del territorio
Subject fundamentals
The course has as general objective to supply an interdisciplinar overview of chemical, physico-chemical, biological and ecological aspects for the description of environmental domains, whose knowledge is essential to understand and explain complex environmental phenomena.
In detail, the course has the aim to develop and analyze the chemical and/or biological topics that are at the bottom of technological processes that are peculiar of engineering for the reduction of impacts, the environmental protection and the management of natural resources.
Expected learning outcomes
The student should develop independence and elementary interpretation of environmental measures and data and basic instruments that are preparatory for an optimal use of subsequent courses. The student should also be able to implement the acquired knowledge to understand and assess phenomena and critical aspects deriving from the interaction between anthropic activity and environmental spheres.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
The course requires basic knowledge of Chemistry, with particular reference to nomenclature and aqueous phase equilibria.
Environmental Chemistry module (6 CFU)
General concepts: Environmental Chemistry domain, environmental spheres and pollution. Elements distribution and mass circulation among environmental spheres. Pollutants’ fate in the environment: distribution, mobility, chemical reactivity, biodegradability, aqueous solubility, partitioning, volatility, sorption. Hydropshere: characteristics of natural water. Solids, dissolved gases, dissolved oxygen as environmental quality indicator, self-reclamation capacity of a water body, thermal pollution. BOD, COD, ThOD, ORP, ph. CO2/carbonic acid/carbonates system. Inorganic carbon, alkalinity, hardness, electric conductivity, TOC, inorganic species (metals, chlorides, sulfur, nitrogen, phosphorous). Oxidation/reduction reactions, ecological redox sequence. Behavior of metals in aqueous phase. Hydrosphere’s pollution: inorganic contaminants, metals, acid/alkaline/saline substances, radionuclides. Geosphere: general concepts. Physic, hydrogeologic, mineralogic, chemical characteristics of the soil. Delay phenomena: soil/water interface interactions involving organic and inorganic contaminants. Soil/water/air interface interactions involving organic and inorganic contaminants. Atmosphere: general concepts, physic caracteristics (temperature, pressure, density trends), temperature and composition variations with height, dimensional/optic/chemical features. Oxygen speciation. Atmosphere’s pollution: general concepts. Scale effect, primary and secondary pollutants. Combustion reactions. Particulate matter, inorganic gases, NOx, SOx, organic contaminants. Photochemical cycle of NOx, photochemical smog, ozone depletion, acid/base reactions and acid rains, greenhouse gases and global warming, indoor pollution.

Applied Ecology Module (6 CFU)
Principles of Ecology: Physical environment, climate, adaptation to the environment, resilience and resistance, capacity capacity. Populations: Conservation. Mathematical models for the study of population dynamics. Minimum living population concept. Density-dependent growth. Structure and dynamics of communities. Competition. Interaction between species and dynamics. Predation. Parasitism. Mutualismo. Ecological sequences. Biodiversity. Habitat. Ecological niche. Trophic nets and chains. Producers and Consumers. Productivity. Biomass. Microorganisms
Ecology of Ecosystems: 1) Soil: chemical, physical and biological properties. Soil erosion: cause and effects; 2) Organic matter, biological composition, microorganisms. Degradation: cause and effects; 3) Bio-Geo-Chemical cycles. 4) Aquatic Ecosystems: lake, river and torrent. Eutrophycation; 5) Agro ecocosystem; 6) Urban Ecosystem
Human Ecology: interaction between environment and living organisms. Pollution, growth population, soil lost, climate change, water scarcity and human needs. Bioaccumulation, Biomagnification, curve dose-response.
Applied Ecology: project and case study will be presented focused on: management and conservation and ecosystem recovery, Sistemic approach for ecosystem management. Specific and innovative subject on Ecological Engineering will discussed: Phytoremediation, production and microalgae use, biogas from agricolture waste, Environmental Education.
External experts, national and international, will be invited for specific subject.
Delivery modes
Environmental Chemistry: no laboratory activities are foreseen. Many exercises will be developed during the course.

Applied ecology module: the practical activities are based on PBL approach ( problem based learning), with case study and project.

Before the end of the course a field activity will be organized (1-2 days). Students will be committed in field activities and data analysis, combining the knowledge acquired in the courses Environmental Chemistry, Applied Ecology and Topography.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
Slides will be provided to the students on the course’s page on www.polito.it
Environmental Chemistry:

- S. E. Mahan (2013) Fundamentals of Environmental and toxicological chemistry, Fourth edition, CRC Press,
ISBN 978-1-4665-5316-3
- E. R. Weiner (2008) Applications of Environmental aquatic chemistry, Second edition, CRC Press, ISBN 0-8493-9066-4

Modulo di Ecologia Applicata:

- T.H. Smith, R.L. Smith, Elementi di Ecologia, VIII edizione, 2013, Pearson
- Galassi S., Ferrari I., Viaroli., Introduzione all’Ecologia applicata, Ed. Città Studi 2014
Assessment and grading criteria
Two written tests, one for each module, will be evaluated to be admitted to the oral exam (optional). The evaluation will consider the average mark of the two modules.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18

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Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY
WCAG 2.0 (Level AA)