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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[60/76]  BIOTECHNOLOGY [76/10 - Ord. 2018]  Industriale e Ambientale 10 96


The course aims to convey the basic knowledge of General and Inorganic Chemistry.
-atoms, the properties of the elements as a function of the electron configuration and the position in the periodic table, ionic and molecular compounds;
- the chemical formulas and nomenclature of the oxides, hydroxides, hydracids, acids, bases, salts, molecular compounds, common use and their structure, with particular attention to the formation of intra- and intermolecular chemical bonds;
- the different states of matter and their changes;
-the classification of reactions and their balancing;
-the solutions and their properties. The principles of chemical equilibrium, acids, bases, salts, buffers and pH;
-the main physical-chemical properties of some elements and their compounds;
-the safety standards, use of glassware and small instruments which electronic scales and pH meters;
-laboratory techniques for the preparation of solutions and their qualitative and quantitative analyses.
• to identify, name and write formulas for inorganic compounds (oxides, hydroxides, hydracids, acids, bases, salts, molecular compounds in common use);
• and to associate them with both the chemical bonds present that their state of aggregation. Predict the form, geometry and polarity of molecules;
• to know how to write and describe the qualitative and quantitative aspects for the preparation of a known strength solution and predict its pH;
• to know how to write and describe the qualitative and quantitative aspects (stoichiometric) of a chemical reaction;
• to know how to carry out simple experiments in a chemical laboratory;
• to know how to present the experimental data.
Ability to interpret knowledge and experimental data and to apply them in the right context. The in-itinere tests and exercises, as well as the experiments in the laboratory will offer the student the opportunity to evaluate and verify the knowledge acquired.
Acquisition of terminology and chemical knowledge. Sharing of equipment and spaces during the laboratory experiences will help the students to develop their ability of team working. The construction of graphs allows students to become familiar with scientific calculators, with electronic spreadsheets (e.g. Graphic or Excel) and will provide expertise on the presentation of experimental data according to scientific rigor.
Each topic covered will be treated first from a theoretical point of view, then it will be practically developed through experience in the laboratory and the results will be then examined by the appropriate tests and exercises. This approach will help the student to develop interconnection capacity and therefore learning.


Knowledge of basic mathematics (basic algebra, equations of first and second degree, exponents, logarithms, exponential, scientific notation, scientific digits, graphs, etc.) and basic physics (physical quantities and units of the International System).
It is required to pass the test of access to the Biotechnology Degree.


• Introduction to chemistry.
• The matter: aggregation states, elements and compounds, substances and mixtures. The physical and chemical transformations.
• The atomic model: the subatomic particles (electrons, neutrons, protons), atomic number, atomic mass, isotopes.
• Stoichiometry, mole, mass to mole and particles’ number conversion
• Electronic configuration, Aufbau principle, Pauli exclusion principle, Hund's rule, periodic properties.
• The periodic table: elements, groups, periods, regions. Traditional and IUPAC nomenclature.
• Classification of chemical reactions and balancing of the chemical equations. The solutions, solubility, unit of measurement of concentration. Limiting reactant. Stoichiometric calculations.
• The chemical bond: valence electrons, Lewis structures, octet rule and exceptions.
• Ionic bond. Covalent bond. Polarity of bond, electronegativity, oxidation number. Molecular geometry (VSEPR model). Orbital hybridization.
• The redox reactions and their balancing.
• The states of matter: gas, liquid and solid. Intra- and intermolecular forces. Exothermic and endothermic processes.
• Chemical equilibrium and the law of mass action. The equilibrium constant (K), reaction quotient (Q), Le Chatelier's principle.
• Acid-base equilibria: acid and base definition (Arrhenius, Bronsted-Lowry, Lewis), strength, reactivity. Water autoionization, pH and pOH. Stoichiometric calculations.
• Hydrolysis equilibria of salts and buffer solutions. Stoichiometric calculations
• Solubility equilibria: the solubility product (Kps). Common ion effect. Stoichiometric calculations.

• Introduction to the laboratory. Standards and safety equipment; equipment and laboratory glassware: use, cleaning and maintenance. Measurements of volume (graduated and volumetric glassware, sampling); Measurements of mass (different types of balances). Magnetic stirrers. Separation and purification techniques. Settling, gravity filtration, crystallization. (2 hours theory and 3 hours laboratory)
• Units of measure and conversions (S.I.) and data processing. Significant digits, experimental uncertainty, error, error propagation. (1 hour)
• Solutions, solubility. Units of measurement of concentrations. Solubility and miscibility, factors that affect the solubility. (1 hour) Laboratory: Preparation of solutions of different salts, acids and bases. Experimental determination of the solubility of a salt (7 hours)
• Chemical reactivity. Laboratory: precipitation reactions involving different metals (aluminium, zinc, lead, iron, copper) (8 hours) decomposition reactions, redox reaction and reactions with gas formation (2 hours).
• Laboratory: preparation of a salt solutions and pH determination, preparation of a buffer solution and check of its buffer effect. (8 hours)
• Volumetric analysis. General principles, primary and secondary standards, acid-base titrations, precipitation titrations. Titrations: strong acid-strong base titration; weak acid-strong base titration and their related curves. (2 hours) Laboratory: Titration of a strong acid with a strong base by using a pH indicator and a pH-meter. (4 hours) Titration of vinegar. (3 hours). Determination of chlorides in water by precipitation titration. (3 hours)
• Crystallization of an inorganic compound (2 hours)
• Flame tests of some metals (2 hours)

Teaching Methods

The course takes place in the first semester of the first year of the Biotecnology Degree and lasts for about 13 weeks. The course consists of lectures, exercises in stoichiometry, three in-itinere tests and 6-7 laboratory experiments.
The lectures are inclusive of exercises and tests and are accompanied by tutoring action by a tutor.
In order to limit the Covid-19 pandemic and to make satisfied the specific learning requirements, the lectures might be carried out by streaming mode or they might be recorded and made on-line available. Furthermore, the exercises might be conducted by distance modes and IT supports.
Based on the general context associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, the laboratory experiments might be organized in forms of shifts and/or substituted by on-line activities.

Verification of learning

The student's assessment includes a written test of 9-10 exercises about the program carried out and the experiments performed in the laboratory.
Other factors will contribute to the final mark, such as the student's participation during the lectures, tutorials and laboratory activities, and the laboratory reports.
Based on the general context associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, the written tests might be carried out by online modes (Moodle and Microsoft Teams).
For the final assessment, the following aspects will consider:
1. the procedure adopted for the solution of the question;
2. the logic followed by the student in the solution of the question;
3. the adequacy of the proposed solution in relation to the skills that the student is supposed to have acquired;
4. a suitable scientific language.
The satisfaction of the aspects n. 1 and n. 2 is a necessary condition for the achievement of a rating equal to 18/30. Marks up to 27/30 will be achieved if the first 4 aspects will be satisfied. Marks higher than 27/30 will be awarded to students whose exams meet all 5 aspects listed above.
In detail:
30/30 cum laude. The written test is correct. The student has clearly outlined all the steps of the exercises. Rigorous solution methods have been applied. The student has actively participated in laboratory activities showing excellent practical skills and critical sense.
28-30/30 The written test is correct. The student has clearly outlined all the steps. Rigorous solution methods have been applied. The student has actively participated in the laboratory activities showing very good practical skills. Skills, independent judgment, communication skills and ability to learn are very good.
25-27/30 The written test is correct with some inaccuracies on some exercises. The student has participated in the laboratory activities demonstrating good practical skills. Skills, independent judgment, communication skills and learning skills are good.
22-24/30 The written test is affected by some errors, and sometimes exercises and issues are not comprehensive. The student is able to work in a team and to perform simple laboratory experiments. Skills, independent judgment, communication skills and learning skills are adequate.
18-21/30 The written test is affected by a certain number of errors, and some exercises and issues are incomplete. The student is able to work in a team and to perform simple laboratory experiments. Skills, independent judgment, communication skills and ability to learn are sufficient.


Module I:
Fondamenti di Chimica. Principi generali con esercizi

V. Fusi, L. Giorgi, V. Lippolis, C. Caltagirone

Edizioni Edelson Gnocchi

Module II
Teacher Slides

More Information

Slides and exercises will be made available.
The suggested book contains numerous exercises from exams of General Chemistry given by the authors.

Questionnaire and social

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