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Programme & Unit Catalogues

CH10226: Introduction to environmental and sustainable chemistry

[Page last updated: 21 April 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/3
Owning Department/School: Department of Chemistry
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: On completion of this unit students will have a basic knowledge and understanding of:
* Key scientific ideas behind green chemistry, renewable feedstocks, environmental chemistry, and issues surrounding sustainable power generation.
* How issues surrounding science and in particular environmental science and aspects of sustainability are represented in the media.
* The core concepts, principles and language relating to the science and social issues appropriate to the development of alternatives to oil products and be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of these topics.
* The impact of the use of oil on the future of the planet Students will be able to:
* Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the impact of the global reliance on fossil fuels on the future of the planet
* Demonstrate a knowledge of potential sustainable alternatives
* Express concepts in their own words in an objective and factually correct way
* Make sense of information presented in different ways, including textual, numerical or graphical material.

Aims: To provide students with a critical awareness of the core concepts, principles and language relating to the science and social issues of both environmental and sustainable chemistry at the forefront of the chemical science discipline, and the representation of these topics in the media.

Skills: Planning and organisation (T, F, A), Study skills (F), Information and communication technology (T, F, A), Written communication (T, F, A).

* Sustainable chemistry: explore the chemical philosophy behind sustainable chemistry and the principles that guide its development. An exploration of issues surrounding renewable resources include solar energy, wind, falling water, the heat of the earth (geothermal), and plant materials (biomass).
* Learning to live without oil: explore the role of oil in the modern world and assess some of the scientific developments that could lead to sustainable alternatives. The development of CO2 and biomass as renewable resources; biofuels; battery electric vehicles; hydrogen as fuel; and the production of biologically derived materials to replace plastics.
* Life in the greenhouse: explore the most significant aspects of environmental chemistry including major issues of stratospheric and tropospheric chemistry - ozone depletion, global ozone production in the lower atmosphere, and atmospheric radical cycles. The chemical nature and action of pollutants of the atmosphere, land, and water sources, will be presented along with prospects for their minimisation, and approaches for their eradication.
* Energy Development: An exploration of the issues facing energy production and storage in the 21st century, including nuclear energy, solar energy, the hydrogen economy and long term energy storage. The chemical nature of nuclear energy, solar energy and hydrogen fuel cells will be described.
* A critical analysis of how science and issues surrounding environmental chemistry and/or sustainability issues are presented in the media.

Programme availability:

CH10226 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
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