Aquatic Chemistry

Aquatic Chemistry

(Course Code: 232KEY, Course outline)

Semester:  6 Teaching Credits: 4 ECTS: 6 Type: Compulsory
Prerequisite Courses:  Chemistry Course type: Special background Instructor: Maria Aloupi

On successful completion of the course students will:

  • have gained knowledge about the fundamental concepts of chemical thermodynamics, with emphasis to the chemical equilibrium
  • have gained knowledge about the different types of reactions that are important in natural water systems (acid-base, complexation, precipitation-dissolution, reduction-oxidation, and solid-solution interface reactions)
  • have gained knowledge about the concepts of ionic strength of solutions, and of the concentrations, activity, activity coefficients and normality of dissolved species in aquatic solutions
  • be able to develop the mathematical equations of mass balance, charge balance, proton balance and equilibrium constants for systems at equilibrium
  • be able to produce algebraic solutions of the composition of aquatic solutions at equilibrium
  • have gained an understanding of the processes that govern the behavior of inorganic species in aquatic systems
  • be able to interpret graphical presentation of water composition data (pC – pH, pe – pH graphs, etc)
  • have gained an understanding of the dissolved carbon system, of alkalinity and of pH determination in natural water systems
Topics per Week:
  • Introduction – concentration units – normality – ionic strength – activity
  • Laws of Thermodynamics
  • Chemical equilibrium
  • Chemical equilibrium – solution methods: analytical, graphical – pC vs. pH diagrams
  • Acids, bases, pH, buffer solutions, buffer capacity
  • The carbonate open system, alkalinity
  • Complexation reactions
  • Precipitation and dissolution reactions, stability diagrams
  • Redox reactions: introduction to redox chemistry
  • Redox reactions: equilibrium calculations
  • Redox Potential (pe) – pe-pH diagrams
Theory – Lectures
(hours / week)
Exercises – Laboratories
(hours / week)
Other Activities:  –
Grading: Final exam in the form of multiple choice questions,  and problem solving, via Moodle: 100% of total grade


Notes:  –
Basic Textbook:
  • Nikolaidis Ν. (2005). Aquatic Chemistry. Ziti Publisher (in greek)
  • Brezonik P. L. and Arnold W. A. (2011). Water Chemistry: An Introduction to the Chemistry of Natural and Engineered Aquatic Systems. Oxford
Language:  The course is taught in Greek. For exchange students, English literature is proposed and examinations are given in English
Internet Links: