cod. 14785

Academic year 2020/21
1° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Chimica generale e inorganica (CHIM/03)
Discipline chimiche
Type of training activity
76 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the students are expected to have acquired knowledge and understanding of General and Inorganic Chemistry concepts that will allow them to interpret the biological phenomena at molecular level.

In particular, with reference to the Dublin Indicators, the student at the end of the course will have pursued and obtained the underreported targets.

Knowledge and understanding: the student will know the fundamental concepts of chemistry necessary to interpret at molecular level the biological phenomena.

Application of knowledge and understanding: the student will be able to apply the techniques learned during the lectures in calculations and will be able to tackle the most common chemical problems.

Communication skills: the student will be able to express using a correct formal language, verbally and in writing, chemical concepts and ideas.

Making judgements: with the intellectual tools provided in the course, the student will be able to use the principles of mass and charge conservation, to predict the molecular shape and the properties of molecules, and to analyse chemical reactions based on thermodynamic and kinetic considerations.

Learning skills: at the end of the course the students should have acquired the basic concepts of chemistry and should be able to study by themselves without problems on advanced level chemistry texts and be able to expand, with a good level of independence, their knoweldge in the field.


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Course unit content

The course is made up of 9 ECTS, 7 of which devoted to the theoretical part and 2 to stoichiometry.

The lectures are divided into four Units:

Unit 1: Atomic-molecular Theory
The chemical tools. Atoms and elements. Compounds and molecules. Chemical reactions: an introduction. Reactions in water solutions. Thermochemistry.

Unit 2: Atomic structure and the chemical bondAtomic and molecular structure. Structure of the atom. Electronic configuration of atoms and periodic properties. Basic concepts on the chemical bond and on the molecular structure. – Further concepts on the chemical bond: orbital hybridization, molecular orbital theory and metallic bond.

Unit 3: Thermodynamics
The states of aggregation: gases and their behaviour. Intermolecular forces: liquids and solids. Solutions and their behaviour. The control of chemical reactions: thermodynamic and kinetic aspects. The principles of thermodynamics and their implications in a chemical context. Spontaneity of the chemical reactions. Enthropy and free energy. Chemical equilibrium. The chemistry of acids and bases. Buffer systems. Precipitation reactions. Thermodynamics of redox reactions. Electrochemistry.

Unit 4: Kinetics
Rates and mechanisms of chemical reactions – Chemistry of the elements and of their compounds: the s and p blocks and the transition elements of biological relevance.

The stoichiometry part includes:
Writing a chemical formula from the name of a compound and vice versa.
Balancing chemical reactions.
The concept of mole and its use.
Redox reactions. Equivalent weight. Normality.
Principles of volumetric analysis.
Equilibria in solution: calculation of the pH of various kinds of solutions.
Buffer solutions.

Full programme

Atomic theory

Atoms and elements - Compounds and molecules - Nomenclature of Inorganic Compounds - Chemical reactions: an overview - Reactions in aqueous solution

Atomic and molecular structure

The structure of the atom - Electronic configuration of atoms and periodicity - Basics on molecular structure and chemical bonding: Lewis and VSEPR theory, VB theory (hybridization) and MO theory (application with homo- and heteronuclear diatomic molecules)


States of matter - Gases and their behaviour - Intermolecular forces - Thermodynamics: the principles of thermodynamics and their implications in chemistry - Thermochemistry - The spontaneity of chemical reactions: entropy and Gibbs free energy - Equilibrium: general concepts - The chemistry of weak acids and bases - Buffer solutions - Solubility


Reaction rate - kinetic equations - Reaction order - Arrhenius equation - Activated complex theory - Mechanisms in Chemical Reactions -


Stoichiometry. Balancing chemical reactions. Limiting reagent. Principles of volumetric analysis. Equilibria in solution. Calculation of pH in solutions of weak acids and bases. Buffer solutions. Calculations of solubility.


Title: Fondamenti di Chimica Generale (Testo + Connect + Smartbook)
Authors: Chang, Overby
Editor: Mcgraw-Hill
ISBN: 9788838696299
Edition: III
Pub. date: 01/2020.

Students who have problems with stoichiometry are advised to refer to the following text:

Maurizio Bruschi Stechiometria e laboratorio di chimica generale. Eserciziario 2/Ed. Pearson, 2018

Teaching methods

The course is made up of lectures, supplemented by material accessible online on the site Impromptu tests will be taken during the year to check the students’ level of comprehension. The stoichiometry part will be carried out by presenting a series of examples at the blackboard followed by problems to be solved individually or in group, in the classroom or at home.
During the lectures questions concerning the subject under discussion will be posed and students are incouraged to intervene or ask further questions.

Assessment methods and criteria

The acquired knowledge and comprehension of the concepts taught in the course will be verified through a final written test (2 hours) made up of 13 open questions of which:

1. Four questions about the atomic and molecular theory (10 points)

2. Three questions about the chemical bond theory (6 points)

3. Four questions about chemical thermodynamics (10 points)

4. Two questions about chemical kinetics (4 points)

The exam is passed only if the student has gathered at least 18 points and has obtained for each question at least half of the associated points. If besides having answered all the questions, the test is properly written with full mastery of the technical language, the student is assigned 30 cum laude.

Other information

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