cod. 1006049

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - First semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
BACCHI Alessia
integrated course unit
15 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Course unit structured in the following modules:

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding:
D1: At the end of the course the student is expected to know the basic concepts necessary for the study of Chemistry. In particular, the student will understand the two fundamental aspects of the basic chemistry: the numerical / stoichiometric aspect (fundamental calculations, correct use of formulas) and the practical / experimental aspect (active participation) laboratory exercises, use of the basic equipment of the chemical laboratory). The student will have basic knowledge of the chemical field: main aspects of chemical terminology, nomenclature, conventions and units of measurement; will have basic knowledge of chemical reactions and their main characteristics; basic knowledge of the structure and stereochemistry of elements and compounds; basic knowledge of the characteristic properties of the elements and their compounds, including the relationships between the groups and the periods in the Periodic Table.
Application of knowledge, and acquisition of skills:
D2: students will be able to attain: execution of stoichiometric calculations, energetic calculations, equilibrium constants, reaction orders, and formal interpretation basic chemical and physical knowledge.
At the end of the lessons, the student will be able to perform autonomously stoichiometric problems related to mass balancing, to the recognition of the limiting reagent, will be able to solve redox equations, determine and convert concentrations, calculate the pH of solutions under different conditions and will determine the solubility of simple compounds. At the end of the laboratory part, the student will be able to work safely in the laboratory; will be able to recognize the indications of risk and protection and will be able to use individual and group protection devices. He will be able to recognize glassware and basic instrumentation of a chemical laboratory and will be able to use it correctly. The student will acquire sufficient manual skills to carry out basic chemistry laboratory operations prior to the most advanced laboratories. The student will be able to safely use chemicals, including their proper disposal; will be able to perform synthesis and characterization of simple compounds using standard procedures, safe laboratory practices and standard laboratory instrumentation; will be able to gather scientific data through laboratory observations and measurements, to elaborate and interpret them.
Making Judgments
D3: students will develop correlation between experimental observation and theoretical knowledge. The student will be able to analyze a chemical problem and will be able to recognize the most suitable method for solving. The student will be able to collect and critically evaluate, present and discuss the experimental results acquired in collaborative activities; will be able to plan and conduct an experiment, also planning the times and the modalities; will be able to handle substances in safe conditions, to classify waste products, processing residues and dispose of them properly; will be able to correlate the data and results acquired experimentally with theoretical models.
Communication skills
D4: students will communicate scientific data and concepts with appropriate terminology within a collaborative environment. The student will know how to communicate with the appropriate scientific technical language and with the formalisms proper of chemistry.
Learning skills
D5: students will understand the concepts that will be developed in the higher levels of the educational career. The student will be able to act in a group context and will be able to understand more advanced chemical concepts.



Course unit content

The first lectures will deal with the introduction on the chemical nomenclature, the chemical reactions, and the principal methods for stoichiometric calculations.

The lectures of the second part of the semester will deal with numerical exercises on: gaseous systems, chemical equilibrium, theories of acids and bases and solubility.

Lectures will be delivered on the description of the laboratory activities and on the safety procedures in the laboratory. These lectures will be followed, in the second part of the semester, by 6 practical activities in the chemical laboratory plus 1 as a verification.

Full programme

The foundations of the atomic and molecular theory

Aggregation states of the matter. Names and symbols of the elements. Chemical equations. Atomic and molecular weights. Scale of the atomic weights. Mole and avogadro's number. Absolute atomic and molecular weights.

2 Structure of the atoms.
Principles of the quantum mechanics. The hydrogen atom. Polyelectron atoms. Electronic configuration of the atoms. Periodic properties of the elements.

3 Chemical bond

Ionic bond. Properties of the ionic compounds. Covalent bond. The lewis octet rule. Vsepr theory. Theory of the valence bond (vb) and theory of the molecular orbitals (mo). Hybrid orbitals. Description by the vb method of the bonds in simple molecoles and polyatomic ions, both inorganic and organic. Metallic bond. Van der Waals bonds. Hydrogen bond.

4 Nomenclature of the compounds

Chemical reactions. Oxidation numbers. Classification and nomenclature of the inorganic compounds. Chemical reactions: salification, exchange and oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions.

5 States of aggregation of the matter

Gaseous state: properties of the gases, ideal and nonideal gases. Liquefation of the gases. Liquid state. Solid state: properties of the solids. Crystal lattices and unit cells. Types of crystalline solids: metallic, ionic, covalent and molecolar. Defects in the crystals. Allotropy, polymorfism and isomorfism.

6 Solutions

General properties of the solutions. Different ways to indicate the concentrations of the solutes. Raoult's law. Colligative properties. Osmotic pression. Dissociaton ans association of the solutes.

7 Chemical thermodinamics

Definition of system, heat and work. Internal energy and enthalpy. Laws of the thermochemistry. Thelaws of thermodinamics. Entropy.Gibbs free energy. Equilibrium.

8 Chemical equilibrium

Equilibrium inhomogeneous systems. Equilibrium constant and its dependance on the temperature. Heterogeneous equilibria. Rule of the phases. Systems of one component. Binary systems formed by liquidis miscible in every ratio or quite immiscible. Solid-liqquid binary systems.

9 Ionic equilibria

Solubility-product. The nature of the acids and of the bases. Ionization of the water .pH and its determination. Dissociation of the acids and of the bases either strong and weak in diluted aqueous solutions. Hydrolitic equilibria.pH indicators. Acid-basis titration curves. Buffer solutions. Amphoteric substances.

10 Chemical kinetics

Reaction rates and features influencing them. Reaction order. Influence of the temperature on the reaction rate. Catalysis. Reaction mechanisms.

11 Electrolytic and galvanic cells

Electrolytic cells. Galvanic cells. Standard reduction potentials. Reference electrodes. Calculation of the f.e.m. of a cell.

12 Inorganic chemistry

General properties of the groups. General properties of the most important elements of the main and transition groups and of their most important compounds. Processes of industrial relevance.

Stoichiometry. Molecular and atomic mass, mole, chemical equations and balancing methods. Empirical formula, purity, limiting reagent and yield. Ideal and real gases laws and their applications. Concentrations, units and colligative properties. Chemical equilibrium in gas phase. Equilibrium constants and Le Chatelier principle. Equilibria in solution: acid-base equilibria, hydrolysis, buffers, titrations, solubility of salts. Laboratory activities: 1. Synthesis of zinc iodide from elements 2. Composition of the solutions and their preparation. 3. Titration curves of strong acid / strong baseand weak acid / weak base.


One among:

P. ATKINS e L. JONES, Principi di Chimica, Casa Editrice Zanichelli

FUSI, BACCHI, GIORGI, MARCHETTI, MESSORI, PAOLI, PUNZO, SORTINO, TOLAZZI - Chimica generale e Inorganica, Casa Editrice Idelson-Gnocchi, 2011

A.M. MANOTTI LANFREDI e A. TIRIPICCHIO, Fondamenti di Chimica, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana

P. Zanello-R.Gobetto-R.Zanoni, Conoscere la chimica, CEA, 2009

ATKINS, JONES - Chimica Generale - Zanichelli

R.H. PETRUCCI e W.S. HARWOOD, Chimica Generale, Casa Editrice Piccin


KW Whitten, RE Davis, ML Peck, GG Stanley - Chimica Generale - Piccin, 2004

R Chang, Fondamenti di Chimica generale, McGraw-Hill, 2009

J. Burdge, CHIMICA, Casa editrice Ambrosiana, 2010


- Esercizi di Chimica:
I. Bertini, C. Luchinat, F. Mani, E. Ravera
Stechiometria - Un avvio allo studio della chimica - 6a edizione
Casa Editrice Ambrosiana (Zanichelli)

- Come approfondimento (Testo disponibile in biblioteca):
M. Bruschi
Stechiometria e laboratorio di chimica generale

- Per i concetti di teoria generali:
P. W. Atkins, L. Jones, L. Laverman
Principi di chimica - 4a edizione

Teaching methods

Lectures. there are 72 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutoring. Multimedia resources are employed and students are encourage to take advantage of free software for visualization and manipulation of molecular structures.
Frontal teaching activities: the teacher explains the theoretical part of the course with the help of slide projection in which the methodologies will be discussed to deal with stoichiometry exercises concerning the topics reported in the course program. During the course there will be constant links with the topics held in the course of General and Inorganic Chemistry. Moreover, exercises on the blackboard partly conducted by the teacher and partly by the students will be held. The course also includes a series of practices in chemical laboratories, at compulsory attendance. The practices will be mainly of an individual nature, and are intended to provide students with both the knowledge on the main basic techniques that the ability to independently find solutions to practical problems, or to design the experiments themselves. Students will perfect their ability to describe activities through the writing of a laboratory notebook. Finally, a tutoring activity will be planned in the form of classroom meetings with the teacher who will answer questions from the students related to the course, in order to allow the students, in a guided way, to face difficulties. Part of the teaching material is available on the Elly portal.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of a written test, (210 mins) composed of two sections as follows, and a colloquium.
-12 open questions on the topics of the course of General and Inorganic Chemistry; these are extracted from a fulllist available on Elly to all the students
-3 excercises on the topics of the course of Laboratory of General and Inorganic Chemistry

The grade of the test will be weighted as 3/5 the grade of the first section, and 2/5 the grade of the second section. The minimum grade has to be obtained however for both sections individually to pass the test. The result of the is presented on the first day of the session of oral exams.
The written test will be followed by an oral exam (40 mins, colloquium) on the topics of both the courses of General and Inorganic Chemistry and Laboratory. In case of fail of the colloquium, the student will be asked to retake the test and the colloquium.
The final grade will be an average of the grades of the test and of the colloquium, and is immediately communicated to the student.

The evaluation of the General Chemistry part is based on the verification of knowledge and comprehension through the 12 questions of the written test, which concern all the chapters of the program. The oral test aims to evaluate the ability to apply knowledge and autonomy of judgment through 3-5 questions on: molecular structures and theories of the link; thermodynamics and kinetics; inorganic chemistry. Evaluation scale: 18-23: to write Lewis structures of simple molecules, to identify the factors that govern the equilibria, to know the phase transitions, the heterogeneous equilibria, to know the main periodic properties. 24-27: to know how to discuss the factors that determine the spontaneity of the processes and the structure-property correlations; know how to discuss the spontaneity of redox. 28-30: to know how to discuss the molecular electronic properties through bonding theories, the displacements from the equilinibre, the relationships between the concepts related to binding, thermodynamics, electrochemistry and kinetics.
As regards the topics of the Laboratory of General and Inorganic Chemistry, the student will be asked to demonstrate to have acquired:
- fundamental concepts
- skills in presenting the concepts using an adequate approach and consistent with this field of study
- capacity to connect the different concepts, demonstrating the ability to find individually the solutions to problems
- capacity to use textbooks, handouts and data on websites, and the capacity to critically evaluate this material
- knowledge in the fundamental techniques in the chemical laboratory
- capacity to describe in a written form (reports) their lab activities, and to integrate it with the theoretical concepts.The teacher will evaluate during the laboratory exercises the ability of the student to work safely and to follow the procedures that will be given. The teacher will evaluate the ability to draw up reports on the activity carried out through the evaluation of the laboratory notebook, and the dexterity, autonomy and ability to use the laboratory instrumentation and glassware through a final laboratory practice. The overall assessment of the laboratory activity (notebook + final assessment exercise) will lead to an eligibility assessment. The written test of stoichiometry involves the resolution of exercises concerning the calculation and conversion of concentrations, mass balancing exercises, redox equations and calculation of the pH of solutions under various conditions. The student must demonstrate that he / she is able to solve each of the indicated sections sufficiently. Exercises proposed during past exams, with the result of the problems, are made available on Elly to allow students to evaluate their own preparation.

Other information

Part of the didactic material is available online for the students.

Teachers are available upon request for discussions and clarifications about specific topics.