NSCPHD1009 Environmental Soil Chemistry

Volume 2015/2016


PLEASE NOTE         

The PhD course database is under construction. If you want to sign up for this course, please click on the link in order to be re-directed. Link: https://phdcourses.ku.dk/nat.aspx


HydroThis course comprises the various processes affecting the composition, reactions and quality of the soil solution and solid phases, and the bioavailability of natural and anthropogenic pollutants. Main focus is on reactions at the solid-solution interfaces in soil and sediment systems, in particular sorption, degradation and dissolution processes. The use of equilibrium computation and other types of estimation tools and modelling is trained.

Part of the course comprise lectures and exercises from the MSc course "Soil and Water Pollution - concepts and theories" taught in the same block. In addition to these lectures and exercises, tutorials with only the PhD students attending and with focus on paper reading is performed. Papers are selected depending on the interests of the course participants. The papers are discussed in plenum and summarized by the course participants.

The main topics of the course are:

  • Structure of geosorbents (metal oxides, silicates, humic matter)
  • Description of processes at surfaces of geosorbents (minerals, organic matter, bacteria)
  • Microbial populations and microbial degradation of pollutants
  • Equilibrium models for speciation, and for sorption of ionic and non-ionic pollutants (e.g. pesticides, petrochemicals, PAH's/PCBs, trace metals, natural toxins) including surface complexation models.
  • Kinetics of sorption and degradation processes incl. diffusion.
  • Hydrolysis of metal ions and organic pollutants
  • Redox processes - degradation and mobility of pollutants.
  • Sorption and activity of biological macromolecules (enzymes, proteins, DNA, biodetergents) at mineral surfaces
  • Particles as transporters of pollutants
  • Coupling between abiotic and microbial processes in control of pollutant degradation
  • Instrumental methods for characterization of surface chemical reactions. 
  • Engineered environmental reactive particles to be used for soil and water cleaning
Learning Outcome
  • Knowledge on structure of particle surfaces in soil and aquatic environment
  • Knowledge on sorption and chemical reactions at the solid-solution interfaces
  • Knowledge on prime microbial degraders in soils, microbial degradation reactions and degradation pathways
  • Computation of sorption and degradation reactions at particle surfaces
  • Computation of speciation and estimation of pollutant chemical and physical properties
  • Insight on engineering of particle surfaces for sorption and degradation of pollutants
  • Hansen, HCB (ed)(2014): Soil Pollution – Biogeochemistry and Modelling. Approx. 400 pp.
  • Schwarzenbach et al. (2003) Environmental Organic Chemistry. Selected papers. 
  • Pepper et al. (2014) Environmental Microbiology. 
  • Journal articles (distributed at the course)
  • Equilibrium computation software (VMINTEQ) and other software (e.g. EpiSuite and chemical drawing programs). To be downloaded from the internet
Should have basic insight in chemistry, soil chemistry, and microbiology
Lectures and computational exercises in the MSc part of the course (Soil and Water Pollution) + colloquia specific for PhD students.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 120
  • Project work
  • 100
  • Theory exercises
  • 30
  • Total
  • 250
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Written report or poster on topic agreed with the course teacher. Preferably to be completed within one month after termination of the tutorials.
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

Time for hand-in of report to be agreed between course responsible and the ph.d. student