Environmental Physical Chemistry (PCC-32306)

This 6-credit course is an optional for the specializations D (Physical Chemistry) and E (Environmental Chemistry) of the Master Molecular Life Sciences. However, in addition we have as a target group master students in Environmental Science; for these students we also strive to make this a very useful and attractive course.

The course bridges more or less fundamental physical chemistry with processes in the natural environment. We treat chemical speciation (the chemical forms in which a compound occurs in the environment), cycling of chemicals and (nano)particles in aquatic media in contact with organic matter, soil and air, as well as their interaction with organisms and transport over cell walls and biological membranes. Chemical speciation is an important starting point for analyzing reactivity and bioavailability of compounds. Another important aspect that we address is the accumulation of species at interfaces in the environment, in cell walls and in biofilms.


Apart from lectures the course consist of a short case study on an environment-related research project in our university (chosen by the student) and exercises using models and computer simulations (for example, transport of compounds in the aquatic environment and  the development of biofims).

The course will be taught in the 2nd period. For more information, contact the lecturer Mieke Kleijn (Mieke.Kleijn@wur.nl).