Chemistry Skills9.1_Skills.html
Production of Materials9.2_Production_of_Materials.html
The Acidic Environment9.3_The_Acidic_Environment.html

Chemical Monitoring and Management
Shipwrecks, Corrosion and Conservation9.6_Shipwrecks,_Corrosion_and_Conservation.html

Chemistry Home PageHome_Page.html

9.4   CHEMICAL MONITORING & MANAGEMENT  The Burrup Fertilisers ammonia plant in the Pilbara region of West Australia.   Plants such as this rely on the Haber process and require constant monitoring and management.


The state of our environment is an important issue for society. Pollution of air, land and water in urban, rural and wilderness areas is a phenomenon that affects the health and survival of all organisms, including humans. An understanding of the chemical processes involved in interactions in the full range of global environments, including atmosphere and hydrosphere, is indispensable to an understanding of how environments behave and change. It is also vital in understanding how technologies, which in part are the result of chemical research, have affected environments. This module encourages discussion of how chemists can assist in reversing or minimising the environmental problems caused by technology and the human demand for products and services.

Some modern technologies can facilitate the gathering of information about the occurrence of chemicals — both those occurring in natural environments and those that are released as a result of human technological activity. Such technologies include systems that have been developed to quantify and compare amounts of substances.

This module increases students’ understanding of the nature, practice, applications and uses of chemistry and the implications of chemistry for society and the environment.


NOTE   This is only that part of the syllabus that specifies outcomes - there is much more to the syllabus.  This content statement is provided to you as a guide to what you should study in preparation for examinations.  It has been copied from the official document, but the numbering  system is my own.

The dot points in regular typeface are prefixed by “Students learn to -” and those in italics are prefixed by “Students -”.

Click on the links for notes, prep and practical report requirements.

9.4.1. Much of the work of chemists involves monitoring the reactants and products of reactions and managing reaction conditions.1.1 Gather, process and present information from secondary sources about the work of practising chemists, identifying:

   * the variety  of chemical occupations;

   * a  specific occupation for a more detailed study;

1.2 Outline the role of a chemist employed in a named industry or enterprise, identifying the branch of chemistry undertaken by the chemist and explaining a chemical principle that the chemist uses;

1.3 Identify the need for collaboration between chemists they collect and analyse data;

1.4 Describe an example of a chemical reaction such as combustion, where reactants form different products under different conditions and thus would need monitoring.

Notes on

9.4.2. Chemical processes in industry require monitoring and management to maximise production.

2.1 Identify and describe the industrial uses of ammonia;

2.2 Identify that ammonia can be synthesised from its component gases, nitrogen and hydrogen;

2.3 Describe that synthesis of ammonia occurs as a reversible reaction that will reach equilibrium;

2.4 Identify the reaction of hydrogen with nitrogen as exothermic;

2.5 Explain why the rate of reaction is increased by higher temperatures;

2.6 Explain why the yield of product in the Haber process is reduced at higher temperatures using Le Chatelier's principle;

2.7 Explain why the Haber process is based on a delicate balancing act involving reaction energy, reaction rate and equilibrium;

2.8 Explain that the use of a catalyst will lower the reaction temperature required and identify the catalysts used in the Haber process.

2.9 Analyse the impact of increased pressure on the system involved in the Haber process;

2.10 Explain why monitoring of the reaction vessel used in the Haber process is crucial and discuss the monitoring required.

2.11 Gather and process information from secondary sources to describe the conditions under which Haber developed the industrial synthesis of ammonia and  evaluate its significance at that time in world history.

Notes on

9.4.3. Manufactured products, including food, drugs and chemical are analysed to determine their chemical composition.

3.1 Perform first-hand investigations to carry out  a range of tests, including flame tests, to identify the following ions:

   * phosphate

   * sulfate

   * carbonate

   * chloride

   * barium

   * calcium

   * lead

   * copper

   * iron

3.2 Deduce the ions present in a sample from the results of tests;

3.3 Gather, process and present information to describe and explain evidence for the need to monitor levels of one of the above ions in substances used in society;

3.4 Identify data, plan, select equipment and perform first-hand investigations to measure the sulfate content of lawn fertiliser and explain the chemistry involved;

3.5 Analyse information to evaluate the reliability of the results of the above investigation and to propose solutions to the problems encountered in the procedure;

3.6 Gather, process and present information to interpret secondary data from AAS measurements and evaluate effectiveness of this in pollution control.

3.7 Describe the use of atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) in detecting concentrations of metal ions in solutions and assess its impact on scientific understanding of the effects of trace elements.

Notes on

9.4.4. Human activity has caused changes in the composition and structure of the atmosphere. Chemists monitor these changes so that further damage can  be limited.

4.1 Describe the composition and layered structure of the atmosphere;

4.2 Identify the main pollutants found in the lower atmosphere and their sources.

4.3 Describe ozone as a molecule able to act both as an upper atmosphere UV radiation shield and a  lower atmosphere pollutant;

4.4 Describe the formation of a coordinate covalent bond;

4.5 Demonstrate the formation of coordinate covalent bonds using Lewis electron dot structures;

4.6 Compare the properties of the oxygen allotropes O2 and O3 and account for them on the basis of molecular structure and bonding;

4.7 Compare the properties of the gaseous forms of oxygen and the oxygen free radical;

4.8 Identify the origins of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons in the atmosphere;

4.9 Identify and name examples of isomers (excluding geometrical and optical) of haloalkanes up to eight carbon atoms;

4.10 Gather,  process and present information from secondary sources including simulations,  molecular model kits or pictorial representations to model isomers of haloalkanes;

4.11 Present information from secondary sources to write the equations to show the reactions involving CFCs and ozone to demonstrate the removal of ozone from the atmosphere;

4.12 Analyse the information available that indicates changes in atmospheric ozone concentration, describe the changes observed and explain how this information was obtained;

4.13 Discuss the problems associated  with the use of CFCs and assess the effectiveness of steps taken to alleviate these problems.

Notes on

9.4.5. Human activity also impacts on waterways.  Chemical monitoring and management assists in providing safe water for human use and to protect the habitats of other organisms.

5.1 Perform first-hand investigations to use qualitative and quantitative tests to analyse and compare the quality of water samples;

5.2 Identify that water quality can be determined by considering:

   * concentrations of common ions

   * total dissolved  solids

   * hardness

   * turbidity

   * acidity

   * dissolved oxygen and biochemical oxygen demand

5.3 Gather, process and present information on the range and chemistry of the tests used to:

   * identify heavy metal pollution of water

   * monitor possible eutrophication of waterways;

5.4 Identify factors that affect the concentration of a range of ions in solution in natural bodies of water such as rivers and oceans;

5.5 Describe and assess the effectiveness of methods used to purify and sanitise mass water supplies;

5.6 Describe the design and composition of microscopic membrane filters and explain how they purify contaminated water.

5.7  Gather, process and  present information on the feature of the local town water supply in terms of:

   * catchment area

   * possible sources of contamination in this catchment  

   * chemical tests available to determine levels and types of contaminants;

   * physical and chemical  processes used to purify water

   * chemical additives in the water and the reasons for presence of these additives.

Notes on