CVEN 4424 Environmental Organic Chemistry




Joe Ryan
office: Engineering Center OT 517
phone: 303 492 0772; fax: 801 327 7112
web page:


This course focuses on prediction of the fate and transport of anthropogenic organic chemicals in aquatic environments. The course is divided into two major subjects: (1) physical transformations and (2) chemical transformations.  The physical transformations include sorption, volatilization, and uptake, the processes that control the distribution of organic chemicals between the phases of interest: water, soil, air, biota.  The chemical transformations include hydrolysis, redox, photolysis, and biologically-mediated reactions that control the breakdown of organic chemicals.  Throughout both subjects, we will develop predictive relationships for the parameters that control the fate and transport of organic chemicals by developing a thorough understanding of the chemical structure of the organic chemicals.



First-year chemistry (e.g., CHEM 1211 General Chemistry for Engineers) is needed to take this course.  A course in aquatic chemistry (CVEN 3454, CVEN 5404, GEOL 5280, or their equivalent) will be beneficial to your success in the course.  An undergraduate course in organic chemistry (e.g., CHEM 3311) will help you with nomenclature and basic understanding, but it is not necessary for this course.

Undergraduate/Graduate Requirements

This course is co-listed CVEN 4424 and CVEN 5424.  CVEN 4424 is the undergraduate version.  It is a required course in the Environmental Engineering (EVEN) B.S. curriculum.  CVEN 5424 is a graduate course.  Differences between the course requirements for undergraduates and graduates are outlined in the Assignments and Grading sections below.




Important course information, like updates on homework assignments, will be transmitted by the course web page and the course email lists generated by CUConnect.  I expect that you will check the web page and your University of Colorado e-mail regularly, particularly before assignments are due.

Required Text

Schwarzenbach R.P., Gschwend P.M., and Imboden D.M. (2002) Environmental Organic Chemistry, 2nd Edition. Wiley-Interscience, New York.

Recommended Texts

Environmental Organic Chemistry Books

Reference Books

Organic Chemistry Books

University Policies on Disabilities, Religious Observances, Classroom Behavior, Academic Honesty, Discrimination, and Sexual Harassment

Students with disabilities will be accommodated in class following University policy.

Students with conflicts between religious observance dates and course examinations or assignments may request a change in the course schedule following University policy.

Inappropriate and disruptive class room behavior will be dealt with following University policy.

Breaches of academic integrity will be dealt with following University policy.

Discrimination or sexual harassment will be addressed following University policy.

Last updated on August 22, 2010