Foundation Chemistry for Biochemists I - CHE00008C

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  • Department: Chemistry
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Seishi Shimizu
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

This foundation chemistry course builds on the chemistry learned at A level or an equivalent grade. The course begins with a lecture course on hydrogen and Bronsted acids and bases. This includes consideration of some of the most important and interesting chemistry of the elements of the first row in the periodic table (Li-F) through study of their compounds with hydrogen. Various primary and secondary bonding types will be covered, resulting in a wide range of molecular properties from reactive hydride salts through to highly inert gases and acidic and basic liquids.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20

Module aims

This module aims, together with the Foundation Chemistry for Biochemists II, to provide Biochemistry students with a foundation course in Chemistry. The materials presented, which cover Structure & Bonding, Thermodynamics and Stereochemistry, are essential for developing an understanding of the structure and interactions of biological macromolecules and ligands, and provide the Biochemistry student with a foundation course in Chemistry. The course builds on A level Chemistry or its equivalent and forms a prerequisite for subsequent Chemistry modules specifically designed for the Biochemists. The course also introduces quantitative approaches to practical chemistry.

Module learning outcomes

This term will introduce key foundation themes of structure/bonding and chemical change/reactivity, with practical courses complementing the lectures. The outcome should be an appreciation and mastery of the following fields which are essential for biochemistry:

  • Basic properties of ideal gases and chemical equilibria
  • Definitions and properties of acids, bases and hydrogen
  • 1st law thermodynamics and its applications to chemistry
  • Foundation of organic reactions and their mechanisms
  • Structure and bonding of inorganic matter.
  • Principles of Stereochemistry

Practical chemistry skills:

  • Basic practical skills
  • Synthetic and analytical practical skills

Module content

First Law of Thermodynamics

DAW & TJD

10 lectures

+ 1h tutorial

The properties of systems and their surroundings, which are essential for the understanding of biochemical reactions.

 

Internal energy, enthalpy and molar heat capacity

 

Standard states, exothermic and endothermic processes, enthalpies of reaction, Hess's Law, and bond dissociation enthalpies.

 

 

Acids, Bases & Hydrogen

DWB

5 lectures

+ 1h tutorial

Bronsted acids and bases.

Chemistry of the elements of the first row in the periodic table (Li-F) through study of their compounds with hydrogen.

Various primary and secondary bonding types, resulting in a wide range of molecular properties from reactive hydride salts through to highly inert gases and acidic and basic liquids.

   

Organic Reactions & Mechanisms

DKS

7 lectures

+ 1h tutorial

The concepts from Acids, Bases and Hydrogen to chemical reactivity.

Influence of structure and bonding on the reactivity of molecules, and, in particular, the acidity and basicity of organic compounds.

   

Structure & Bonding

JML

7 lectures

+ 2h workshop

Electron pair approach to covalent bonding.

Application to shape, stereoisomerism, bond energies and electronic effects in molecules.

   

Stereochemistry

GAH

6 lectures

+ 2h workshop

Application of Structure and Bonding to conformation and configuration.

The origin of the variation and diversity in the conformation and configuration of molecules.

   

Safety Briefing Sessions

MSS

2x1h sessions

Practical Skills

NJW & DSP

2x6.5h and 1x3.5 lab sessions

Synthesis of Chalcone (Introduction to fundamental basic lab skills including lab familiarisation, lab books, reagent tables, clamping glassware, weighing, dispensing etc. Introduction to new synthetic techniques: stirring, vacuum filtration, recrystallisation, infrared spectroscopy and melting point determination.) Ester Hydrolysis (Builds on the basic techniques and adds reflux, aqueous work-up, and use of rotary evaporators.) Recrystallisation (A half-day experiment focussing on the techniques for recrystallisation.)

 

 

Synthetic and Analytical Practicals

NJW & DSP

2.5x7.5 lab sessions

Borohydride reduction (The experiment introduces thin layer chromatography and allows practice of basic skills, aqueous workup, rotary evaporation, recrystallisation and characterisation using spectroscopic techniques.) Mathews Reaction (Allows practice of basic lab skills, setting up a reflux, aqueous workup, rotary evaporation and infrared spectroscopy. Introduces preparing an NMR sample and interpreting an NMR spectrum.)

 

 

 

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Practical
Assessments within practical sessions (final two)
N/A 15
University - closed examination
Foundation Chemistry for Biochemists I
1.5 hours 85

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

Formative work involves 7 hours of tutorials and workshops covering organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. 

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Practical
Assessments within practical sessions (final two)
N/A 15
University - closed examination
Foundation Chemistry for Biochemists I
1.5 hours 85

Module feedback

  • Tutorials/workshops: Written feedback will be given for tutorial work within a week. Written and/or oral feedback for workshops will be given either during the sessions or within a week.

  • Practicals: Written feedback will be provided on all summative practical work within 20 working days. The deadlines are Friday Week 6 for "the preparation of benzydrol" and Friday Week 8 for "Matthew's reaction"

  • Exams: Closed exam results with per-question breakdown are returned to the students via supervisors within 5 weeks (as per special approval by the University Teaching Committee). Outline answers are made available via the Chemistry web pages when the students receive their marks, so that they can assess their own detailed progress/achievement. The examiners’ reports for each question are made available to the students via the Chemistry web pages.

Indicative reading

Burrows, Holman, Parsons, Pilling and Price: Chemistry3 (Oxford University Press)



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.