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CODE 57022
  • 11 cfu during the 2nd year of 8757 CHIMICA E TECNOLOGIE CHIMICHE (L-27) - GENOVA
    LANGUAGE Italian
  • SEMESTER Annual
    Prerequisites (for future units)
    This unit is a prerequisite for:
    • Chemistry and Chemical Technologies 8757 (coorte 2020/2021)


    The course is focused on the classical concept of energy and accompanies the student, through modeling, to the study of thermodynamic equilibrium with a phenomenological approach.

    The teaching planning also pursues the aim of implementing the students' soft skills, inviting them to continuous reflection, to classroom discussion, to peer evaluation and to increase their ability to work in groups, also with the help of a team builder.



    The course provides basic chemical-physical knowledge useful for interpreting and predicting the behavior, in thermodynamic terms, of systems of chemical interest, including reaction environments.



    The student is able to describe the four principles of classical thermodynamics, showing some appropriate examples; he proves his ability to predict, direct and understand the behavior of chemical systems, in thermodynamic terms, knowing how to solve numerical exercises of medium difficulty, attributable to the knowledge of the theoretical part.

    The student is able to carry out, in a group, simple laboratory experiences, showing the aptitude for deepening; he has the competence to draw up a relationship in a collaborative way, developing his critical sense, his capacity for comparison and evaluation. He also shows the ability to schematize the process and to know how to represent it graphically.


    Basic knowledge of Mathematics, General Physics and General Chemistry.


    The lecture is divided into: a) presentation of each topic with the support of the slides prepared by the teacher; b) phase of reflection with stimulus questions to understand the degree of learning; c) group work for collaborative exercises. The traditional use of the blackboard is complemented by participative teaching methods such as cooperative learning, peer-evaluation, concept maps, video clips, microteaching, etc., and with the use of software like Kahoot !, Socrative and / or other tools, aimed at performing training tests, not evaluated for the exam.

    The laboratory experiences include: a group work during the course of the experience, a brief in-depth analysis and a collaborative written report, where also schematic drawings of the instrumentation used and the graphic elaboration of the obtained data are reported. At the end of the course, the students, divided into groups of interest, present in public a chosen topic, consistent with the program carried out.


    Theoretical module

    Generality and thermodynamic nomenclature

    The properties of gases

    Zero principle of thermodynamics

    First principle of thermodynamics and its applications: the status and path functions.

    Thermodynamic convention

    UH and Thermal capacities

    Joule and Joule-Thomson experiences and their applications to chemical systems

    Second principle of thermodynamics and its applications: Entropy from the classical point of view, and notes on the statistical concept

    The functions of Free Energy G and and Free Enthalpy A, and their properties

    The chemical potential and its properties

    Phase transformations

    The equilibrium diagrams

    The rule of the phases according to Gibbs

    Principle of Le Châtelier-Braun

    The ideal solutions and their deviations

    Study of the chemical equilibrium through the thermodynamic potentials

    The equilibrium constants and their properties

    The van't Hoff relations


    Practical  module

    Classroom exercises

    The topics covered are simple applications of the theoretical module.

    In particular, they will be performed:

    Review exercises on the properties of perfect and real gases.

    Applications of the 1st law of thermodynamics: examples of enthalpy calculation; Hess law; Kirchhoff equation; Trouton rule; Clasius-Clapeyron equation; Born-Haber cycle. Applications of the 2nd law of thermodynamics: calculation of the entropy variation of a reaction in different thermodynamic conditions; mixture entropy; evaluation of the spontaneity of a reaction; calculation of the Gibbs free energy for transformations in different thermodynamic conditions: use of thermodynamic potentials. Simple applications of the 3rd principle of thermodynamics. Application of the phase rule to the study of one-component state diagrams. Exercises on equilibrium processes in homogeneous chemical reactions with application of the Vant'Hoff equation. Examples of the influence of temperature and pressure on chemical equilibria in homogeneous and heterogeneous systems. 


    Laboratory experiences


    The students, divided into groups, will have to perform the following experiences of thermodynamics:

    1. Methods of measurement of temperature

    2. Methods of measurement of pressure.

    3. Determination of the heat of formation of naphthalene

    4. Determination of the heat of vaporization of ethyl alcohol

    5. Multiple experience. Students will choose to perform one of the following experiences: Consolute temperature of water and phenol system; Enthalpy of neutralization; Determination of the molecular mass of urea by cryoscopy; Determination of the molecular mass of urea or sucrose by lowering the vapor pressure.


    At the end, each group will explore a topic of their choice, among those discussed during the course, and will present it in the form of a short seminar.


    P. Atkins & J. De Paula, Chimica Fisica, Ed. Zanichelli (Physical Chemistry Theory, in Italian language. It is possible to buy the English version)

    A. Gambi, Esercizi di Chimica Fisica, Ed. Zanichelli (Physical Chemistry Exercises, in Italian language)

    M. Fogiel, The Physical Chemistry Problem Solver, Ed. Research and Education Association


    Exam Board



    MARIA CARNASCIALI (President Substitute)

    DAVIDE PEDDIS (Substitute)



    28.09.2020 (for details on timetable see or



    The student will have to pass a written exam, based on the resolution of calculation exercises also with graphic support, and an oral exam, which allows the teacher to explore the knowledge of the program. Both tests must have at least sufficient marks (18/30) and the student will be able to enter the oral exam only after passing the written test and having delivered all the reports, including the ppt file of the chosen topic. Ongoing evaluation of different relationships and activities contribute to the final evaluation. During the course, partial tests are scheduled to lighten the burden of the final written exam.


    The student receives: a) an evaluation for the laboratory activities, that includes the report of each experience and the exposition of the choisen topic; b) an evaluation of the ability to perform exercises through a written exam in which at least 3 exercises are scheduled, one of which is graphic; c) an evaluation of the theoretical part which involves the presentation of at least one topic of the program and the performance of at least one demonstration, in a correct and well-structured way. The oral exam also includes the presentation of at least one laboratory experience, to evaluate the familiarity of technical language and the ability to synthesize, using the blackboard for the representation of the workstation and the graphic processing of data.

    Exam schedule

    Date Time Location Type Notes
    23/02/2022 09:00 GENOVA Compitino
    14/06/2022 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
    27/06/2022 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    13/07/2022 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
    22/07/2022 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    05/09/2022 09:00 GENOVA Orale
    09/09/2022 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
    16/09/2022 09:00 GENOVA Orale


    There are optional activities dedicated to numerical exercises and simulations or correction of the exam tests, to be held outside of class hours and in addition to them, to be agreed with the students. In particular, at the end of the course there will be dedicated hours for the simulation of the written test and the oral question on the board.