ENVIRONMENTAL FATE MODELLING OF CONTAMINANTS

Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Academyc year when starting the degree: 
2018/2019
Year: 
2
Academyc year when helding the course: 
2019/2020
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Credits: 
4
Period: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
40
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (24 hours), Laboratory (16 hours)
Requirements: 

Knowledge of general and applied ecology, inorganic and organic chemistry, environmental chemistry and environmental risk assessment.

Final Examination: 
Orale

Oral examination. The oral examination will focus on questions relating to the course to define the knowledge and understanding (25%), the ability to apply knowledge and understanding (25%), the independence of judgment (15%), skills communication (15%) and learning ability (20%) in relation to the modeling of the environmental fate of organic substances, also referring to a specific case study.

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

The course aims to provide students with tools to understand:
(1) the main concepts that are used for model building;
(2) the main modeling approaches for predicting the environmental fate of contaminants;
(3) the models used at the European level for the regulation of substances.

The course deals with the main approaches to assess the ecosystem exposure to contaminants. It will start from how to build a model and it will proceed to the study of various environmental fate models at different levels of complexity. The main existing approaches at international level (EU, USA) will be described, as well as illustrations of some case studies. More in details:

Part 1 (8h)
1) Models for predicting the environmental fate (indexes, and ranking systems, partitioning models, physical models etc.).
2) Classification and description of the main modelling strategies.
3) Definitions and basic concepts. Properties of chemicals and environmental fate. Environmental compartments: properties, composition, definition of the scenarios at different temporal and spatial scales. Air, water, soil, sediment, particulate and suspended solids. Other compartments (such as rain and snow, vegetation, aquatic and terrestrial animal biomass).

Part 2 (8h)
4) Distribution and equilibriun between phases, degradation reactions, advection phenomena, bioaccumulation. Residence time. Transport phenomena between phases. Resistance to the transfer between the different environmental phases.
5) modeling levels (I-IV), equilibrium/ disequilibrium, steady / unsteady state. Creating a model: definition of a scenario, development of the mass balance and the required parameters.
6) Parameter estimation. Calibration and validation.

Part 3 (8h)
7) Model application : examples of multimedia models, air physical models. Integration between models and GIS.
8) Models used at European level for the regulation of chemical substances (EUSES / FOCUS GW / FOCUS SW / FOCUS AIR).
9) Models for the remediation of contaminated sites.

Part 4 EXERCISE (16h)

Mackay D. (2001) Multimedia Environmental Models: the fugacity approach, Lewis Publishers, 2nd ed.
Slides in pdf format will be available the on the e-learning website

Lectures and computer exercise. The skills acquired during the lectures will be used to find the solution of specific modelling circumstances such as modeling of the environmental fate of various classes of chemicals, including specific application problems.
Computer exercise will deal with the application of the main models explained at lecture time.

Contact the lecturer by e-mail to obtain an appointment for questions and clarifications.