Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology

By Prof. Anjali Pal, Prof. Sudha Goel   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 2092
The objective of the course is to provide students with basic concepts from environmental chemistry and microbiology for understanding and solving environmental problems.
Major topics that will be covered in environmental chemistry are: review of basic concepts in chemistry, concept of chemical equilibria, equilibrium constants and activity, reaction kinetics, acid and basis, polyprotic acids and bases, acidity, alkalinity, carbonate system, pH-Ct, buffers, and solubility reactions, nuclear chemistry, nitrogen chemistry and chlorination.
Major topics that will be covered in environmental microbiology are: Introduction, the bacteria, the fungi, the algae, protozoa and other higher forms, viruses, pathogens and disease, microbial growth and enumeration, control of microorganisms, microbial diversity and metabolic pathways for remediating contaminated water, solid and hazardous waste, and soil.

Master’s degree students of any of the Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Mining Engineering, Geology and Geophysics, and Bioengineering/Biotechnology
PREREQUISITES : Basic chemistry – Class XII
INDUSTRIES  SUPPORT     : Environmental consulting firms, Coal India, Thermal power plants
Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 18 Jan 2021
End Date : 09 Apr 2021
Exam Date : 25 Apr 2021
Enrollment Ends : 01 Feb 2021
Category :
  • Biological Sciences & Bioengineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Metallurgy and Material science & Mining Engineering
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Course layout

Week 1:Concepts of acids, bases and salts, strengths of acids and bases, buffers, acid-base indicators, choice of indicators
Week 2:Concept of chemical equilibrium, solubility and solubility product, activity, Le Chatelier principle
Week 3: Reaction kinetics, rate and order of a reaction, determination of order
Week 4:Reaction mechanism, rate determining step, catalysts, activation energy
Week 5:Radioactivity and nuclear chemistry
Week 6:Nitrogen chemistry and chlorination
Week 7: Introduction and overview of environmental applications; major groups of microbes: bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa and virus.
Week 8:Cell chemistry, biology and microscopy
Week 9:Microbial Metabolism
Week 10:Microbial Growth and Control
Week 11: Pathogens and diseases, metabolic diversity-1
Week 12:Metabolic Diversity-2 and Biogeochemical Cycles

Books and references

1. Dutt PK, Dutt PK (2000) General & Inorganic Chemistry, Calcutta
2. Sawyer CN, McCarty PL, Parkin GF (2000) Chemistry for Environmental Engineering and Science, Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi
3. Tortora GJ, Funke BR, and Case CL (2004) Microbiology: An Introduction. Pearson Education (Singapore), Inc.

Instructor bio

Prof. Anjali Pal

IIT Kharagpur
Dr. Anjali Pal did her M.Sc & PhD from Calcutta University in Chemistry and at present teaching as a full professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Prof. Pal is actively engaged in teaching and research in the field of Environmental Engineering and Science. She has published more than 215 research papers and received International Hall of Fame award (USA), R & D 100 award (USA) for her contribution in the field of pollution monitoring. Her Convention Award from the Indian Chemical Society is for her independent contribution to organic chemistry. Her research interest includes adsolubilization, adsorption, advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), catalysis and spectroscopy. She has developed a number of new methods for trace detection / determination of pollutants. She has visited many countries like USA, UK, Japan, France, Taiwan etc. as a visiting professor.

Prof. Sudha Goel

Dr. Sudha Goel did her B.E. (1990) in Environmental Engineering from L.D. College of Engineering, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad and M.S.E. (1992) and Ph.D. (1997) in Environmental Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Baltimore, US. She is currently Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering and School of Environmental Science and Engineering, IIT Kharagpur. She has been teaching Environmental Microbiology and some aspects of Environmental chemistry regularly since 2004. Her research interests include Water quality and treatment, and Solid and Hazardous Waste Management. She developed a web-based course ‘Water and Wastewater Engineering’ and wrote a textbook of the same name. She has several publications, taught several courses, and guided students at all levels in their research work.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 25 April 2021 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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