This course details the quantitative treatment of chemical processes in aquatic systems such as lakes, oceans, rivers, estuaries, groundwaters, and wastewaters. It includes a brief review of chemical thermodynamics that is followed by discussion of acid-base, precipitation-dissolution, coordination, and reduction-oxidation reactions. Emphasis is on equilibrium calculations as a tool for understanding the variables that govern the chemical composition of aquatic systems and the fate of inorganic pollutants.
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"This undergraduate class is designed to introduce students to the physics that govern the circulation of the ocean and atmosphere. The focus of the course is on the processes that control the climate of the planet.AcknowledgmentsProf. Ferrari wishes to acknowledge that this course was originally designed and taught by Prof. John Marshall."
" Water supply is a problem of worldwide concern: more than 1 billion people do not have reliable access to clean drinking water. Water is a particular problem for the developing world, but scarcity also impacts industrial societies. Water purification and desalination technology can be used to convert brackish ground water or seawater into drinking water. The challenge is to do so sustainably, with minimum cost and energy consumption, and with appropriately accessible technologies. This subject will survey the state-of-the-art in water purification by desalination and filtration. Fundamental thermodynamic and transport processes which govern the creation of fresh water from seawater and brackish ground water will be developed. The technologies of existing desalination systems will be discussed, and factors which limit the performance or the affordability of these systems will be highlighted. Energy efficiency will be a focus. Nanofiltration and emerging technologies for desalination will be considered. A student project in desalination will involve designing a well-water purification system for a village in Haiti."
Several times per year, seawater floods some of the streets in Charleston, South Carolina. Taking steps to deal with this "nuisance" flooding can help the city prepare for sea level rise.
Students learn about the techniques engineers have developed for changing ocean water into drinking water, including thermal and membrane desalination. They begin by reviewing the components of the natural water cycle. They see how filters, evaporation and/or condensation can be components of engineering desalination processes. They learn how processes can be viewed as systems, with unique objects, inputs, components and outputs, and sketch their own system diagrams to describe their own desalination plant designs.
Students build a saltwater circuit, which is an electrical circuit that uses saltwater as part of the circuit. Students investigate the conductivity of saltwater, and develop an understanding of how the amount of salt in a solution impacts how much electrical current flows through the circuit. They learn about one real-world application of a saltwater circuit — as a desalination plant tool to test for the removal of salt from ocean water.
This gallery of online resources is from the Museum's Seminars on Science, a series of distance-learning courses designed to help educators meet the new national science standards. This gallery, part of the Diversity of Fishes seminar, features two videos that both have printable PDF transcripts:About Water looks at how the water that covers two-thirds of our planet is distributed in oceans, polar caps, aquifers, rivers, and lakes. Planet Water discusses how freshwater fish which makes up one-quarter of all vertebrate biodiversity on Earth live in less than 1/100th of a percent of the planet's water.
Students use a thermal process approach to design, build and test a small-scale desalination plant that is capable of significantly removing the salt content from a saltwater solution. Students use a saltwater circuit to test the efficiency of their model desalination plant and learn how the water cycle is the basis for the thermal processes that drive their desalination plant.