Kinetics and Surface Chemistry of Soils


Policy for PLSC/CHEM 810
Kinetics and Surface Chemistry of Soils
Next offered in Spring 2018

I. Instructor: Donald L. Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Chair of Soil and Environmental Chemistry


Telephone -Office:


Telephone -Laboratory:




250 A Harker ISE Lab

Office Hours:

By appointment


450 Harker ISE Lab


Karen Rodalunas,
250 AA Harker ISE Lab

II. Course Description:

Kinetics and mechanisms of soil chemical reactions, including application of chemical kinetics to natural systems, rates of sorption/desorption, redox, precipitation/dissolution, and ion exchange processes and application of surface spectroscopic and microscopic techniques to elucidate reactions at the soil mineral/water interface. May be cross-listed with CHEM810.

III. Format:

A. Students in the class are responsible for extensive readings from the scientific literature, and they are expected to actively participate in classroom discussions.

B. Class periods: There will be two class meetings per week at 3:35 – 4:50 p.m., Monday and Wednesday in 156 Townsend Hall.

IV. Reading Material:

There will be extensive reading assignments from the technical literature. These are available here. NOTICE: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

V. Basis for Grade:

A. Each student will be required to submit a written review of two of the assigned readings (one on a kinetics paper and one on a surface chemistry paper; reviews are not to be on overview papers) and to lead the discussion on these readings in class.

B. Each student will write a grant proposal on a topic related to those that will be covered in the class, and present an overview of the proposal in class. The format for the proposal should follow that used for National Science Foundation proposals.

C. Breakdown for Grading:

Class Participation 10%

Paper Reviews 30%

Grant Proposal 50%

Grant Proposal Presentation 10%


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