Dr. Detlef Knappe

Dr. Detlef Knappe

Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

Phone: 919-515-8791
Fax: 919-515-7908
Instructor Website
Research Website

CE 574 Chemical Principles of Environmental Engineering

3 Credit Hours

Inorganic and organic environmental chemistry including acid-base equilibria, precipitation, complexation, redox reactions, and natural organic matter. The role of these factors in controlling the fate of contaminants in engineered treatment systems and natural environments.


Undergraduate courses in related field and graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Course Objectives

The objective of this course is to introduce students to principles of environmental chemistry that are required to describe the behavior of chemicals in both natural environments and in engineered treatment processes.

Course Outline

Topics to be covered include acid/base equilibria, buffer capacity, alkalinity, precipitation and dissolution, complexation by inorganic ligands and by naturally-occurring organic matter, oxidation – reduction reactions, the effect of redox conditions on metals speciation and the interaction of oxidation-reduction chemistry with biological activity. Practical aspects of chemical analysis including sampling, preservation, quality control, and detection limits will be addressed.

Course Requirements

Homework: The homework assignments are critical to learning the material and 80% of the ~10 homework assignments must be turned in to receive any grade for the class. You are strongly encouraged to work in groups of 2 to 3 and to turn in one joint assignment with the names of all contributors. Although homework’s must be turned in on time, they will not be graded beyond a quick check to be certain that you are doing the problems. Completion of all regularly assigned homework will constitute 10% of your grade. Homework solutions will be posted.

Examinations: Three exams will be required for this course.

Software: Spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel and the ability to download free software (Visual Minteg).

Projects: Modeling project using Visual Minteq.


Water Chemistry, 2nd ed. by Mark M. Benjamin
Waveland Press, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4786-2308-3

Computer and Software Requirements

Please review minimum computer specifications recommended by NC State University and Engineering Online.

Updated 7/23/2020