CHEM103 Introduction to Chemical Technology

Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics: Chemistry

I. Course Number and Title
CHEM103 Introduction to Chemical Technology
II. Number of Credits
2 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
CHEM101 (C or better)
V. Other Pertinent Information
Two-hour lecture/laboratory/field trips per week.
VI. Catalog Course Description
This orientation course aids students in gaining perspective for the chemical field and provides basic laboratory skills. Topics include logarithms, plotting and interpretation of graphs, report writing, and library searches. A brief overall view of the chemical industry is presented. Field trips may be taken.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction

Students seeking a career in Chemical Laboratory Technology should be advised to enroll in this course as soon as the prerequisite is completed. This step will benefit the students because they will be provided with an orientation to career opportunities and occupational skills required of the chemical technician.

Students who enroll in this program are seldom aware of the variety of employment opportunities available to the trained chemical technician in the Delaware Valley. In order to prepare themselves adequately for rewarding careers in this occupation area, students need to become informed of the role chemical technicians have in various chemical operations, such as research and development, pilot plant, production, quality control, and technical sales. Only then can the students seek to match their interests and abilities with the occupation skills required and, thus, make a suitable career choice.

Chemistry, as one of the Natural Sciences, has evolved out of careful observation and experimentation; as technology evolves, so does the body of chemical knowledge. This course will integrate relevant technological advances and their impact in the formulation of chemical principles and their applications. Furthermore, the laboratory component of the course will help to illustrate and apply some of these technological advances.

The course content will revolve around what an employer may expect of the trained chemical technician. This includes attitude, as well as knowledge and skills associated with laboratory experimentation. Students will be taught how to process data, using standard computer programs, to plan and organize the assigned work, to keep accurate and complete records of the experimentation performed, to write a report of the results obtained following procedures established by others, to search the chemical literature for answers dealing with questions and problems encountered in the carrying out of the work assignment, to exercise safe practices in the handling and use of chemicals and equipment, to deal with common laboratory emergencies, such as fire, explosion, and first-aid for injured personnel.

  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. demonstrate a qualitative understanding of the causal relationships and predictability of all chemical phenomena based on the existence of natural laws;
    2. describe and explain the sequence of steps used to analyze and solve a quantitative chemical problem in a laboratory setting:
      1. demonstrate basic skills dealing with techniques of measurement,
      2. perform necessary laboratory techniques required in the conduct of experiments, and
      3. interpret the results of observations, including making an assessment of experimental uncertainties in measurements;
    3. recognize and locate suitable sources of chemical knowledge and scientific information; and read, understand, and interpret this information in verbal, mathematical, and graphical forms;
    4. apply basic mathematical methods, including arithmetic and algebra to yield pertinent numerical results; and
    5. describe the role of chemical technicians in different chemically-related industries and in a variety of chemical operations.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    Course Outline:

    1. Introduction to Chemical Technology
    2. The Chemical Technician: career opportunities
    3. Safety
      1. Manuals
      2. MSDS Terminology
      3. Safety in the Laboratory
    4. The Laboratory Notebook
      1. Proper Log Keeping
      2. Description of Work Done
      3. Data
      4. Conclusions
      5. Signature, Dates, Witnesses
    5. Identification of Chemical Equipment: for example, glassware, reaction flasks, resin pots, connectors, heads, and others
    6. Laboratory Set-ups: thermometer, thermocouples, stirring motors and paddles, condensers
    7. Laboratory Procedures
      1. Calorimetry
      2. Heating Methods: mantles, oil baths, water baths, steam baths, sand bags, Woods metal, infra-red lamps, use of transformers, hot plates
      3. Product Identification: melting points, micro-boiling points, TLC, IR, GC, HPLC, NMR, MS, refractive index
      4. Purification Techniques: crystallization, distillation, extraction, chromatography
    8. Disposal of Waste Materials
    9. Data Handling
      1. Introduction to Statistics
      2. Graphs
      3. Use of Computers in the Laboratory
    10. Pre-production Specifications
    11. Literature Search
      1. Chemical Abstracts
      2. Patent Index
      3. Other Sources
    12. Patents

    Learning Activities:
    Instruction aims to enable the student to:

    1. use library sources to answer questions dealing with commonly encountered chemical problems;
    2. recognize different styles and formats used in the presentation of scientific data in laboratory notebooks and written reports to supervisors;
    3. use compact electronic calculators to perform routine mathematical computations;
    4. understand the various roles assumed by chemical technicians in several of the local chemical industries; and
    5. identify the risks involved in the handling of industrial materials and apply the proper safety precautions that should be taken during contact with such hazardous materials.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    Course learning goals are continuously assessed by periodic written examinations, class exercises, laboratory preparation, laboratory results, laboratory reports, and assigned work.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    Assignments from current articles appropriate to the different units are used. Laboratory and demonstration equipment, the library, science learning center, and computer programs are also used. Please refer to the course syllabus for specific information.

Review/Approval Date - 2/99; Revised 6/08; New Core 8/2015