2023-2024 / CHIM0738-1

General chemistry




Theory : 30h Th
Practice : 20h Pr, 8h QA Sess.

Number of credits

 Bachelor in geology6 crédits 


Theory : Loïc Quinton
Practice : Loïc Quinton


Loïc Quinton

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents


Description of the teaching:

The general chemistry course is largelybased on an experimental approach. We are convinced that students will be more receptive to a chemistry described in a practical way, with a focus on the applications linked to the explored topics.

Table of contents:

Chapter 1: Basics of Chemical Thermochemistry

1.A   Introduction to thermodynamics: definitions and tools.
1.B   First Principle: Internal Energy, Enthalpy, Standard State, Molar Heat, Enthalpy Variation: : Hess cycle, binding and formation enthalpies.
1.C   Second and third principles: Entropy S, the state function of disorder.
1.D   Gibbs free entropy: definition, criterion of spontaneity, relation to equilibrium constant.

Chapter 2: Atoms and Electrons

2.A   Light: electromagnetic wave, absorption spectroscopy, atomic emission, photoelectric              effect.
2.B   Atomic structure: planetary model of Bohr, wave-particle duality, ondulatory mechanics,            model of the atom according to Schrödinger, quantum numbers and atomic orbitals.
2.C   Electronic configuration of elements: spin quantum number, Pauli exclusion, Klechkowski          and Hund rules.

Chapter 3: Chemical binding and Molecular geometry

3.A   Chemical binding: introduction and reminders
3.B   Theory of the valence and of the molecular orbitals: chemical bond, LCAO model,                    electronegativity, electric dipole and dipolar moment.
3.C   Molecular geometry: VSEPR model, hybridization of orbitals, metal complexes,                        organic molecules.
3.D   Weak energy bonds: Van der Walls forces and hydrogen bonding.

Chapter 4: Chemical equilibrium, metal complexes and complexation equilibrium

4.A   Reminder on chemical equilibrium : theory, acido-basic balance, Sillèn diagrams and function of species distributions, precipitation reactions
4.B   Metal complexes : presentation and structures
4.C   Crystalline Field and Ligand Field Theory.
4.D   Complexation equilibrium, distribution diagrams, solubility and formation of complex ions, basis of qualitative analysis.
4.E    Mixed balances and complex exercises.


This practical work aims to illustrate the main principles of chemistry detailed during the theoretical courses of the first and second quadrimesters. Laboratory sessions will be based on different teaching methods:
* The problem-based approach: in these sessions a chemical problem will be posed to the students. They will need to use their knowledge to establish a work strategy to answer the research question. They will be evaluated on the development work and application of their strategy, as well as on the communication of their results.
* The protocol approach: in these sessions the students will be asked to apply an analysis protocol to answer the research question. They will be assessed on their ability to follow the protocol and on the communication of their results.
* The concept-based approach: in these sessions, the students will be asked to do experiments illustrating chemistry concepts. They will be asked to identify this concept and explain its basics. They will be assessed on their understanding of the concept and on communicating their results.
Here are the nine practical sessions:
TP1-Session 0 : Introduction
TP2-Session 1 : Acid-Base - The bottles without labels
TP3-Session 2 : How to illustrate chemical equilibrium?

Learning outcomes of the learning unit


General chemistry teaching during the second period of the year aims to give to the students the basic theoretical and practical concepts in molecular chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics, and solution chemistry (reactivity). These concepts are necessary in order to understand the phenomena studied in later parts of the curriculum.
Theoretical classes, practical work and tutorials allow students to learn the methods and basic techniques of solution chemistry while familiarising them with the formulae of the chemical products and understanding their evolution by change of phase or reaction. A special focus will be given to the chemical equilibrium conditions.


At the end of the course, the students:
* will have acquired a solid basis on the main principles of chemistry and their practical applications
* will have acquired problem-solving skills through the development of their critical thinking and analytical reasoning
* will be able to develop and perform simple scientific experiments on the basis of their knowledge
* will be able to correctly collect and analyze the data generated by these experiences
* be able to clearly communicate their results orally and in writing
* will be able to work in a team for the conduct of laboratory experiments
* will be able to work in the laboratory in complete safety, being aware of the associated risks, from a chemical and environmental point of view

Prerequisite knowledge and skills


For the entire course, the student is assumed to have very basic understanding of chemistry and in particular, to have knowledge of the basics of atomic and molecular theory as well as the elemental properties of the main types of chemical compounds (oxides, acids, bases and salts) and their principal reactions. These concepts will, however, be revised early on in the course. This course also makes use of a range of simple physical and mathematical tools.


Follow the course CHIM0738. 

Planned learning activities and teaching methods


In addition to theoretical courses and sessions of exercices organized according to the established schedule, supervised laboratory work sessions will also enrich the teaching.
Organization. Practical lab sessions will be scheduled throughout the academic year. They will illustrate the important notions of reactivity in solution. A calendar will be distributed to students at the beginning of the year.
Security. Wearing the lab coat and glasses is mandatory. Any student who does not have his equipment will be excluded from the laboratory, and will automatically be sanctioned with a 00/20 at the session.
Attendance at practical sessions. TP sessions are mandatory and rated. An unjustified absence (eg medical certificate) will automatically be sanctioned by a 00/20 at the meeting.


Three varied 4-hour laboratories, illustrating the theoretical material as much as possible.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)


Each student will receive a personalised programme (log book) at the start of the year summarising all the information relating to the organisation of chemistry teaching (theory classes, practical sessions, revision, tutorials, tests).
An interactive online teaching platform is also available on eCampus, and offers to the students various learning tools such as course materials, TP and TD notes, solved problems or again a forum for asking questions.

Recommended or required readings


Leture notes and copies of the illustrations (pdf) will be available online following the course completion.


A handout, available in pdf, will be provided to guide students through their experiences.


Organization of exams.
An exam will be organized in May-June (first session), under the form of multiple choice questions combining both theoretical questions and exercises.
For students who have failed at the first session, a second exam will be prepared in May-September (second session).
Weighting of the notes:
The final grade of chemistry will be weighted like this:
Exam: 75% Laboratories: 25%
Success criterion:
Success is awarded to any student with a final score equal to or greater than 10.00 / 20.


During the practical work, students will be evaluated on their laboratory preparation, on the conduct of the experiment (their results) and the communication of results. The exact breakdown between these different levels is available for each session in the "evaluation criteria" section.
1. Concerning the preparation of each session, students will be assessed on the basis of their pre-report and / or a written question.

2. At the laboratory level, the students will be evaluated on the basis of the results obtained as well as on the communication thereof (report, graph, etc.).
The respect of safety rules is also strongly taken into account for the evaluation of the students. 

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Lecture notes and illustrations will be available online (myulg) after each lesson.



Prof. Loïc Quinton  Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry - MolSys Research Unit Bat B6C, Local 0/R66 Tel: +0032 4 366 3679  Email: loic.quinton@uliege.be


Prof. Loïc Quinton  Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry - MolSys Research Unit Bat B6C, Local 0/R66 Tel: +0032 4 366 3679  Email: loic.quinton@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs