Physical Chemistry with Laboratory

Lectures: 8 h 

Laboratory: 4 h

Main Topics:

Physicochemical properties play a key role in determining the molecular behaviour, especially from a sensory perspective, and represent a fundamental tool for the analysis and quality control of extracted, distilled, and purchased products, both in their pure state and in their final formulation.

In this course the most important properties including density, melting and boiling point, refractive index, optical activity, viscosity, solubility, polarity and volatility will be presented and discussed. The principles of spectroscopic methods, in particular UV-vis spectrophotometry, infrared spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance will then be explained, and they will find applications in other courses as well.
We will focus in particular on the different extraction and distillation methods, including the most innovative ones, by which odorous molecules are isolated from natural matrices or reaction products.
Finally, we will explore the peculiar characteristics of fragrances such as tenacity, persistence, sillage, etc., which are always derived from the chemical and physical properties of their components, and we will give some hints about the structure of skin and hair.
In the laboratory we will see the use of a densimeter, Abbé refractometer, UV-vis spectrophotometer, FTIR spectroscope, and build a simple distiller and a steam distillation apparatus.

    Prof. Pierandrea Lo Nostro
    Department of Chemistry “Ugo Schiff”
    University of Florence, Italy
    email: pierandrea.lonostro (at) 
    tel.: + 39 055 4573010