SCIENZE BIOLOGICHE, GEOLOGICHE E AMBIENTALIGeological SciencesAcademic Year 2022/2023



Expected Learning Outcomes

The course aims to provide adequate knowledge of the following topics: mineral resources and their main industrial applications; survey methods for the retrieval and exploitation of mineral resources; effects of the use of minerals on the environment and health; investigation techniques for the study of minerals and rocks of economic interest.

The course also aims to provide students with adequate skills in the use of the main analytical methods for the characterization of georesources, with particular regard to the techniques of sample preparation, data acquisition and processing.

Course Structure

42 hours (6 CFU): lectures teaching module

36 hours (3 CFU): laboratory module

If the lectures will be held in mixt mode or in remote, variations could be applied.

Required Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of mineralogy, petrography, chemistry and physics is required.

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is mandatory. For working students, see the guidelines of Catania University.

Detailed Course Content

Introduction to mineral resources; classification of minerals and rocks of economic interest; resources and reserves; use and economic value of georesources; classification and exploitation of mineral deposits.

Examples of minerals and rocks of economic interest: clay minerals; kaolin; bentonite; zeolites; cements; industrial ceramics; geopolymers.

Effects of minerals on environment and health: asbestiform minerals; free silica; particulate matter air pollution; volcanic ashes.

Complements of optical microscopy: mineralogy applied to the advanced microscopic study of materials of industrial interest.

X-ray diffraction (XRD): sample preparation techniques, analysis and interpretation of a XRD pattern.

X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF): sample preparation techniques, destructive and non-destructive analysis, interpretation and data processing.

Scanning electron microscopy and microanalysis (SEM-EDS): sample preparation techniques, SEM micromorphological analysis and EDS microanalysis of minerals and rocks.

Textbook Information

Course material (ppt slides).

Suggested book:

Applied mineralogy: Applications in industry and environment. Swapna Mukherjee. Springer 575p.

Swapna MukherjeeApplied mineralogy: Applications in industry and environmentSpringer2012

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Resources and reservesLecturers slides
2Economic aspects of georesourcesLecturers slides
3Metallic mineralsLecturers slides
4Minerals of industrial interestLecturers slides
5Rocks of industrial interestLecturers slides
6Classification of ore depositsLecturers slides
7Exploitation of ore mineralsLecturers slides
8Clay minerals: classification and useLecturers slides
9KaolinLecturers slides
10BentoniteLecturers slides
11ZeolitesLecturers slides
12Portland cementLecturers slides
13Industrial ceramicsLecturers slides
14GeopolymersLecturers slides
15Minerals harmful to health and the environmentLecturers slides
16AsbestosLecturers slides
17Free silicaLecturers slides
18Particulate matter air pollutionLecturers slides
19Volcanic ashesLecturers slides
20Complements of optical microscopyLecturers slides
21X-Ray diffractionLecturers slides
22X-Ray fluorescence spectrometryLecturers slides
23Scanning electron microscopy and microanalysisLecturers slides

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral exam concerning the subjects of the course.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

The student will be asked to:

1) discuss about one of the georesouces covered in the course

2) describe one of the analytical techniques (basic theoretical principles and application examples)

3) discuss about the issues of economic geology

4) analyze the effects of minerals on environment and health

Versione in italiano