Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry


It is intended that students acquire the ability to understand the behavior of a set of natural and synthetic organic compounds used over the years in producing different objects and works of art. To this effect they must first understand the structure, properties and reactivity of the functional groups involved in the structures of the compounds in question - carbohydrates and polysaccharides, amino acids and proteins, triglycerides, fatty acids, oils and waxes, color compounds of natural or synthetic origin.

Students are prepared to perform qualitative tests that are used in the laboratory to identify the presence, to separate,  and to understand the behavior of monomeric and polymeric molecules described in the course syllabus.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Maria Ferreira da Costa Lourenço


Weekly - 5

Total - 67

Teaching language



There are no requirements.


- P. Mata, "Notas de Apoio às Aulas Teóricas de Química Orgânica", 2004.

- J. S. Mills, R. White, “The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects”, Butterworth-Heineman, 1994.

- Pedro Paulo Santos, "Química Orgânica", Vol 1, Coleção Ensino da Ciência e da Tecnologia, IST Press, 2011.

- Pedro Paulo Santos, "Química Orgânica", Vol 2, Coleção Ensino da Ciência e da Tecnologia, IST Press, 2012.


Teaching method

T, TP, P and PO classes

Classes will be a mix of classroom and non-classroom that will be adjusted throughout the semester depending on the pandemic situation.

Theoretical classes (T) where the material described in the program is exposed. The presentation of the material is done with support in slides and written explanations. This exhibition is developed with an incentive for student participation.

Two theoretical evaluation tests are carried out in two theoretical classes. The 1st test to take place in the middle of the semester and the 2nd at the end.

Seven theoretical-practical classes for solving problems on theoretical subjects and clarifying doubts. In the last TP class, the practical component test is carried out.

In the last TP class, a written and individual test is carried out on the practical work carried out.

Three PO classes on experimental techniques.

Evaluation method

General rules

The evaluation is continuous.

The UC evaluation has two components: theoretical and practical. To pass the discipline, each of these components must individually have a rating equal to or greater than 9.5 points.

Theoretical Evaluation

Two tests are carried out during the semester. Theoretical evaluation has a weight of 80% for the final classification.

Theoretical tests are individual, written, without consultation and will be classified from 0 to 20 points.

Students who do not take tests and those who have not obtained a sufficient average can go to appeal.

Practical Evaluation

The practical grade corresponds to the arithmetic average of the grade of the continuous assessment made in classes P and PO and the grade of the practical test carried out at the end of the semester.

The global practical grade has a weight of 20% for the final grade and gives the frequency to the UC.

Frequency is maintained for students from previous years. If they want to improve the practical grade they will have to attend the PO classes and take the practical test. It will count the best of the grades between this academic year and the previous one.

Subject matter

1. Carbon compounds: Bonding and structure
Chemical bonding - the atom and its structure; the chemical bond; electronegativity; carbon covalent bonding. Organic compounds – formulas in organic compounds; classification of organic compounds. Reactions – acids and bases; electrophiles and nucleophiles; introduction to reaction mechanisms.

2. Organic compounds
Hydrocarbons - structure and properties; isomerism – constitutional, cis-trans isomerism and conformational isomerism, introduction to optical isomerism. Other functional groups – structure and properties. Determination of structure – brief reference to separation methods and spectroscopic methods.

3. Oils and fats

Structure and properties. Degree of unsaturation and physical state; iodine number. Reactions of hydrogenation, saponification and oxidation. Drying oils, the drying process and factors affecting it. Yellowing of oil films. Uses in conservation and restoration.

4. Natural waxes
Structure and properties.

5. Natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic polymers
Types of polymers. Brief history of the development of synthetic polymers. Chemical bonds - polyolefins, polyesters and polyamides. Peptides and proteins - occurrence, examples, functions and properties. Amino-acids structure and properties; chirality. Peptides and proteins – characteristics, structure and properties. Mechanisms of protein degradation - hydrolisis, photodegradation and biodegradation Amino acid dating of proteinaceous materials. Analysis of proteins – brief reference. Polymer uses in art, conservation and restoration.

6. Carbohydrate
Occurrence and functions. Structure and properties. Terminology and classification.Glycosidic bond - characteristics, formation and hydrolysis formation. Structures and properties of monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. Particular reference to cellulose and its derivatives (cellulose nitrate and acetate), chitin, starch and glycogen. problems associated aith conservation and restauration of paper.

7. Dyestuffs and other coloured materials. Structural characteristics and examples.


Programs where the course is taught: