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The aim of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus in Chemistry is to prepare the candidates for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives, which are to:
(i) apply the basic principles governing scientific methods in new situations;
(ii) interpret scientific data;
(iii) deduce the relationships between chemistry and other sciences;
(iv) apply the knowledge of chemistry to industry and everyday life.
1. Separation of mixtures and purification of chemical substances
(a) Pure and impure substances
(b) Boiling and melting points.
(c) Elements, compounds and mixtures
(d) Chemical and physical changes.
(e) Separation processes: e.g. evaporation, simple and fractional distillation, sublimation, filtration, crystallization, paper and column chromatography, simple and fractional crystallization.
2. Chemical combination
Stoichiometry, laws of definite and multiple proportions, law of conservation of matter, Gay Lussac’s law of combining volumes, Avogadro’s law; chemical symbols, formulae, equations and their uses, relative atomic mass based on 12C=12, the mole concept and Avogadro’s number.
3. Kinetic theory of matter and Gas Laws
(a) An outline of the kinetic theory of matter, melting, vapourization and reverse processes; melting and boiling explained in terms of molecular motion and Brownian movement.
(b) The laws of Boyle, Charles, Graham and Dalton (law of partial pressure); combined
gas law, molar volume and atomicity of gases.
4. Atomic structure and bonding
(a) (i)The concept of atoms, molecules and ions, the works of Dalton, Millikan, Rutherford, Mosely, Thompson and Bohr. Simple hydrogen spectrum, Ionization of gases illustrating the electron as fundamental particle of matter.
(ii) Atomic structure, electron configuration, atomic number, mass number and isotopes; specific examples should be drawn from elements of atomic number 1 to 20. Shapes of s and p orbitals.(b) The periodic table and periodicity of elements, presentation of the periodic table with a view to recognizing families of elements e.g. alkali metals, halogens, the noble gases and transition metals. The variation of the following properties should be noticed: ionization energy, ionic radii, electron affinity and electronegativity.
(c) Chemical bonding.
Electrovalency and covalency, the electron configuration of elements and their tendency to attain the noble gas structure. Hydrogen bonding and metallic bonding as special types of electrovalency and covalency respectively; coordinate bond as a type of covalent bond as illustrated by complexes like [Fe(CN)6]3-, [Fe(CN)6]4-, [Cu(NH3)4]2+ and [Ag(NH3)2]+; van der Waals’ forces should be mentioned as a special type of bonding forces.
(d) Shapes of simple molecules: linear ((H2, O2, Cl2,HCI and CO2), non-linear (H2O) and tetrahedral; (CH4)
(b) Nuclear Chemistry:
(i) Radioactivity (elementary treatment only)
(ii) Nuclear reactions. Simple equations, uses and applications of natural and artificial radioactivity.
The usual gaseous constituents – nitrogen, oxygen, water vapour, carbon(IV) oxide and the noble
gases (argon and neon), proportion of oxygen in the air e.g. by burning phosphorus or by using alkaline pyrogallol, air as a mixture and some uses of the noble gas.
Composition by volume: Water as a solvent, atmospheric gases dissolved in water and their biological significance. Water as a product of the combustion of hydrogen.
Hard and soft water: Temporary and permanent hardness and methods of softening hard water. Purification of town water supplies. Water of crystallization, efflorescence, deliquescence and hygroscopy. Examples of the substances exhibiting these properties and their uses.
(a) Unsaturated, saturated and supersaturated solutions. Solubility curves and simple deductions from them, (solubility defined in terms of mole per dm3) and simple calculations.
(b) Solvents for fats, oil and paints and the use of such solvents for the removal of stains.
(c) Suspensions and colloids: Harmattan haze and paints as examples of suspensions and fog, milk, aerosol spray and rubber solution as examples of colloids.
8. Environmental Pollution
(a) Sources and effects of pollutants.
(b) Air pollution: Examples of air pollutants such as H2S, CO, SO2, oxides of nitrogen, fluorocarbons and dust.
(c) Water pollution – Sewage and oil pollution should be known.
(d) Soil pollution: Oil spillage, Biodegradable and non-biodegradable pollutants.
9. Acids, bases and salts
(a) General characteristics and properties of acids, bases and salts. Acids/base indicators, basicity of acids, normal, acidic, basic and double salts. An acid defined as a substance whose aqueous solution furnishes H3O+ions or as a proton donor. Ethanoic, citric and tartaric acids as examples of naturally occurring organic acids, alums as examples of double salts, preparation of salts by neutralization, precipitation and action of acids on metals. Oxides and trioxocarbonate (IV) salts
(b) Qualitative comparison of the conductances of molar solutions of strong and weak acids and bases, relationship between conductance, amount of ions present and their relative mobilities.
(c) pH and pOH scale. pH defined as – log[H3O+]
(d) Acid/base titrations.
(e) Hydrolysis of salts: Simple examples such as NH4Cl, AICI3, Na2CO3, CH3COONa to be mentioned
10. Oxidation and reduction
(a) Oxidation in terms of the addition of oxygen or removal of hydrogen.
(b) Reduction as removal of oxygen or addition of hydrogen.
(c) Oxidation and reduction in terms of electron transfer.
(d) Use of oxidation numbers.
Oxidation and reduction treated as change in oxidation. Number and use of oxidation numbers
in balancing simple equations. IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic compounds.
(e) Tests for oxidizing and reducing agents.
(a) Electrolytes and non-electrolytes. Faraday’s laws of electrolysis.
(b) Electrolysis of dilute H2SO4, aqueous CuSO4, CuCl2 solution, dilute and concentrated NaCl solutions and fused NaCl and factors affecting discharge of ions at the electrodes.
(c) Uses of electrolysis: Purification of metals e.g. copper and production of elements and compounds e.g. Al, Na, O2, Cl2 and NaOH.
(d) Electrochemical cells: Redox series (K, Na, Ca, Mg, AI, Zn, Fe, PbII, H, Cu, Hg, Au,) half-cell reactions and electrode potentials. Simple calculations only.
(e) Corrosion as an electrolytic process, cathodic protection of metals, painting, electroplating and coating with grease or oil as ways of preventing iron from corrosion.
12. Energy changes
(a) Energy changes(∆H) accompanying physical and chemical changes:
dissolution of substances in or reaction with water e.g. Na, NaOH, K, NH4, Cl. Endothermic (+∆H) and exothermic (-∆H) reactions.
(b) Entropy as an order-disorder phenomenon: simple illustrations like mixing of gases and dissolution of salts.
(c) Spontaneity of reactions: ∆GΘ = 0 as a criterion for equilibrium, ∆G greater or less than zero as a criterion for non-spontaneity or spontaneity.
13. Rates of Chemical Reaction
(a) Elementary treatment of the following factors which can change the rate of a chemical reaction:
(i) Temperature e.g. the reaction between HCI and Na2S2O3 or Mg and HCI
(ii) Concentration e.g. the reaction between HCl and Na2S2O3, HCl and marble and the iodine clock reaction, for gaseous systems, pressure may be used as concentration term.
(iii) Surface area e.g. the reaction between marble and HCI with marble in
(i) powdered form
(ii) lumps of the same mass.
(iv) Catalyst e.g. the decomposition of H2O2 or KCIO3 in the presence or absence of MnO2
(b) Concentration/time curves.
(c) Activation energy – Qualitative treatment of Arrhenius’ law and the collision theory, effect of
light on some reactions. e.g. halogenation of alkanes
14. Chemical equilibra
Reversible reactions and factors governing the equilibrium position. Dynamic equilibrium. Le Chatelier’s principle and equilibrium constant. Simple examples to include action of steam on iron and N2O4 2NO2. No calculation will be required.
15. Non-metals and their compounds
(a) Hydrogen: commercial production from water gas and cracking of petroleum fractions, laboratory preparation, properties, uses and test for hydrogen.
(b) Halogens: Chlorine as a representative element of the halogen. Laboratory preparation, industrial preparation by electrolysis, properties and uses, e.g. water sterilization, bleaching, manufacture of HC1, plastics and insecticides. Hydrochloric acid preparation and properties. Chlorides and test for chlorides.
(c) Oxygen and Sulphur
(i) Oxygen: Laboratory preparation, properties and uses. Commercial production from liquid air. Oxides: Acidic,basic, amphoteric and neutral, trioxygen (ozone) as an allotrope and the importance of ozone in the atmosphere.
(ii) Sulphur: Uses and allotropes; preparation of allotropes is not expected . Preparation, properties and uses of sulphur (IV) oxide, the reaction of SO2 with alkalis. Trioxosulphate (IV) acid and its salts, the effect of acids on salts of trioxosulphate (IV), Tetraoxosulphate (VI) acid: Commercial preparation (contact process only), properties as a dilute acid, an oxidizing and a dehydrating agent and uses. Test for SO42-.
Hydrogen sulphide: Preparation and Properties as a weak acid, reducing agent and precipitating agent. Test for S2-
(i) Laboratory preparation
(ii) Production from liquid air
Laboratory and industrial preparations (Haber Process only), properties and uses, ammonium salts and their uses, oxidation of ammonia to nitrogen (IV) oxide and trioxonitrate (V) acid.
(iv) Trioxonitrate (V) acid: Laboratory preparation from ammonia; properties and uses. Trioxonitrate (V) salt- action of heat and uses. Test for NO3-
(v) Oxides of nitrogen: Properties; The nitrogen cycle.
(i) Allotropes: Uses and properties
(ii) Carbon (IV) oxide- Laboratory preparation, properties and uses. Action of heat on trioxocarbonate (IV) salts and test for CO32-
(iii) Carbon (II) oxide:
Laboratory preparation, properties including its effect on blood; sources of carbon (II) oxide to include charcoal, fire and exhaust fumes.
(iv) Coal: Different types, products obtained form destructive distillation of wood and coal.
(v) Coke: Gasification and uses. Manufacture of synthetic gas and uses.
16. Metals and their compounds
(a) Alkali metals e.g. sodium
(i) Sodium hydroxide:- Production by electrolysis of brine, its action on aluminium, zinc and lead ions. Uses including precipitation of metallic hydroxides.
(ii) Sodium trioxocarbonate (IV) and sodium hydrogen trioxocarbonate (IV): Production by Solvay process, properties and uses, e.g. Na2CO3 in the manufacture of glass. (iii) Sodium chloride: its occurrence in sea water and uses, the economic importance of sea water and the recovery of sodium chloride.
(b) Alkaline-earth metals, e.g. calcium; calcium oxide, calcium hydroxide and calcium trioxocarbonate (IV); Properties and uses. Preparation of calcium oxide from sea shells, the chemical composition of cement
and the setting of mortar. Test for Ca2+.
(c) Aluminium – Purification of bauxite, electrolytic extraction, properties and uses of aluminium and its compounds. Test for Al3+
(d) Tin – Extraction form its ores. Properties and uses.
(e) Metals of the first transition series.
(i) electron configuration
(ii) oxidation states
(iii) complex ion formation
(iv) formation of coloured ions
(f) Iron – Extraction form sulphide and oxide ores, properties and uses, different forms of iron and their properties and advantages of steel over iron. Test for Fe2+ and Fe3+
(g) Copper – Extraction from sulphide and oxide ores, properties and uses of copper salts, preparation and uses of copper (II) tetraoxosulphate (VI). Test for Cu2+
(h) Alloy – Steel, stainless steel, brass, bronze, type- metal, duralumin and soft solder (constituents and uses only).
17. Organic Compounds
An introduction to the tetravalency of carbon, the general formula, IUPAC nomenclature and the determination of empirical formula of each class of the organic compounds mentioned below.
(a) Aliphatic hydrocarbons
(i) Alkanes – Homologous series in relation to physical properties, substitution reaction and a few
examples and uses of halogenated products. Isomerism: structural only (examples on isomerism should not go beyond six carbon atoms).
Petroleum: composition, fractional distillation and major products; cracking and reforming, Petrochemicals – starting materials of organic syntheses, quality of petrol and meaning of octane number.
Isomerism: structural and geometric isomerism, additional and polymerization reactions, polythene and synthetic rubber as examples of products of polymerization and its use in vulcanization.
(a) Ethyne – production from action of water on carbides, simple reactions and properties of ethyne.
(b) Aromatic hydrocarbons e.g. benzene – Structure, properties and uses.
(c) Alkanols – Primary, secondary, tertiary – production of ethanol by fermentation and from petroleum by-products. Local examples of fermentation and distillation, e.g. gin from palm wine and other local sources and glycerol as a polyhydric alkanol. Reactions of OH group – oxidation as a distinguishing test between primary, secondary and tertiary alkanols.
(d) Alkanals and alkanones. Chemical test to distinguish between Alkanals and alkanones.
(e) Alkanoic acids. Chemical reactions; neutralization and esterification, ethanedioic (oxalic) acid as an example of a dicarboxylic acid and benzene carboxylic acid as an example of an aromatic acid.
(f) Alkanoates – Formation from alkanoic acids and Alkanols – fats and oils as alkanoates. Saponification: Production of soap and margarine from alkanoates and distinction between detergents and soaps.
(g) Amines (Alkanamines) Primary, Secondary, tertiary
Classification – mono-, di- and polysaccharides, composition, chemical tests for simple sugars and reaction with concentrated tetraoxosulphate (VI) acid. Hydrolysis of complex sugars e.g. cellulose form cotton and starch from cassava, the uses of sugar and starch in the production of alcoholic beverages, pharmaceuticals and textiles.
(i) Giant molecules e.g. proteins, enzymes, natural rubbers and polymers.