Perspectives in Environmental Chemistry

Perspectives in Environmental Chemistry

Perspectives in Environmental Chemistry

Perspectives in Environmental Chemistry


This book provides an in-depth introduction to a wide variety of topics within environmental chemistry. It is unique in that it consists of state-of-the-art descriptions of research areas written by leading scientists in the field.


Environmental chemistry has become a discipline which is far more than a series of applications of chemistry to environmental problems. The complexity and diversity of environmental systems demands a concomitant diversity in the group of researchers who call themselves environmental chemists. This book is in many ways a reflection of this diversity. It represents an attempt to provide a broad perspective on the immensely difficult scientific problems faced by environmental chemists. The format is a collection of chapters by some of the leading scientists in the field who present their research and their ideas about the most important areas of future research. Though an attempt was made to provide a thorough coverage of the field, no effort to comprehensively treat environmental chemistry is possible in a single volume.

The diversity of academic backgrounds and affiliations of the authors is obvious from the list of contributors, which provides a general picture of the scope of environmental chemistry research. This mixture of backgrounds also provides a rather formidable challenge to editors who seek to provide a reference work/textbook in a consistent, readable format. My goal and that of the authors was to present these perspectives in a style and at a level that allows upper-level undergraduate and beginning graduate students in the environmental sciences to find the book helpful in their studies. The book should also be useful to instructors as a general or supplementary text in environmental chemistry taught at these levels. Finally, it should provide an excellent means by which scientists newly interested in environmental chemistry can obtain an in-depth introduction to a wide variety of modern environmental chemical research areas.

The book is organized into sections describing fundamental work in the environmental chemistry of condensed-phase systems, studies in atmospheric chemistry, and chapters more directly related to field data. The order of chapters within each section is less formally defined. In the first section, separation of inorganic and organic topics was attempted with only moderate consistency. Among the atmospheric chemistry chapters, separation based on the tropopause is the only organizational principle. The final four chapters on more applied topics are presented in alphabetical order by first author.

The writing of a Table of Contents is usually not considered to be a task of great significance. However, in this case it serves as a rather interesting and useful demonstration of the ideas presented above. It is very difficult to find any chapter which is . . .

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