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Gennady Belyakov
Gennady Belyakov

Chemical Sedimentology and Environmental Chemistry: A Textbook for Students and Researchers

Principles of Environmental Chemistry: A Guide for Students and Researchers

Environmental chemistry is the study of the chemical processes that influence the natural environment, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. It is an interdisciplinary field that involves the application of chemistry to understand and solve environmental problems, such as climate change, air and water pollution, soil contamination, hazardous waste disposal and biogeochemical cycling of chemicals.

Principles Of Environmental Chemistry books pdf file

This article provides an overview of the principles of environmental chemistry, based on some of the best books available on the topic. It covers the main topics and concepts that students and researchers need to know to master this field, such as:

  • The chemical composition and properties of the different environmental compartments

  • The sources, transformations and fate of natural and anthropogenic chemicals in the environment

  • The analytical methods and techniques for measuring and monitoring environmental chemicals

  • The environmental impact and risk assessment of chemicals on human health and ecosystems

  • The strategies and technologies for preventing and mitigating environmental pollution

The Chemistry of the Atmosphere

The atmosphere is the layer of gases that surrounds the Earth and protects it from harmful radiation from the Sun. It consists of several layers with different physical and chemical characteristics, such as temperature, pressure, density and composition. The most important layers for environmental chemistry are the troposphere and the stratosphere.

The troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere, where most of the weather phenomena occur. It extends from the surface to about 10-15 km in altitude. The main components of the tropospheric air are nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), argon (0.9%) and carbon dioxide (0.04%). It also contains variable amounts of water vapor, ozone, methane, nitrous oxide and other trace gases. The troposphere is influenced by natural and human activities that emit various gases and particles into the air, such as volcanoes, wildfires, plants, animals, vehicles, industries and power plants. These emissions can undergo complex chemical reactions in the presence of sunlight and water vapor, leading to the formation of secondary pollutants, such as ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. These pollutants can have adverse effects on human health, climate and ecosystems.

The stratosphere is the second layer of the atmosphere, where most of the ozone layer is located. It extends from about 15 to 50 km in altitude. The main components of the stratospheric air are nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%) and ozone (0.001%). Ozone is a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms that absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the Sun and protects life on Earth from its harmful effects. The stratosphere is influenced by natural and human activities that emit various gases into the air that can affect the ozone layer, such as volcanic eruptions, cosmic rays, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, methyl bromide and nitrous oxide. These emissions can react with ozone and break it down into oxygen atoms, leading to ozone depletion. This can have negative consequences for human health, climate and ecosystems.

The Chemistry of Freshwaters

Freshwaters are waters that have low salinity (

wetlands and groundwater. They are essential for life on Earth as they provide drinking water, irrigation water, hydroelectric power, transportation routes, recreation opportunities and habitats for many organisms.

The chemical composition and properties of freshwaters depend on various factors, such as geology, climate, hydrology, biota and human activities. The main components of freshwater are water molecules (H2O) and dissolved ions, such as calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), bicarbonate (HCO3-), sulfate (SO42-), chloride (Cl-) and nitrate (NO3-). The concentration of dissolved ions determines the hardness and alkalinity of freshwater. Freshwater also contains dissolved gases, such as oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N2), which affect the acidity (pH) and redox potential (Eh) of freshwater. The pH and Eh of freshwater influence the solubility and speciation of metals and other elements in freshwater. Freshwater also contains dissolved organic matter (DOM), which is derived from the decomposition of plants and animals. DOM can act as a source or sink of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and can complex with metals and other elements in freshwater.

Freshwater is influenced by natural and human activities that introduce various chemicals into freshwater, such as nutrients, metals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, hormones and pathogens. These chemicals can affect the quality of freshwater and pose risks to human health and ecosystems. Some of these chemicals can undergo biogeochemical transformations in freshwater, such as nitrificat