Chemistry for Environmental and Earth Sciences (Paperback) book cover

Chemistry for Environmental and Earth Sciences

By Catherine Vanessa Anne Duke, Craig Denver Williams

© 2007 – CRC Press

248 pages | 134 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780849339349
pub: 2007-10-01
Hardback: 9781138424357
pub: 2017-07-27
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pub: 2007-10-01
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Tackling environmental issues such as global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, water pollution, and soil contamination requires an understanding of the underlying science and chemistry of these processes in real-world systems and situations. Chemistry for Environmental and Earth Sciences provides a student-friendly introduction to the basic chemistry used for the mitigation, remediation, and elimination of pollutants.

Written and organized in a style that is accessible to science as well as non-science majors, this textbook divides its content into four intuitive chapters: Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. The first chapter explains classical concepts in chemistry that occur in nature such as atomic and molecular structures, chemical bonding and reactions, states of matter, phase transitions, and radioactivity. Subsequent chapters focus on the chemistry relating to the geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere—including the chemical aspects of soil, water, and air pollution, respectively.

Chemistry for Environmental and Earth Sciences uses worked examples and case studies drawn from current applications along with clear diagrams and concise explanations to illustrate the relevance of chemistry to geosciences. In-text and end-of-chapter questions with complete solutions also help students gain confidence in applying concepts from this book towards solving current, real-world problems.


"The book has been written with a refreshing degree of elan and didactic skill, and on the whole it succeeds well in its aim . . ."

– Dieter Lenoir, Institut für Ökologische Chemie, in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2008, Vol. 47, No. 31

". . . the work is valuable for its informational content and readable style for undergraduate coursework in chemistry, environmental, and earth sciences . . . Summing Up: Recommended."

– D. H. Stedman, University of Denver, in Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, May 2008, Vol. 45, No. 9

"Chemistry for Environmental and Earth Sciences is an original chemistry text book in the sense that it provides a friendly introduction to the basic chemistry concepts from the perspective of those environmental problems . . . The book is easy to read and fills a gap for undergraduate students of environmental and earth sciences, physical geography and geology."

– J. Albaigés, CID-CSIC, in International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, April 2008, Vol. 88, No. 5

"The book helps the environmental geochemists and engineers in their study of environmental science or earth science. It provides a student-friendly introduction to the basic chemistry used for the mitigation, remediation, and elimination of pollutants."

- Fakhry A. Assaad, Environ Geol (2008) Vol. 54, p.1803

Table of Contents

* Self-Assessment Questions accompany nearly every section within the chapters; Answers are provided in the Final Chapter.


Atoms and Elements

The Structure of Atoms

The Origin of the Elements

The Periodic Table

Electrons and Electron Orbitals


Radiometric Dating Methods

States of Matter





Phase Transitions and Phase Diagrams

Pure Substances, Compounds, and Mixtures

Units of Measurement

SI and Non-SI Units

Scientific Notation and SI Prefixes

Concentrations and Solutions

Chemical Bonding

Covalent Bonding

Cations, Anions, and Ionic Bonding

Metallic Bonding

Electronegativity, Polar Bonds, and Hydrogen Bonding

Chemical Structures

Structures of Organic Compounds

Three-Dimensional Structures, Chirality, and Optical Isomers

Structures of Molecular Inorganic Compounds

Structures of Extended Networks

Chemical Reactions and Equilibria

Chemical Reactions

The Energy of Chemical Reactions

Chemical Equilibria and Le Chatelier’s Principle



Formation of the Earth

The Structure of the Earth

The Structures of Silicate Minerals

Silicates Formed from Isolated Tetrahedra — Orthosilicates

Single-Chain Silicates — Pyroxenes

Double-Chain Silicates — Amphiboles

Sheet Silicates — Micas, Clays, and Talc

Framework or Tectosilicates — Silica, Feldspars, and Zeolites

Igneous Rocks

The Composition of Igneous Rocks

Crystallisation of Igneous Rocks

Phase Diagrams

Trace Elements in Igneous Rocks

Mineral Stability

Sedimentary Rocks

Siliciclastic Rocks



The Mineral Composition of Sedimentary Rocks

The Chemical Composition of Sedimentary Rocks

Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphism by Recrystallization

Metamorphism and Chemical Reactions

Biological Reactions


Physical Weathering

Chemical Weathering

Biological Weathering

The Chemistry of the Soil

Soil Organic Matter

Ion Exchange and Soil pH

Soil Pollution



The Properties of Water

The Phase Diagram of Water

Water and Hydrogen Bonding

Water and Heat

Water as a Solvent

The Water Cycle

Acids, Bases, and the pH Scale

Acids and Bases

The Relative Strength of Acids and Bases

Strong Acids and Bases

Weak Acids and Bases

The Self-Ionisation of Water

The pH Scale

Acid–Base Titrations

Buffer Solutions

Ions in Solution

The Solvation of Ions

Sparingly Soluble Salts and Solubility Products

The Carbonate System

Hardness of Water

The Chemistry of Seawater

Redox Chemistry

Oxidation, Reduction, and Oxidation States

Redox Potentials and Stability Field Diagrams


The Redox Chemistry of Nitrogen

Colloids and Suspended Particles

Water Pollution

Heavy Metals

Nutrients and Eutrophication

Organic Pollutants

Marine Oil Pollution



The Structure of the Atmosphere

Evolution and Composition of the Atmosphere

Biogeochemical cycles

The Carbon Cycle

The Nitrogen Cycle

The Sulfur Cycle

Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect

The Ozone Layer

Ozone Formation and UV Protection

Ozone Depletion

Air Pollution

The Key Pollutants

Urban Smog

Dispersal of Pollutants

Indoor Air Quality



Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / General
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geology