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Book Review Chemistry of Coal Utilization Second Supplementary Volume. Edited by M. A

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BOOK REVIEWS
Chemistry of Coal Utilization, Second Supplementary Volume. Edited by M. A. Elliot, Wiley-Interscience, New
York 1981. 2374 pages, bound, $ 165.00.
The American “Chemistry of Coal Utilization”, a handbook that has already become a classic and that is certainly
unique in its scope and treatment of the material, has now
been updated by the appearance of the second supplementary volume, after the original two-volume work of 1945,
edited by H. H. Lowry, was first supplemented in 1963. As
in the case of the previous volumes, a committee of the
National Research Council of the U.S. National Academy
of Sciences assumed the sponsorship of the new supplementary volume which, under the new editor Elliot- Lowry
died ten years ago-includes contributions from 60 wellknown authors. In continuation of the earlier work, detailed information is given not only on coal chemistry in
the narrower sense but also, with the exception of mining
technology, on all technologies for the utilization and upgrading of coal and on the conversion of coal into energy,
fuels, and chemical raw materials. In spite of the primary
aim to take up the story at the point at which the review of
the first supplementary volume ended, i. e. essentially to
give a critical review of the literature between about 1958
and the second half of the seventies and to describe further
developments in this period, to a large extent the result has
been an almost textbook-like account rather more suitable
for advanced readers. Specifically, the 3 1 chapters deal
with the coal industry, coal research and development (an
overview written by the editor himself); coal resources
(only the deposits of the United States are treated in detail); origin, petrography, and classification of coal; physical properties of coal and coal products; mechanical properties; plastic properties; analysis of coal, trace elements,
and mineral constituents; chemical reactions and chemical
constitution of coal; transport, storage, and handling; preparation; briquetting ; pyrolysis and hydropyrolysis (3
chapters); solid pyrolysis products; coar tar (2 chapters);
coke-oven gas; combustion of coal (2 chapters); coal ashits effect on combustion; control of pollution from combustion processes ; gasification of coal (3 chapters); underground gasification of coal; liquefaction of coal (3 chapters); conversion of coal and coal gases into fuels, chemicals, and other products; and environmental, health, and
safety implications of increased coal utilization.
On the whole, it must be said that the compilation and
organization of the enormous volume of material has been
highly successful. Overlapping between individual chapters, unavoidable because closely related subjects are
treated by different authors, is kept to reasonable limits.
The reviewer is not in a position to judge to what extent it
has been possible to take into account the literature and all
the developments of the various technologies. After all, the
quality of the contribution depends in the final account on
the knowledge, experience, and carefulness of the particular author (information about the professional career and
the present position of each author is given by brief biographies at the beginning of the chapters). Apart from
some contributions from the United Kingdom, Australia,
640
and the German Federal Republic, the majority of the
chapters have been written by American authors. In reading some chapters one cannot quite escape the (subjective)
impression that the account, particularly of the economic
and technical developments, is frequently limited substantially to the situation in the United States. For example, in
Chapter 28 (Liquefaction Processes) all the American
processes for direct liquefaction of coal are described in
detail, whereas there is nothing about the corresponding
developments of the National Coal Board in the United
Kingdom and there are only a few lines on the IG-“Neu”
Process in Germany, by which is meant the new activities
in connection with the hydrogenation of coal, based on the
old IG process. A partial explanation for this shortcoming
may be that these European developments really started
up only in the mid-seventies, not long before the early editorial deadline (depending on the chapter, between August
1976 and the end of 1978). Other examples could be
quoted. Another point of criticism relates to the use of
units: it must be just as annoying for the English or American reader when, for example as on page 1782, temperatures are given in degrees Fahrenheit and enthalpies in
Btullb-mole in one place and four pages later the same author uses the units Kelvin and kcal/g-mole!
The extensive subdivision of the text by headings makes
for clarity, the graphic presentation including the figures
and tables is excellent, and the citation of references in
footnotes on the same page is exemplary. Small mistakes
and printing errors do not appear to exceed the usual quota. The subject index, however, leaves something to be desired.
All in all, this second supplementary volume in combination with the earlier work offers a unique compilation,
of inestimable value, of the scientific and technical literature on coal. No library should therefore delay in getting
this supplement to their “Lowry”. But even without the
earlier volumes, which, by the way, can still be obtained as
reprints, the book will be highly valuable for the interested
specialists, if not indeed indispensable.
Matthias W. Haenel [NB 562 I E ]
Protective Groups in Organic Synthesis. By T. H . Green.
John Wiley & Sons, Chichester 1981. xiii, 349 pp.,
bound, E 26.25.
Although the use of protective groups for the blockage
(deactivation and differentiation) of functional groups is
indispensable in many organic reactions, particularly in
special classes of substances such as the carbohydrates and
the amino acids, in the planning of a particular synthesis
one should always bear in mind that this advantage is accompanied by a drawback: Two additional reaction steps
Angew. Chem. In(. Ed. Engl. Z I (1982) No. 8
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