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Book Review Electrochemical Processes in Fuel Cells. By M. W. Breiter

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Electrochemical Processes in Fuel Cells. By M . W. Breiter.
Vol. IX of the series “Anorganische und Allgemeine Chernie in Einzeldarstellungen”. Springer-Verlag, Berlin;&
delberg-New York 1969. 1st Edit., xi, 247p p., 98 figures,
bound D M 48.--.
The present monograph deals exclusively with electrode
processes in fuel cells; technological aspects are not discussed.
The material is presented concisely, and is more like a series
of reviews than a textbook. The contents are therefore rather
heavy, and not always easy for the non-expert to understand.
For example, pages 39 to 59 of Levich’s book[Jl have been
condensed to only three pages. The problems o n which the
author has worked are discussed rather more fully. The
depth in which the various questions are dealt with appears
arbitrary. Thus the oxidation of ammonia is not even mentioned, and the reactions of hydrazine are touched on only
briefly. The classification of fuel cells @.3) includes a group b
“organic electrolytes”. This evidently refers to the biochemical fuel cells. However, these are not discussed further by the
After introductory chapters (definitions, thermodynamics,
mass transfer, and electrode kinetics, 47 pp.), the adsorption of hydrogen o n platinum metals and their alloys is discussed (37 pp.). This is followed by a very brief discussion of
the anodic oxidation of hydrogen (1 1 pp.). Some results from
investigations on oxygen surface films are described for
platinum, nickel, silver, and carbon. The adsorption of
hydrocarbons and the mode of action of the oxygen electrode
in aqueous electrolytes and carbonate melts are dealt with in
considerable length.
In Chapter X, o n the anodic oxidation of fuels, the emphasis
is placed o n the study of methanol and formic acid. The
book closes with some results on the properties of porous
electrodes and their model treatment (30 pp.).
The present work provides a maximum of information for
the number of pages available. References to the literature
are very copious, though not complete. An author index
would have been welcome in this respect.
The volume provides the electrochemist with a very valuable
summary of a large number of investigations in a compact
form. The printing and presentation of the book are excellent.
Wolf Vielstich
[NB 881 IE]
Ullmanns Encyclopadie der technischen Chemie (Ullmann’s
Encyclopedia of Technical Chemistry). Chief editor:
W. Foerst. Editor: Hertha Buchholz-Meisenheimer. Urban
und Schwarzenberg, Munich-Berlin-Vienna.
Vol. 19: Zement bis Zwischenprodukte (Cement to Intermediates). 1969. 66 illustrations 418 pp., D M 120.-.
Complete Index for Vols. 1, 2/I, 2/11 and 3 to 19 with references to the supplementary volume. 1969.354 pp., D M 80.price of the two volumes together D M 190.--.
Supplementary Volume: New Processes, New Products,
Economic Developments. 1970, 175 illustrations + 846 pp.,
D M 198.19 years after work o n the project began, the publication of
these three volumes [*I completes the encyclopedia, which has
a total of 16243 pages and 808 articles, with contributions
from more than 1000 authors. The individual fields dealt
with are as follows: organic intermediates and chemicals
16.2%, inorganic chemistry 11.2%, metals 8.7%, drugs,
natural products (alkaloids, vitamins, hormones), cosmetics,
and perfumes 8%, plastics, lacquers, and rubber 7.1%,
physical methods in the laboratory 6.2 %, construction of
[l] V . G .Levich: Physicochemical Hydrodynamics. Prentice-Hall,
Englewood Cliffs, N. J., 1962.
[*I See Angew. Chem. 81, 472 (1969); Angew. Chern. internat.
Edit. 8, 465 (1969).
Angew. Chern. internat. Edit. J Vol. 9 (1970) / No. 8
apparatus and process technology 6.1 %, fuels and petrochemistry 6%, fibers, wood, cellulose 5%, food, fats, and
foodstuffs 4.6 %,:dyes and dyeing 4.4%, production supervision 4.2%, ceramics, silicate chemistry, cement, other
and miscellaneous
building materials, glass, enamels 2.9
(including fertilizers, pest control, nuclear energy, isotopes,
and atomic structure) 9.4%. The work contains a unique
assortment of material, giving a coherent picture of the whole
field of technological chemistry including the economic
principles of this branch of science, manifestly an enormous
and bold undertaking in view of the rapid development of
science and technology in the postwar period, which is clearly
mirrored in the 22 volumes.
Volume 19 contains sections on intermediate products
(147 pp.), zinc, zinc alloys, and zinc compounds (107 pp.),
sugar and confectionery (62 pp.), cement (34 pp.), tin, alloys
of tin, and tin compounds (31 pp.), zirconium and zirconium
compounds (24 pp.), and flammables (9 pp.), with contributions from 22 authors, of whom 20 work in industry and 2 in
universities. H . Morchel’s (Farbenfabriken Bayer) article on
“Intermediates” deserves special attention. He concentrates
o n aromatic and heterocyclic intermediate products, tabulating in twenty subdivided synopses the methods of preparation for 1400 compounds arranged in order of precedence
o n the basis of the introduction of functional groups. The
article gives detailed references to the original literature and
t o relevant sections in the encyclopedia. Dye chemists in
particular will find this section useful, with its comprehensive
coverage and novel way of classifying the material.
The index volume is of considerable importance to the complete work, and the editors have therefore devoted particular
attention to it. Chemical technology is developing so rapidly
that it is difficult to classify it o n a systematic basis. Nor has
it been possible to avoid overlapping in the case of this
encyclopedia, where a lexical arrangement has been chosen
for the articles which are of varying length and are in some
cases presented in monographic form. Moreover, the later
volumes have to take into account and incorporate progress
made in the fields dealt with earlier. This means that any
system for the classification of material of this type is far
from perfectly practicable, and a comprehensive and reliable
keyword index becomes all the more important. The present
index volume contains 354 pages and about 30000 keywords,
covering the whole field of technological chemistry. Important keywords are provided with comprehensive and subdivided textual references. For example, the keyword
“rubber”, is accompanied by 150 references covering such
topics as recovery, use, grades, processes, and economic
considerations. To facilitate the search for subjects the index
also contains a number oftitles arranged both as independent
keywords and as subdivisions under main entries. Normal and
bold type is used for quoting page references, the difference
showing where more detailed treatments of the relevant topic
can be found. It is easy to see that all the material contained
in this encyclopedia can quickly be found by means of the
The supplementary volume is a useful and interesting addition
to the complete work. This volume contains articles o n
organic intermediate products (131 pp.), plastics and plastics
products (85 pp.), drugs (81 pp.), economic development and
its importance in the chemical industry (78 pp.), petrochemical bases (53 pp.), fertilizers (41 pp.), metals (34 pp.), rubber
(31 pp.), dyes and optical brighteners (28 pp.), fibers (25 pp.),
nuclear energy (25 pp.), petroleum (21 pp.), and a number of
shorter sections, with contributions from 177 authors. The
subject matter of the book is varied and stimulating since the
editors with the experience of the previous 21 volumes
behind them and suitable contacts with specialists have
gathered together new and interesting material from all fields.
This volume can also be bought singly, and makes worthwhile
reading independent of the encyclopedia. New fields like
lasers, holography, and nuclear energy are described with
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