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Book Review Electrochemical Reactors Their Science and Technology. Part A Fundamentals Electrolysers Batteries and Fuel Cells. Edited by M. I

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The book by W S. Struve is based on lectures to American
graduate students between 1974 and 1987; in Germany this
level corresponds approximately to the final semesters of the
diploma course and to special lecture courses for Doktoranden (post-graduate students), although the latter
courses are now often neglected, unfortunately. Radiative
transitions are treated first in an elementary way, followed
by atomic spectra (40 pp.), diatomic molecules (90 pp.),
polyatomic molecules (100 pp.) and, in the concluding chapters, line shapes and intensities, lasers, two-photon processes
and non-linear optics. The treatment is generally competent
and appropriate for teaching purposes. The book as a whole
is comparable with the corresponding chapters of typical
physical chemistry textbooks, but goes a little further. However, it is disappointing to find some quite outdated material,
and the coverage of recent developments is very incomplete.
Thus, there are examples of IR spectra of HCl from around
1960, and the information that the student will gain from this
book concerning the development of techniques such as FTIR spectroscopy is hardly adequate. Furthermore, in discussing the theory of molecular spectra there is no mention
of such an important aspect as the development of the concept of molecular symmetry groups by Longuet-Higgins,
Hougen and Watson, which was already mentioned as a new
development in 1966 in Volume 3 of “Herzberg”, and about
which a textbook (by P. R. Bunker) has been in existence for
ten years. Also some other developments belonging to the
“post-Herzberg” era, such as Watson’s theory of the spectra
of asymmetric rotor molecules and many other topics, are
only mentioned in passing. On the other hand, some new
special techniques (CARS and others) are treated in Chapter 11.
In summary one may say that this book by W Struve is
suitable for the bookshelves of a university teacher preparing
a lecture course on this subject, and it should also be available as a rule in departmental libraries.
Martin Quack [NB 1084 IE]
Laboratorium fur Physikalische Chemie
der Eidgenossischen Technischen Hochschule,
Zurich (Switzerland)
Electrochemical Reactors, Their Science and Technology.
Part A : Fundamentals, Electrolysers, Batteries and Fuel
Cells. Edited by M . I. Ismail. Elsevier, Amsterdam 1989.
xviii, 848 pp., hard cover, HFI 268.00.-ISBN
This book is the first of three volumes with the general title
“Electrochemical Reactors”. As the series editor explains in
the preface, Volume A deals with the basic principles of
electrochemical reactors and with batteries and fuel cells,
Volume B will deal with special types of reactors, and Volume C with production techniques for commercial reactors
and mathematical modeling of the processes occurring in
electrochemical reactors. The series is intended for both specialists and students.
The first volume contains a short general introduction to
the field, followed by 14 longer articles in which recognized
experts report on the current state of knowledge in individual
areas. These deal with fundamental aspects (thermodynamics, electrode kinetics, transport of heat and matter, flow
mechanics), with more general considerations (concepts used
in describing electrochemical processes, general technical
problems, regulating systems) and with special aspects (electrodes, electrolytes, diaphragms, materials of construction,
Angew. Chem. I n l . Ed. Engl. 29 (1990) No. 7
process control systems). Batteries and fuel cells are treated
in separate articles.
The quality of the individual contributions strikes the reviewer as being just as heterogeneous as the impression given
by the overall visual appearance of the book. They range
from very good review articles (e.g. those on thermodynamics and electrode kinetics) to tabulated compilations of equations with virtually no discussion (as in the article on transport of heat and matter). Also the SI system is not employed
The articles on fundamentals can be recommended as an
introduction for newcomers to the extensive field of electrochemical processes, and experts will value the comprehensive
bibliography provided. The book will be hindered from
reaching a wider readership by the weaknesses mentioned
above, and more especially by its high price, which the poor
visual appearance (with typography and figures which are
sometimes difficult to read) does nothing to counteract.
Thomas Hahn [NB 1044 IE]
Institut fur chemische Verfahrenstechnik
der Universitat Karlsruhe (FRG)
The Chemistry of Soils. By G. Sposito. Oxford University
Press, Oxford 1989. 277 pp., hardcover, & 28.00.4SBN
The declared aim of this book is to develop soil chemistry
from the level of purely qualitative description into an exact
science which makes use of all available techniques, ranging
from spectrometers to computer modeling. This means that
it should not only meet the needs of modern agriculture, but
should also provide a basis for understanding and solving
many environmental problems. The reader who already has
the necessary basic knowledge of soil science, mineralogy
and chemistry will find here an interesting textbook, which
deals in the first few chapters with the chemical composition
of soils, then goes on to describe soil chemical processes, and
finally discusses questions of acidity, salt excess and fertility.
Starting from the elemental composition of soils, the mineral constituents and trace elements are discussed. The threephase system consisting of soil solids, soil air and soil water
leads on to the stages in weathering. In discussing the inorganic constituents those which mainly feature are, of course,
ionic solids, primary silicates and clay minerals, oxides and
hydroxides, carbonates and sulfates. Coming to the organic
soil constituents, the account of humus-related problems is
concise but very instructive. However, the interactions with
organic trace impurities are not treated in sufficient detail;
for example, pesticide-related problems are an important
topic which could usefully have been included. The topic of
soil solvation begins with a brief discussion of sampling
methods, then continues with the most important equilibria
and calculations on these. Solubility calculations are given
for several minerals, and the corresponding activity-partition diagrams are developed. Under electrochemical properties the pE concept (including pE-pH diagrams), redox reactions, relevant measurement techniques and conditions in
water-saturated soils are included. The characteristics of the
particle surface are discussed in terms of the functional
groups present, the adsorption equilibria, surface charges,
the points of zero charge and the adsorbed water. The treatment of the effects of adsorbed cations, anions and molecules
is extended to include descriptions of batch and column experiments, together with thermodynamic and kinetic modeling of the processes. The range of functionalities that occur
Verlagsgesellschafi mbH. 0-6940 Weinheim, 1990
OS70-0833/90/0707-0817$03.50+ .2510
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