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Book Review Experimentelle Einfhrung in Grundlagen und Methoden der Chemie (Experimental Introduction to the Principles and Methods of Chemistry). By E. J. Slowinski W. L. Masterton and W. C

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BOOK REVIEWS
Microbial Transformationsof NonSteroid Cyclic Compounds.
By K . Kieslich. Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 1976. 1st
edit., xxii, 1262 pp., 449 formula schemes, 225 tables, bound,
DM 196.--.
The first volume of “Neuere Methoden der praparativen
Organischen Chemie” (edited by W. Foerst) contains a section
on the “Use of Biochemical Oxidation and Reduction for
Preparative Purposes,” in which F. G . Fischer describes the
application of microorganisms in chemical reactions. Since
this publication in the ‘forties’many processes for the microbial
treatment of organic compounds have been developed, so
that Klaus Kieslich has now been able to present a very
comprehensive book. Microbial steroid reactions, which have
been extensively investigated, are not dealt with, since there
have already been summarizing publications on this subject.
After a rather short introduction of eight pages on the
methods and techniques of preparation of organic compounds
with the aid of microorganisms, the possible reactions are
reviewed in chapters on: 1. alicyclic compounds, 2. terpenoids,
3. aromatic compounds, 4. 0-heterocycles, 5. N-heterocycles,
6. alkaloids, 7. two- and three-N heterocycles, 8. S-, 0,s-,
S,N- and other heterocycles, and 9. carbohydrates. The greater
part of the book (826 pages) consists of a tabular presentation
divided as follows: 1. oxidations, 2. reductions, 3. hydrolyses,
4. elimination of water and condensations, 5. degradations,
6. formation of new carbon-carbon or heteroatom bonds,
7. isomerizations and rearrangements. An alphabetical list
of the microorganisms used is appended. The literature is
covered by 1932 references up to 1973/74, with an addendum
up to 1975. In a work of this scope errors and omissions
are practically unavoidable. For example, in the tabulation
part oxidative breakdown of aromatic compounds by bacteria
is said to proceed by way of an epoxide and a trans-dihydrodihydroxy compound, whereas the correct interpretation with
the formation of the cis-compound is given by the author
himself on page 89.
The theme of this book can be classified as “biotechnology”,
a subject that is pursued in English-speaking countries and
especially in Japan in accord with its importance. In West
Germany much ground still has to be made up, and thus
wide distribution of this book is desirable in spite of its high
price.
Franz Lingens [NB 349 IE]
Experirnentelle Einfibrung in Grundlagen und Methoden der
Chemie (Experimental Introduction to the Principles and
Methods of Chemistry). By E. J . Slowinski, W. L. Masterton
and W C. Wolsey. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart 1976.
1st edit., viii, 327 pp., 18 figs., 7 flow diagrams, 10 SEM
Photographs and 15 tables, paperback, DM 29.80.
The experimental chemistry book follows the trend,
observed in recent years, of departing from the long-practised
concept of overloading the student in his first semesters with
a wealth of reading and experiments.
Here again, then, the selected material is treated by means
of experiments. Several experimental procedures are presented
for each theme, whether from physical, inorganic, or organic
chemistry, and the selection is left to the person in charge
of the class. The procedures are thoroughly worked out and
are backed up by the theory needed for their understanding.
The authors have further attempted, and in the reviewer’s
opinion successfully, to stimulate the student by questions
to a critical appraisal of the apparatus and experiments and,
when necessary, to extending their knowledge by referring
to textbooks. The book takes the student first through the
786
various possibilities of chemical separations and then treats
the important laws of stoichiometry, calorimetry, and chemical
bonding. Next come experiments on themes involving chemical
equilibria, chemical kinetics, acids and bases, complex chemistry, and electrochemistry. In the remaining 80 pages the principles of qualitative analysis are presented, and here too there
is no dearth of theoretical and practical explanations.
The formats and diagrams by which the student should
evaluate his experimental data are well-chosen.
Thus, the book satisfies the demands that must be made
on a practical chemistry text. It can be recommended without
reservations for all practical work in which students are to
be introduced to the methods and principles of chemistry.
Lothar Knoll [NB 350 IE]
Handbook of Organic Reagents in Inorganic Analysis. By 2.
Holzbecher, L. DiviS, M. Krdl, L. Slicha, and F. MdRl. Translated by S. Kortlj. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York-London 1976. 1st edit., 734 pp., 90 figs., 90 tables, bound,
$ 41.80.
According to the foreword, this book is intended as an
introduction into the theory and practice of organic reagents
on the grounds that up to the present there have been few
monographs other than ones dealing with either of these
aspects alone (which, however, is not true at least of the
German and the Russian languages). However sensibly the
combination is effected, the reader will, according to his standpoint, easily find something to disagree with in one or the
other part. The theory is in part elementary-indeed trivialand much of it seems superfluous. Nevertheless, some sections
are very well written, for example those about absorption
spectra and luminescence. The experimentalist will search in
vain for a specific analytical procedure, though it must be
said that it is in the practical part that the greatest value
of the book will be found.
The book contains six main chapters. Following an introduction (30 pp.) the theoretical aspects are first laid down:
in the second chapter (90 pp.) “Structure and Properties of
Organic Reagents and their Compounds with Metals” the
discussion deals with the nature of bonding in complexes,
stereochemistry, isomerism, absorption spectra, luminescence,
solubility, and structure. The third chapter (60 pp), “Equilibria
of Organic Reagents in Solution” covers thermodynamics,
kinetics, redox reactions, distribution and precipitation equilibria, and masking.
In the practical part, Chapter 4 (100 pp.) entitled “Applications of Organic Reagents in Inorganic Analysis” treats all
the important analytical operations; it contains several very
well written sections, particularly that on chelometric titration
with an extensive table providing the choice of indicators.
Chapter 5, on “Analytical Applications of Organic Reagents”
(200 pp.), is probably the most important part of the book;
in 50 sections and 50 tables arranged according to the periodic
table it presents suitable reagents for each element from hydrogen to platinum together with keyword data for methods
ofdetermination, reaction conditions, range of determinations,
and interferences. This chapter is certainly of great value
to every analyst and for all who work with organic reagents.
Nevertheless, the tabular presentation does not replace a real
set of procedures, and one is thus referred to the original
literature. Here, however, we falter, for the selection of references is incomplete. This, of course, cannot ever be completely
avoided, for the author must be given the right of subjective
choice, but it should never occur, as it does here, that there is
no citation for many of the reagents and methods listed in
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