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Book Review The Chemistry of Beryllium. By D. A. Everest. Topics in Inorganic and General Chemistry. Edited by P. L. Robinson Vol

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structure of the atom should be examined here and whether
terpenes are a suitable class of compounds with which to demonstrate the variability of organic compounds to medical or
engineering students.
Parts Ill-V1 of the book (by Schrader) d o in fact serve its
purpose; they record an abundance of interesting facts and
relationships which are presented clearly but sometimes very
tersely and schematically (e.g. ion exchangers on p. 136).
However, the presentation given to many fundamentals in
Parts I and XI (by Nerdel) is unsatisfactory (e.g. mesomerism
on p. 16). On p. 81 it is stated that the anions derived from
keto and enol forms of ethyl acetoacetate differ only in the
distribution of their charge. Apart from the fact that the polar
limiting structure of the carbonyl group is said to be very
important for understanding its reactions (p. 50), reaction
mechanisms frequently are discussed, apparently without a
proper knowledge of the issues at stake, in the most primitive
manner, e . g . the Wurtz synthesis (p. 41), the aldol condensation (p. 541, and the Hofmann elimination (p. 62). The
print in the formulae is not always very good, e.g. the formula
for acetylene on p. 56. Printing errors are few, e.g. at the
center of p. 71 it should read “Seite 113” and not “Seite 13”.
Before this book - the arrangement of which must be acknowledged to be most useful - can be recommended
without reservations to students, the first two chapters must
H. Miisso
[NB 3991257 IE]
be thoraughly revised.
Chelating Agents and Metal Chelates. Edited by F. P. Dwyer
and D. P. Mellor. Academic Press, New York-London
1964. 1st edit., XV + 530 pp., numerous figs. and tables,
linen $ 17.-.
This volume contains ten chapters written by different
authors on metal chelates. Nevertheless, the content and
arrangement of the chapters give the book the character of a
textbook, for first bonding relationships are discussed,
followed by descriptions of the types of metal chelates, their
stereochemistry, and some special facets of the subject such
as redox potentials, complexes with ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid and related substances, and some naturally occurring chelates. Overlapping has been largely avoided. However, a
uniform symbol for the metal-ligand bonds would have been
better. For example, different formulations are given for
acetylacetonates o n pp. 34 and 100.
D. P. Craig and R. S. Nyholm have contributed a very
original presentation of the nature of the metal-ligand bond.
The authors did not wish t o deal with the iigand field theory
in this connection, and this restriction must be accepted.
However, their mention of this theory could at least have
been coupled with a few references for those interested. The
sections on bi- and polydentate ligands by H. A. Gaodwin,
C. M. Harris, and S. E. Livingstone and on optical phenomena
with metal chelates by A. M. Sargeson are well written. In the
specialized section, the selection of topics is typical for the
research sphere of the editors. The reviews of “Metal Chelates in Biological Systems” (F. P. Dwyer) and of “Metal
Activation by Enzymes and the Catalytic Effect of Metal
Complexes” (A. Shulman and F. P. Dwyer) are undoubtedly
profitable and up-to-date undertakings; however, both chapters are so fragmentary and apparently so much tailored to
the interests of the authors that they cannot claim t o be of
general interest. The problems discussed are almost all very
difficult t o approach experimentally: for example, metal ion
activation of proteolytic enzymes, the toxic effect of metal
ions, and even the effect of metal ions on microorganisms. It
would have been better to include a discourse on the chemistry of the known naturally occurring metal chelates and to
use this as a basis to discuss the mechanisms of their biochemical action instead of introducing these somewhat vague
concepts. Enzymes containing copper or molybdenum are
not mentioned, for example, and iron complexes not containing porphyrins and the vitamin BIZ coenzymes are
A i i g c w . C h e m . internrit. Edit.
Vol. 4 (1965)
1 No. I 2
omitted; this shows clearly how unfortunate the selection is.
An attractive chapter on porphyrin complexes by J . E. Falk
and J. N . Phillips is included.
Since the biochemical aspects of metal chelates receive too
little attention here, the book cannot be recommended to
biochemists, microbiologists, enzymologists, or medical
E. B o j w
[ N B 368/226 IE]
Peroxidase. The Properties and Uses of a Versatile Enzyme
and of Some Related Catalysts. By B. C. Saunders, A . G .
Holmes-Siedle, and P. B. Stark. Butterworths, London
1964. 1st edit., X + 271 pp., numerous illustrs. and tables,
linen & 3.0.0 (about $ 8.30).
In his foreword, Lord Todd remarks that monographs of this
type are very valuable and provide incentives to advanced
students and scientists, and one can certainly second his
statement. All the authors have once been members of
Todd’s research group and they have succeeded here in
reproducing the current status of our knowledge of peroxidase and the hemin enzymes generally in a concise and
concentrated form. Fourteen sections are given dealing with
diverse aspects of this group of enzymes such as their occurrence, purification, properties, detection and assay, and
particularly their behavior in kinetic spectroscopy and EPR
measurements. A valuable feature for the non-specialist is
the section in which the modern concepts of the electronic
configuration of hemin-iron enzymes and the structure of coordination compounds are used to interpret the optical and
catalytic (or enzymatic) properties. This excellent presentation makes it obvious that modern enzymology has become
an exact science.
The main stress in the book is laid on the chemistry of
peroxidases, and it is therefore understandable that biological
aspects are somewhat neglected. For this reason, some of the
applications of peroxidase that have become so important
(e.g. for the specific detection of glucoseincombination with
notatin) receive only brief reference. As a special case,
catalase receives a separate section ; however, the question
of the biological function of this enzyme is only touched
These remarks d o in n o way deprecate the value of this
book as an extremely welcome source of information. This
is due in no small extent to the lists of the oxidation products
identified to date which arise on treatment of various substrates with peroxidase and to the spectra of all known hemin
compounds, including data on their optical and magnetic
H. Aebi
[NB 3871245 I € ]
The Chemistry of Beryllium. By D. A. Everest. Topics in
Inorganic and General Chemistry. Edited by P. L . Robinson, Vol. 1. Elsevier Publishing Co., Amsterdam-London151 pp., several figs. and
New York 1964. 1st edit., IX
tables, linen D M 25.- (about $ 6.25).
Here the author attempts to give a summarical presentation
of the chemistry of beryllium, deliberately omitting some
aspects such as beryllium ceramics and intermetallic compounds; the material otherwise covered does indeed review
the whole of beryllium chemistry.
Chapter 1 is an introduction to beryllium chemistry, and
Chapter 2 reviews the solution chemistry of the element.
Chapter 3 deals with simple oxygen salts of Be and Chapter 4
with its halides. Chapter 5 describes the complex compounds
of Be and Chapter 6 its simple binary compounds. Chapter 7
then deals with orgdnoberyllium compounds, and the production of beryllium from its ores is discussed in Chapter 8.
The analytical chemistry of beryllium forms the topic of
Chapter 9. The toxicity of beryllium and safety measures
are dealt with in Chapter 10, and the nuclear properties of
Be are discwsed i n the last chapter.
T h e material covered is very extensive; however; some
striking faults are observed, especially with regard t o the
presentation of the niate;ial. T h e sequence of the chapters
suffices t o show that there is a lack of coherence in the
treatment. T h e sequence 1-1 1-8-9-6-4-3-2-5-7-10 would have
been more reasonable. Without exception, the text is a
conglomeration of fragmentary data placed one after the
other and conveys the general impression of a poor set of
lecture notes. N o signs of strict organization can be detected.
It is noticeable that although many sti-uctural data are given,
only few lattice constants are recorded in text. I t would
certainly have been easy to have included highly condensed
tables of physical data. Similarly, there are n o illustrations
of lattice models, which udould have been quite in place in
such a book. Although intermetallic compounds have been
disregarded, a detailed discussion of the element itzelfat least
ought t o have been given. In the chapter on the extraction of
Be from its ores, although many individual processes are
described, not a single Cljw s.bcLt :s glteii, even though
such flow sheets serve well to convey a clear understanding
of technical processes. Some important facts are completely
overlooked, e.g. the preparation of BeCI2 a n d BeBrz f o r
atomic weight determinations (according t o Hiinigschnrid)
and the very instructive health precautions used at Oak
Ridge (Report Y-868). In Chapter 1 1 it is not mentioned
that loge has been electromagnetically enriched (Report
Y-577, Oak Ridge) or that RaBeF4 and BePo have been
used as homogeneous neutron sources.
These shortcomings, particularly the lack of clarity in the
arrangement of the material, make the book difficult to
work through. T h e reader is confronted with a vast number
of facts, some of which are incompletely reported, without
being able to recognize a n y clear principles. Purchase of the
volume can be recommended only with restrictions.
F. Weigel
[NB 3851243 IE]
Tetracyclic Triterpenes. By G. Orwissun, P.Crtrhbk, and 0. R.
Rodig. Editions Scientifiques Hermann, Paris; Hermann
Publishing Ltd., Huddersfield, Yorkshire 1964. 2nd edit.,
237 pp.. linen 6 2.19.0 (about S 8.25).
This monograph is a translation and extension of the older
French edition of 1961 [I]. The authors deal first with the
chemistry of the tetracyclic triterpenes (including methyl
steroids and nor-compounds such as limonin); they d o not
discuss the individual compounds in sequence but describe
general reactions which can occur in the various rings a n d in
the side chain. These general reactions are then contrasted
with the anomalous behavior of certain representatives of a
given group, particular attention being directed t o stereochemical effects in this connection. This system provides an
excellent didactic approach to the subject. Rather unusual is
the extension of Rozicka’s convention of writing a large dot
to designate the stereochemistry at ring junctions also t o hydrogen atoms not in a n angular position. This formulation is
however not applied consistently throughout the book. T w o
chapters on the total syntliesis and the biochemistry of the
title compounds close the general section.
I n the “catalogue”, the formulae, melting points, and specific
optical rotations of all the known tetracyclic triterpenes are
given in summary. A particularly valuable appendix follows
in which the infrared and ultraviolet absorption bands and
the amplitudes of the Cotton effects of the most frequently
occurring chromophores are tabulated.
ourisson and his coauthors have succeeded in presenting the
interesting chemistry of the tetracyclic triterpenes i n a
masterly, comprehensive form. Their book can be recommended highly t o anyone seeking detailed information in
this field.
G. Sticitzke
[ N B 410/267 IE]
[ l ] For a review of the French edition see Angew. Chem. 76, 355
(1 964).
Regisferrd names, trademarks, e f c . used in this jorirnal, even witbout specific indicarion thereof; are not to be considered unprofecred by law.
Q 1965 by Verlag Cheinie, G m b H .
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Chief Editor: W.Foersr . Editor: H . Grijnewald.
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Walter J . Jolinson), 11 1 Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y., USA, a n d Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London, W. 1, England.
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Angew. Chem. internnt. Edit.
Vol. 4 (1965)
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topic, chemistry, inorganic, book, general, edited, robinson, beryllium, everest, vol, review
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