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Book Review The Chemistry of Soils. By G. Sposito

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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 However, it is disappointing to find some quite outdated material,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
0-44487139-X
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
0 VCH
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
universally.
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
0-19-804618-3
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
817
in soils is completed by discussions of ion exchange mechanisms and their quantitative treatment, together with colloid
chemistry aspects and models related thereto. The chapters
concerned with applications include the acidification of soils,
with the main emphasis here on proton cycles, dissolved
aluminum compounds, redox effects and methods for neutralizing soils. Next salt excess is discussed, including definitions, ion exchange processes, boron chemistry and irrigation problems, followed by soil fertility, including investigations on both essential and toxic elements, with sections on
bioavailability, the kinetics of nutrient uptake by plants, and
the effects of the pH and pE values.
The value of this comprehensive work from a learning
standpoint lies in the clear diagrams and formula schemes,
the comprehensive literature references (up to 1987), and the
numerous exercises included in the individual chapters. The
emphasis placed on calculations and modeling throughout
the range of topics covered is extremely valuable. However,
in cases where insufficient basic data are available for this
purpose, the reader is unfortunately not helped to determine
these by experiment.
A useful appendix lists units and physical constants used
in soil chemistry. Regrettably there is no list of the numerous
symbols and abbreviations that appear in the text. The provision of a comprehensive index and seven blank pages for
notes reinforce the impression of a typical American style
student textbook. The book can be recommended for everyone with an interest in soil science. For university teachers it
will provide valuable additional class material, and it will
enable students to rapidly become familiar with modern
methods of treating problems in soil science. The style and
presentation of the book are exemplary.
Fritz H . Frimmel [NB 1038 IE]
Lehrstuhl fur Wasserchemie
der Universitat Karlsruhe (FRG)
The Chemistry of Antitumor Antibiotics. Vol. 2. By W A .
Remers. Wiley, New York 1988. 290 pp., hard cover,
E 31.95.-1SBN 0-471-08180-9
This series, which was begun in 1979 by the same author,
is now continued with the publication of Volume 2. It consists of seven chapters, each dealing with a further antitumor
antibiotic isolated from microorganisms. This volume does
not contain any extension or updating of the material covered in Volume 1, which reported on actinomycins, anthracyclines, the aureolic acid group of antibiotics, bleomycins
and phleomycins, together with mitomycins and porphyromycins. This is not a serious omission, since there are
enough up-to-date review articles and proceedings of symposia.
The antibiotics covered in this second volume are: streptozocin ; pyrrolo-I ,4-benzodiazepines; saframycins, renieramycins and safracins; naphthyridomycins, cyanocyclins
and quinocarcin, CC-1065, nogalamycin and related compounds, and lastly streptonigrin and lavendomycin.
Each chapter is divided into six sections: discovery, isolation and characterization, structure determination and
chemical transformations, mechanism of action, synthesis,
biosynthesis, and structure-activity relationships. The efforts
involved in the development of cytostatic agents, often extending over long periods, and all the problems associated
with indications in view of the narrow dividing line that
exists between high antitumor activity and unacceptable toxicity, are vividly described.
818
6
VCH VerlagsgesellschaJi mbH, 0-6940 Weinheim. 1990
The author notes critically that biological data from different laboratories are often not comparable. He also emphasizes that difficulties often arise in transfering results
from animal tests into the clinical situation, owing to the
highly species-specificnature of tumor diseases. Regrettably,
though, there is no explicit mention of the changes that have
been introduced into preclinical testing methods in the last
decade, mainly in the pharmaceutical industry, and recently
also at the US National Cancer Institute (NCI); these involve using human tumors at a very early stage instead of
animal tumors, both in cell cultures and as implants in experimental animals.
Current ideas regarding molecular activity mechanisms
and structure-activity relationships in antitumor antibiotics
are thoroughly discussed, and experimental models and results are clearly described. The only exception is Figure 5.2
(p. 155), showing a stereopair for a CC-1065-DNA adduct,
which can only be understood with difficulty. The chemical
synthetic work is illustrated by reaction schemes which are
very clear and well drawn. In addition, the history of the
discovery of each antibiotic, the problems arising in fermentation, the process of isolating it and the determination of the
structure (including many figures showing spectra), the question of side effects, and last but not least, analytical aspects,
are very well described.
The index is comprehensive and clear; a particularly good
feature is the ability to search using group and generic
names. Unfortunately, though, adriamycin, which is widely
used as a standard compound and mentioned as such in the
text, is not in the index. One does not expect to find an
exhaustive list of all the many names that are used in the
literature for a given antibiotic, due to the fact that in many
cases it was independently discovered and named in several
different places; however, for such an important compound
as CC-1065 the alternative name “Rachelmycin” which occurs in the literature ought to have been mentioned. The text
makes easy reading, and the incidence of printing errors,
most of which do not alter the meaning, is in accordance with
modern standards.
The treatment of the various topics is balanced, and the
information given is sufficiently comprehensive to benefit
even specialist readers. The coverage of the original literature which the book provides is considerable, the most recent
references being to work published in 1988. If it appears that
the bibliography is predominantly weighted towards American and Japanese research groups, this is, regrettably, a true
reflection of the present distribution of research activity on
the chemotherapy of tumor diseases. Some random checks
indicated that the author has carefully surveyed and evaluated the literature.
Readers with a chemical background will probably find
the accounts of synthetic research of most interest; such
work has in many cases led to wide departures from the
natural product originally discovered, as is convincingly
demonstrated by the example of CC-1065. As the quantities
of material that need to be produced, even for clinical applications of antitumor agents, are usually only in the region of
a few kilogrammes, it is quite appropriate to use relatively
expensive modern synthetic methods; the quantities needed
for preclinical testing and for characterization are often surprisingly small.
Although the likely source of the next generation of clinically usable antitumor agents is still an open question, it
seems highly probable that natural products will play an
important role. Books such as that reviewed here can exert a
beneficial influence on progress in this respect. Unfortunately, the reviewer has no information on how wide a readership
0570-0833/90/0707-0t?lX $03.50+.25j0
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 29 (1990) No. 7
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