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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Practical Chemistry

Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook, Eighth Edition edited by don Green, Robert Perry, M. Susan Lewis (Chemical Engineers Handbook: McGraw Hill) First published in 1934, Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook has equipped generations of engineers and chemists with an expert source of chemical engineering information and data. Now updated to reflect the latest technology and processes of the new millennium, the Eighth Edition of this classic guide provides unsurpassed coverage of every aspect of chemical engineering-from fundamental principles to chemical processes and equipment to new computer applications.

Filled with over 700 detailed illustrations, the Eighth Edition of Perry's Chemcial Engineering Handbook features:

  • Comprehensive tables and charts for unit conversion
  • A greatly expanded section on physical and chemical data
  • New to this edition: the latest advances in distillation, liquid-liquid extraction, reactor modeling, biological processes, biochemical and membrane separation processes, and chemical plant safety practices with accident case histories

Inside This Updated Chemical Engineering Guide:

  • Conversion Factors and Mathematical Symbols
  • Physical and Chemical Data
  • Prediction and Correlation of Physical Properties
  • Mathematics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Heat Transfer
  • Mass Transfer
  • Fluid and Particle Dynamics
  • Reaction Kinetics
  • Process Control and Instrumentation
  • Process Economics
  • Transport and Storage of Fluids
  • Heat-Transfer Equipment
  • Drying, Humidification, and Evaporative Cooling
  • Distillation
  • Gas Absorption and Gas-Liquid System Design
  • Liquid-Liquid Extraction Operations and Equipment
  • Adsorption and Ion Exchange
  • Gas-Solid Operations and Equipment
  • Liquid-Solid Operations and Equipment
  • Alternative Separation Processes
  • Chemical Reactors
  • Waste Management
  • Safety and Handling of Hazardous Materials
  •  Energy Resources
  • Materials of Construction
  • And Many Other Topics!

Perry's has been an important source of information related to the fundamentals and practice of chemical engineering since it was first published in 1934, with John H. Perry both the initiator and editor. Several chemical engineers, serving as editor- or coeditor-in-chief, have guided the preparation of the different editions over the years. These include John H. Perry (first to third editions), Robert H. Perry (fourth to sixth editions), Cecil H. Chilton (fourth and fifth editions), Sidney D. Kirkpatrick (fourth edition), Don W. Green (sixth to eighth editions) and James 0. Maloney (sixth and seventh editions). Robert H. Perry was also listed as an editor for the seventh edition, and is listed again as an editor for the current edition, although his tragic death occurred during the preparation of the sixth edition. Many of the ideas developed through his leadership during preparation of earlier editions carried over to the seventh and eighth editions. I owe much to the friendship and mentoring of Bob Perry.

The organization of this eighth edition is much the same as for the seventh edition, although content changes are extensive. The first group of sections includes comprehensive tables with units conversions and fundamental constants, physical and chemical data, methods to predict properties, and fundamentals of mathematics most useful to engineers. The second group, comprising the fourth through the ninth sections, covers fundamentals of chemical engineering. The third and largest group of sections deals with processes, such as heat-transfer operations, distillation, gas-liquid processes, chemical reactors, and liquid-liquid processes. The last group covers auxiliary information including waste management, safety and the handling of hazardous materials, energy sources, and materials of construction. All sections have been updated to cover the latest advances in technology related to chemical engineering. As there are a significant number of new section editors, the material in the Handbook has been extensively revised. Section 2, which covers physical and chemical data, has been expanded by well over 100 pages to include, among other new information, data from the AIChE Design Institute for Physical Properties.

The definitive reference for chemical and process engineers. Now featuring 50% new or revised material. This Eighth Edition of the world-famous Perry's Chemical Engineer's Handbook provides you with unrivaled, state-of-the-art coverage of all aspects of chemical engineering--from the fundamentals to details on computer applications and control. Featuring over 1,700 illustrations in its more than 2,200 pages of coverage, the Handbook gives you: a comprehensive source for the newest developments, advances, achievements, and methods in your field--including thermal design procedures, gas and liquid diffusivity estimation, and industrial processes from aerobic fermentation to pyrometallurgy; all the facts and data on procedures, equipment, performance, and principles that you need--including new material on compact heat exchangers, design procedures for distillation columns, and methods for estimating discharge from ruptured lines and vessels; a ready reference to appropriate calculation methods for problems at hand--including a completely new section on analysis of plant performance; time and cost-saving tips on design alternatives, application techniques, and approaches to problems that are outside your area of expertise. Authoritative and comprehensive, this edition includes the latest information on: condensers, reboilers, evaporators, and vessels; multicomponent and enhanced distillation, including azeotropic, extractive, and reactive methods; gas absorption processes, with data on plate performance, plate design, and packed towers; super-critical fluid and membrame separation processes; biochemical separation processes; materials of construction; materials for process applications. Chosen by generations of chemical and process engineers, Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook continues the fine tradition of earlier editions: it thoroughly meets professionals' needs for complete, reliable, and useful information in the field.

Hands on Chemistry Laboratory Manual by Jeffrey A. Paradis (McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math) offers a modern approach to the two semester general chemistry laboratory course. The manual contains over 37 labs that cover all of the topics commonly taught in the course. Each experiment contacts extensive background and procedure outlines to give students a solid conceptual background before completing the lab.

Excerpt: Our focus in writing this manual has been on developing highly readable experiments that will provide you with a successful learning experience. Our method for developing laboratories begins with identifying concepts that are of particular interest or challenge to students and which we feel would benefit from clarification through laboratory work. From this, objectives are developed which are included in the beginning of each laboratory and which serve as a key focus point for all aspects of the given experiment. The pedagogical approach of the laboratory is then chosen to make the most of the topic we are trying to teach you. For example, some laboratories benefit from a discovery type approach while others are best taught following a more traditional expository approach.

Each experiment contains the sections described below.

Title and Author: The title includes information about the chemistry involved as well as the context of the experiment. We include the author's name on each experiment that they write so that they are given proper credit and so that the students using the laboratory manual can make a connection with the authors. Even though the experiments are edited for overall continuity, each author has a slightly different writing style and we feel this adds to the interest of the manual.

Objectives: The objectives are brief statements outlining the goals for the laboratory. The objectives should answer the questions, "What will the student know after completing the experiment?" and "What will the student be able to do after completing the experiment?" Whenever possible we stress to the students that what they are doing and what they are learning is significant and relates to or enhances material covered in lecture.

Introduction: The introduction consists of a practical or interesting example that serves as a context for the laboratory experiment. This brief attention grabber is intended to make the student want to learn about the material and want to perform the experiment.

Background: The background section is intended to provide the student with the pertinent chemistry required for successful completion of the experiment. The background includes complete descriptions of all relevant chemical equations, explanations of all experimental procedures and information required for analysis of results and data.

Overview: The overview provides the student with the big picture of what they will actually be performing in the experiment and serves to relate the background to the upcoming procedure.

Procedure: The procedure begins with a list of materials (chemicals, glassware and instruments) required for the experiment. The details of the procedure depend, to some degree, on the goals for the experiment. For certain experiments, it is appropriate for the students to develop their own procedure. Some experiments will have provided data tables though usually the students are required to make their own. Some experiments have discovery type components when it helps accomplish the objectives of the experiment. Detailed safety and waste disposal information is also provided to the student for each experiment.

Pre-laboratory exercises: Our goal with the pre-laboratory assignments is to prepare students so that when they enter the laboratory they are fully aware of what they are trying to do and why. After completing the pre-laboratory questions the students should have a firm grasp of the chemistry involved in the upcoming experiment.

Post-laboratory work: The post-laboratory work is our opportunity to make sure that the goals of the experiment have been achieved. Appropriate post-laboratory work involves writing up the laboratory experiment, performing calculations using data from the experiment, answering open-ended writing assignments and performing analysis of data and errors.


Trends in Science: Chemistry by Keith B., Dr. Hutton (Trends in Science: Fitzroy Dearborn) The definition of chemistry given in the dictionary is 'the science of the elements and the laws of their combination and behaviour under various conditions'. This rather dry definition does not do justice to the thousands of individuals who developed chemistry into one of the most influential sciences that has helped to shape the modern world.

The scope of the science is vast and began in prehistoric times when humans first produced heat from carbon, the discovery of fire. Philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle in Ancient Greece discussed the theory of chem­istry centuries before the rise of the Roman Empire. The first practitioners of what would become chemistry were the secretive and solitary alchemists who searched for a method to transmute base metals into gold.

The discoveries of the medieval period paved the way for the birth of modern chemistry in the 17th and 18th centuries. Great pioneering chemists such as Boyle and Lavoisier swept away the superstitions and inconsisten­cies of the past and reinvented chemistry using firm scientific principles. For the first time, chemical reactions between substances could be accu­rately predicted and controlled, which in turn led to the mass production of the chemicals that helped to make the Industrial Revolution a reality.

By the end of the 19th century, natural products such as silk, dyes, and wood were gradually being replaced by synthetic equivalents made by chemists. The 20th century would see advances in the science that would affect virtually every person on Earth. The best and the worst of what chemists had to offer was still waiting to be discovered.

This crucial period in the history of chemistry is the subject of this publi­cation. The major achievements of the 20th century are summarized in an extensive chronology covering the whole scope of the science, from the development of the petrochemical industry to the discovery of vitamins, antibiotics, and electrically conducting plastics. And an insight into the lives of those scientists who have contributed to the development of chem­istry during this century can be gained from reading their biographies and what they have achieved.

Every science has its own specialized language to describe what it does and chemistry is no exception. A selected glossary of definitions and terms used by chemists, as well as a detailed bibliography of relevant publica­tions, are provided to help give the reader an appreciation of how chemists describe their world.

Those institutions, organizations, and companies currently involved in the science, best illustrate the present state of chemistry. Trends in Science: Chemistry provides descriptions and contact information for the major organizations carrying on the work of the chemists of the past.

An accurate perspective of what impact chemistry has had on human society can only be gained if a step back is taken to review those innova­tions that have had a global impact. Trends in Science: Chemistry provides a detailed overview of the more significant advances in chemistry, how they developed and how they continue to influence our attitudes towards the science. Darker aspects, such as chemical weapons and environmental pollution, counter­balance triumphs such as the development of drugs and plastics. However, as well as the past, the overview also looks to the future and the role that the chemist may play in the 21st century.

Chemistry Experiments On File is a comprehensive introduction to one of the most critical and interesting branches of science. Chemistry is fundamentally concerned with the nature of the materials that make up the world around us and with the methods by which we can shape and alter those materials. Our knowledge of chemistry has been built slowly over thousands of years of trial and error, experimentation, and thought. When the Romans made glass and the Chinese developed gunpowder they were discovering and using principles of chemistry. Since then we have developed a vast array of new materials and synthetic compounds that we now rely on. Plastics, silicon-based semiconductors, pharmaceutical compounds, and countless other made-to-measure materials are all the result of the work of chemists.

Chemistry Experiments On File presents a thorough, detailed, and interactive journey through the fundamental principles of chemistry. The experiments set out in this volume allow students to discover these fundamental principles for themselves. They will learn the importance of the careful preparation and use of apparatus and, above all, the critical importance of observing and recording results. Great emphasis is placed on building the student's confidence and on introducing the skills he or she will need to become a competent experimenter. Everyday materials are used in the experiments to emphasize that the principles of chemistry can be readily observed in the everyday world. With most experiments there are a series of questions about the results that are designed to help the student focus on the relevant observations. Chemistry Experiments On File is made up of six sections and a number of useful appendices. The first section, Solids, Liquids, and Gases, concentrates on the three normal states of matter. The first experiment tests observational skills and raises questions about how observations can be improved. Other experiments in this section look at the behavior of water as it is heated or cooled and generally examines the way that matter behaves in its different physical states. In the second section, Energy and Electricity, the fundamental part played by energy in chemical reactions is examined. Means of accelerating or slowing chemical reactions are pointed out as well as the importance of observing energy loss or gain as a clue to a substance's structure. Perhaps the most obvious form of energy encountered in the everyday world is electricity. Several experiments in this section are designed to explore the basic behavior of electricity and to show its uses to the chemist.

Section three, Chemicals Around Us, concentrates on showing that chemistry also takes place outside the lab and on demonstrating its usefulness. Students will replicate practical chemical procedures that have been used for millennia, such as the extraction of salt from rock salt, the extraction of lead, and the manufacture of soap. Essential procedures, such as chromatography, are introduced here.

Section four, Exploring Patterns In Chemistry, builds observational skills and extends them into the area of predicting the results of an experiment based on the known properties of a substance. Fundamental patterns of similarity and dissimilarity, such as the arrangement of elements in the periodic table, are introduced here. The electrical conductivity of materials as well as their tendency to dissolve in water or not are also used as examples of patterns in chemistry.

In section five, Chemical Magic, a series of entertaining and colorful experiments are used to consolidate knowledge and methods that have been built up throughout the previous sections. Each experiment relies on a simple chemical pattern or rule, and its entertainment value helps to make the principle memorable for the student.

Section six, More About Your Findings, is a chance to expand on the observations that have been made by the students themselves. Questions asked in the Analysis section of the experiments are answered in full here. There is a section for every experiment in the volume. Further questions are also provided to help the student to find out more about the principle or phenomenon being studied.

The Appendices of Chemistry Experiments On File provide essential reference and study materials. There is a helpful listing of Internet resources, a comprehensive glossary of terms used in Chemistry, a guide to the grade level of the experiments, and breakdowns of the amount of time the experiments are likely to take and the number of participants required. Also included are a periodic table and listings of elements by name, atomic weight, and atomic symbol. Finally there is a clear and concise index. The safety notice that follows the Contents must be read carefully before any experiments are attempted. It can be extremely dangerous to attempt any of the procedures contained in this volume without first taking note of the safety notices. Please read them and take care.

If you find Chemistry Experiments On File to be a useful aid to teaching and study, please note that many more experiments and activities can be found in the On File series:
Science Experiments On File
(Grade school to High school)
More Science Experiments On File
: Science Projects For All Students (Grade school to High school)
Historical Science Experiments On File
(Grade school to High school)
Historical Inventions On File
(Grade school to High school)
Nature Projects On File
(Grade school to High school)
Junior Science Experiments On File
(Grade school)
Junior Environmental Activities On File
(Grade school)

 General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications by Ralph H. Petrucci, William S. Harwood, F. Geoffrey Herring (Prentice Hall) is recognized for its superior problems, lucid writing, and precision of argument. This updated and expanded edition retains the popular and innovative features of previous editions—including Feature Problems, follow-up Integrative and Practice Exercises to accompany every in-chapter Example, and Focus On application boxes, as well as new Keep in Mind marginal notes. Topics covered include atoms and the atomic theory, chemical compounds and reactions, gases, Thermochemistry, electrons in atoms, chemical bonding, liquids, solids, and intermolecular forces, chemical kinetics, principles of chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, electrochemistry, representative and transitional elements, and nuclear and organic chemistry. For individuals interested in a broad overview of chemical principles and applications.


"Know your audience." For this new edition, we have tried to follow this im­portant advice to writers by attending more to the needs of those students who are taking a serious journey through the material. We also know that most general chemistry students have career interests not in chemistry, but in biology, medicine, engineering, environmental and agricultural sciences, and so on. And we under­stand that general chemistry will be the only college chemistry course for some students, and thus their only opportunity to learn some practical applications of chemistry. We have designed this book for all these students.

Students of this text should have already studied some chemistry. But those with no prior background and those who could use a refresher will find that the early chapters develop fundamental concepts from the most elementary ideas. Students who do plan to become professional chemists will also find opportunities in the text to pursue their own special interests.

The typical student may need help identifying and applying principles and vi­sualizing their physical significance. The pedagogical features of this text are de­signed to provide this help. At the same time, we hope the text serves to sharpen student skills in problem solving and critical thinking. Thus, we have tried to strike the proper balances between principles and applications, qualitative and quantita­tive discussions, and rigor and simplification.

Throughout the text we provide real-world examples to enhance the discussion. Examples relevant to the biological sciences, engineering, and the environmental sciences will be found in numerous places. This should help to bring the chemistry alive for these students, and help them understand its relevance to their career interests. It also, in most cases, should help them master core concepts.


In this edition we retain the core organization of the sixth and seventh editions of this text, but with additional coverage of material, in depth and breadth, in a number of chapters. After a brief overview of core concepts in Chapter 1, we introduce atom­ic theory, including the periodic table, in Chapter 2. The periodic table is an extra­ordinarily useful tool, and presenting it early allows us to use the periodic table in new ways throughout the early chapters of the text. In Chapter 3 we introduce chem­ical compounds and their stoichiometry. Organic compounds are included in this presentation. The early introduction of organic compounds allows us to use organ­ic examples throughout the book. Chapters 4 and 5 introduce chemical reactions. We discuss gases in Chapter 6, partly because they are familiar to students (which helps them build confidence), but also because some instructors prefer to cover this ma­terial early to better integrate their lecture and lab programs. Note that Chapter 6 can easily be deferred for coverage with the other states of matter, in Chapter 13. In Chapter 9 we delve more deeply into wave mechanics than in earlier editions, al­though we do so in a way that allows excision of this material at the instructor's dis­cretion. As with previous editions, we have emphasized real-world chemistry in the final chapters that cover descriptive chemistry (Chapters 22-25), and we have tried to make this material easy to bring forward into earlier parts of the text. Moreover, many topics in these chapters can be covered selectively, without requiring the study of entire chapters. The text ends with heavily revised, comprehensive chapters on organic chemistry (Chapter 27) and biochemistry (Chapter 28).

Principles of Physical Chemistry by Lionel M. Raff (Prentice Hall) A textbook for sophomore-level college students in physical chemistry. Features a humorous and relaxed narrative style, 243 detailed examples with solutions and explanations, and an incorporation of the critical mathematical methods into the text rather than in an appendix. Also includes end-of-chapter problems. DLC: Chemistry, physical and theoretical.

This textbook is not written for you. It is written for your students. Its purpose is to teach physical chemistry, as opposed to covering the subject. To cover is not to teach. Pursuant to this objective, the narrative is often informal and relaxed. The material is presented using the same language I might employ if a student were to come to my office asking for help. Indeed, it is my intent that, as students read and study Principles of Physical Chemistry, they will feel that I am sitting across the table, providing one-on-one tutorial instruction. The discussion of all of the topics appearing in the text is sufficiently detailed to give the students a reasonable chance of becoming quantitatively competent in the area.

The underlying philosophy of the book is that teaching is a joint enterprise between instructor and author, with a common objective: to bring the students to a functional level of literacy in the use, practice, appreciation, and execution of physical chemistry principles and methods. It is my opinion that this task is extremely difficult—so much so that it cannot be achieved if we bring only half of our weapons to bear. A brilliant textbook coupled with an instructor who devotes little effort to the task of teaching will, at best, produce only poor results. A superb instructor who gives outstanding lectures will also fail to reach many of the students if the textbook he or she uses comprises only pictures, final equations with hand-waving explanations, simplistic examples, and "plug-and-chug" problems that are little more than practice on a calculator. This same superb instructor will also fail to achieve the best possible result if the students cannot or will not read the text. The problem is that once the brilliant lecture is completed, it is gone forever. When the students sit down to study, they have only their incomplete notes that are necessarily flawed because they couldn't listen, understand, and write fast enough to produce accurate notes, and the instructor couldn't speak or write fast enough to cover all the critical points. They need a textbook that makes the same determined effort to teach as the superb instructor does during a lecture and in his or her office in tutorial sessions with the students.

I have done everything my ability permits to produce such a textbook. The derivations of virtually all equations are given in complete detail. All algebraic steps are shown and explanations inserted to help the student understand and learn the derivations, and I take pains to point out where key assumptions or simplifications are made. Figures, diagrams, and drawings are employed when they facilitate learning. They are, however, never used in place of a rigorous presentation of the material. Qualitative explanations and analogies to events that are familiar to the students are frequently used, but both are always backed by a quantitative treatment of the subject. The text assumes that the students have had a one-year university-level course in differential and integral calculus, but the critical mathematical methods are always developed and explained in detail before their use. These presentations are incorporated into the body of the text itself. The text tams 243 fully solved examples that are generally at the same level as the problems at the end of the chapter. The solutions to all 815 end-of-chapter problems are given in the Instructor's Guide. These solutions are as detailed as the textbook examples, with all steps shown (A student's solutions manual, with answers to only half the problems. An explanation for each step is inserted, and appropriate comments about the importance of the problem are presented. In addition, the Instructor's Guide contains 351 suggested examination questions that can, if desired, be used as additional homework exercises. All chapters conclude with a summary of the key points and equations. Humor is used without apology.

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