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


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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. More

Electrochemistry, Second Edition by Carl H. Hamann, Andrew Hamnett, Wolf Vielstich (Wiley-VCH) This second, completely updated edition of a classic textbook provides a concise introduction to the fundamental principles of modern electrochemistry, with an emphasis on applications in energy technology. The renowned and experienced scientist authors present the material in a didactically skilful and lucid manner. More

Elementorganic Monomers: Technology, Properties, Applications by L. M. Khananashvili, O. V. Mukbaniani, G. E. Zaikov (New Concepts in Polymer Science: Brill Academic Publishers) The chemical industry in our country and abroad is rapidly developing. It is only natural that the young industry of elementorganic monomers, oligomers and polymers should develop at the same rate. The numerous valuable and sometimes unique properties of these substances account for their wide application in various industries, households, medicine and cutting-edge technologies. That is why contemporary industry produces more than 500 types of silicone monomers, oligomers and polymers, to say nothing of other elementorganic compounds. The synthesis of these elementorganic compounds is based on many different reactions. More

CRC Handbook Of Thermodynamic Data Of Polymer Solutions At Elevated Pressures by Christian Wohlfarth (CRC Press) This handbook provides the only complete collection of high-pressure thermodynamic data pertaining to polymer solutions at elevated pressures to date — all critical data for understanding the physical nature of these mixtures and applicable to a number of industrial and laboratory processes in polymer science, physical chemistry, chemical engineering, and biotechnology. More

The Structural Stabilization of Polymers: Fractal Models by G. V. Kozlov, G. E. Zaikov (New Concepts in Polymer Science: VSP International (Brill) This monograph deals with the structural aspects of transport processes of gases, physical ageing and thermo-oxidative degradation of polymers in detail. Fractal analysis, cluster models of the polymer structure's amorphous state as well as irreversible aggregation models are used as main structural models. It is shown that the polymer structure is often a more important parameter than its chemical construction. Another significant aspect is the structural role in polymer melts oxidation.
 The basis for understanding of structural stabilization gives anomalous diffusion of oxidant molecules on the fractal structure for both solid state polymers and polymeric melts. The important part of this problem is structure connectivity characterized by its spectral dimension. Therefore branched (cross-linked) polymers have smaller diffusivity in comparison with linear polymers. Fractal mathematics is used throughout to sharpen measures and tighten explanations. The volume could have used an English-language editor. More

Handbook of Physical-Chemical Properties and Environmental Fate for Organic Chemicals, Second Edition edited by Donald Mackay (CRC) The Handbook of Physical-Chemical Properties and Environmental Fate for Organic Chemicals, Second Edition is a massive 4 volume essential reference for university libraries, regulatory agencies, consultants, and industry professionals, particularly those concerned with chemical synthesis, emissions, fate, persistence, long-range transport, bioaccumulation, exposure, and biological effects of chemicals in the environment. The handbook contains physical-chemical property data on over 1200 chemicals of environmental concern. It offers approximately 30 percent new and updated information from previous edition. An enhancement to this new edition is the inclusion of measured temperature-dependent data for selected physical-chemical properties. Transport and transformation processes are key for determining how humans and other organisms are exposed to chemicals. These processes are largely controlled by the chemicals' physical-chemical properties. This new edition of the Handbook of Physical-Chemical Properties and Environmental Fate for Organic Chemicals is a comprehensive series in four volumes that serves as a reference source for environmentally relevant physical-chemical property data of numerous groups of chemical substances. More

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 87th Edition, 2006-2007 edited by David R. Lide (CRC Press) Any working Lab needs to have this standard reference work around to access the standard terms and measures in basic chemistry and physics. For decades, CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics has provided scientific and engineering communities around the world with the broad range of current and critically evaluated data required by their constantly and rapidly evolving technical fields. Data have been carefully selected and verified by checking against the most reliable sources, and major references are listed.  More

Natural Fibers, Biopolymers, and Their Biocomposites edited by Amar K. Mohanty, Manjusri Misra, Lawrence T. Druzal (CRC Press) We are living in an interesting world. Our society has achieved enormous advances in quality of life due to an extensive discovery and availability of plastics derived from petroleum. However, as with any technology, unantic­ipated negative secondary effects are produced as well. The persistence of plastics in the environment, shortage of landfill space, concerns over emis­sions resulting from incineration, and hazards to human health as well as hazards to animals, birds, and fish from entrapment or ingestion of these materials have spurred the efforts to find more environment friendly alter-native materials. The depletion of petroleum resources coupled with increase in environmental regulations have added to this effort of finding new materials and products that are compatible with the environment and independ­ent of fossil fuels. Industries are developing and manufacturing "greener" materials; government is encouraging biobased product research; academi­cians are searching for eco-friendly materials; and the public is coming to value the benefit of environment friendly products and processes, but at affordable prices. Biobased materials offer a potential solution to this complex problem.

Natural fibers are now emerging as viable alternatives to glass fibers either alone or combined in composite materials for various applications in automotive parts, building structures and rigid packaging materials. The advantages of natural fibers over synthetic or man-made fibers such as glass are low cost, low density, competitive specific mechanical properties, carbon dioxide sequestration, sustainability, recyclability, and biodegradability.

Biobased polymers may be obtained from renewable resources and are gaining much importance over petroleum-based biodegradable polymers in recent years. Biopolymers have started migrating into the mainstream and biobased polymers may soon be competing with commodity plastics. Some of the examples for biopolymers include cellulosic biopolymers derived from renewable cellulose, starch plastics, corn-derived plastics, and bacterial polyesters.

Biocomposites produced from the combination of biofibers and bioplastics produce the necessary performance either entirely or in combination with petroleum-based polymers and offer a path to achieve eco-friendly materials in the 21st century. However, the need to produce 100% biobased materials as substitutes for petroleum-based materials is not immediate. Biocomposites that contain a significant content of biobased materials can presently achieve this at an affordable cost—performance ratio to compete with petroleum-based materials and still maintain a positive balance among ecology, economy, and technology.

This publication is intended to provide a comprehensive source for the latest advances in the area of biofibers, biopolymers, and biocomposites that can substitute for and compete with traditional petroleum-based materials and at the same time reduce environmental harm while maintaining the economic viability. We have assembled chapters on topics ranging from natural fibers (e.g., agricultural fibers, grass fibers, straw-based fibers, and traditional wood fibers), biopolymers to biobased composite materials in this book. In addi­tion, we have included a comprehensive chapter on life cycle analysis of biobased polymers and materials that is emerging as the framework upon which sustainability of materials and processes will be established.

We hope this book will serve as a guide to (1) government policy makers to encourage more research on the generation and use of biobased materials; (2) industrial personnel to show that high performance, economical, biobased products can be produced; (3) university students and faculty researchers who are striving to advance sustainable materials and practices; and (4) the public to illustrate that materials sustainability, biodegradability, and environmental stewardship can be achieved without economic sacrifice. 

Practical Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Relaxation for Chemists by Vladimir I. Bakhmutov (John Wiley & Sons) (Hardcover) This book was written by an expert with long researching and teaching experience and is based on University NMR courses given in Russia, France, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. It is suitable both as a textbook for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students encountering nuclear magnetic relaxation for the first time, and also for professional researchers already actively using NMR spectroscopy in synthetic, physical, biological, pharmaceutical and industrial chemistry.

The book can be divided into two sections: chapters 1-6 teaching the basics and chapters 7-12 dealing with applications. Each chapter is referenced and includes well-organized illustrative material. The chapters in the first section deal with the basic theory of nuclear relaxation as physical phenomenon and are written in a simple and accessible form, thus readers do not need specialist knowledge of physics and NMR. As well as the theory behind nuclear relaxation this section considers important methodical aspects of relaxation experiments and analyzes their typical errors and problems. The aim of the second section is to overcome a situation where NMR is regarded by chemists as a 'black box'. Chapters 7-11 provide practical examples of 1D and 2D NMR relaxation experiments and show how nuclear relaxation can be applied to qualitative structural diagnostics in solutions, quantitative structural investigations of diamagnetic and paramagnetic molecular systems, studies of weak intermolecular interactions, molecular mobility and chemical exchanges.

Dr. Vladimir I. Bakhmutov is a professional NMR spectroscopist at the Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, USA. He is also the author of 220 scientific publications including reviews and book chapters.

Excerpt: Nuclear magnetic resonance, discovered by Bloch and Purcell in 1946, is widely used as a powerful analytical method in different fields of modern science, medicine and industry. It is difficult to overestimate the role of NMR in fundamental and applied chemistry where practically each chemical study, from the simplest organic molecules to complex molecular systems such as proteins, leans upon the data obtained by NMR experiments, carried out on different nuclei. Moreover, modern NMR is an indispensable tool for the practicing chemist.

Historically, since the appearance of the first commercial NMR instru­ments, practical applications of NMR split up two different spheres: NMR spectroscopy and NMR relaxation. The first domain deals with NMR spectra which show the number of distinct nuclei in investigated samples. In other words, the spectra are directly connected with structures of compounds. This circumstance explains the popularity of NMR spectroscopy among chemists. The resulting data, collected by nuclear relaxation experiments are time dependent. For this reason, relaxation is related to the dynamics of investigated objects: rotational or translational motions in liquids and solids, phase transitions in the solid state, spin dynamics in the solid state and molecular mobility in liquid crystals. All these problems are within the ambit of molecular physics, the physics of solids and materials science.

Spin relaxation has attracted the attention of physicists from the early days of NMR, and the theory of the observed phenomena has been rapidly developed and applied, first of all in studies of solids. Nowadays, NMR relaxation plays an important role in biophysics where it helps to charac­terize motions in complex biological macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. Thus, these studies throw light upon the biological activity of macromolecules and on the change of the activity upon binding with other molecules.

H. Günther`and J. Kowalewski note that NMR relaxation studies are almost as old as the NMR method itself. Moreover spin relaxation has played a major role in traditional NMR spectroscopy. Actually, as we will see below, long T1 and short T2 times make NMR spectroscopic experiments very difficult, sometimes impossible. H. Günther reminds us that the first attempt to demonstrate the NMR phenomenon for 1H and 7Li nuclei, performed by Gorter in 1936, was prevented by relaxation. The popularity of relaxation experiments among chemists is still not very high. Partly this could be explained by the interests of synthetic chemists, working on the design of new molecular systems and their structures. However, relaxation experiments can provide unique structural information, particularly in solutions where other structural approaches are unavailable.

The present book is not a scientific monograph, and does not claim to be a complete account. Its task is simple: to show in practice how relaxation exper­iments on protons, deuterons or other nuclei can be applied for qualitative structural diagnostics in solutions, quantitative structural determinations, recognitions of weak intermolecular interactions and studies of molecu­lar mobility. Focusing on methodical aspects and discussing the possible sources of errors in relaxation time determinations and their interpretations, we consciously avoid the complex quantum mechanical descriptions. We use macroscopic equations, which are converted into simple forms, convenient for applications. Thus, the reader does not need any special knowledge of physics and NMR. In addition the first chapters of the book give the theo­retical basics of nuclear relaxation and explain how and why nuclei relax. Finally, we believe that the small size of the book and its simplicity will stimulate further learning about nuclear relaxation and wide applications of the NMR relaxation technique in chemistry.

In spite of the constant technical improvements to NMR spectrometers and developments in NMR experiments [1-4], their physical meaning may be defined as an excitation of nuclei, placed in an external magnetic field, by radiofrequency irradiation, followed by registration of absorbed energy as NMR signals. The signals form NMR spectra that are recorded as plots of the line intensity versus frequency. Dispositions of resonance lines in the spectra, characterized by chemical shifts (ppm), and their splitting due to spin-spin coupling, measured in Hz, depend on the electronic environments of nuclei. Integral intensities of the signals are proportional to the number of resonating nuclei. That is why NMR spectra are directly related to molecular structures.

In the context of this book, we are not concerned with traditional NMR spectra and their interpretations on the basis of numerous spectrum–structure relations. These aspects are well treated, for example, by R. K. Harris in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (Bath Press) We will be interested in time-dependent data, which are gov­erned by nuclear relaxation. However it should be emphasized that, even in traditional NMR experiments, nuclear relaxation plays a major role. In fact, the registration of NMR signals is impossible if relaxation times are infinitely large. To understand this statement better, we start from the theoretical basics of the NMR phenomenon.

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry: Applications, Theory and Instrumentation by Robert A. Meyers (John Wiley & Sons) Over the last few decades, analytical chemistry has undergone a considerable amount of change in the equipment and procedures used. Generally analytical chemistry is concerned with the detection and identification of atoms, ions or radicals that of which a substance is composed, the compounds they form, and the proportions of these compounds that are present in a given substance. The editors define analytical chemistry as the measurement, characterization and mapping of chemical species or sys­tems varying from (1) the components of life, such as proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, clinical samples, biomedical spectroscopy, forensics; (2) threats and safeguards to life as in chemical weapons agents, pesticides, environ­ment, industrial hygiene and forensics; (3) life critical or enhancing analyses, such as food and pharmaceuticals; and (4) analyses required by industry, such as coatings, particle size, polymers, rubbers, metals, pulp and paper, process, petroleum and surfaces. The techniques utilized span the in-situ analysis of soil, water, waste, air and the human body, to laboratory analyses, remote sensing and stellar spectroscopy. More

The Art of Chemistry: Myths, Medicines and Materials by Arthur Greenberg 0471071803 (Wiley-Interscience) How do you picture an atom or imagine a chemical reaction? How have chemists, and before them alchemists, carried out their experiments? For centuries, people have sought to convey the ideas and practices of chemistry through art, poetry and prose. And in The Art of Chemistry, Arthur Greenberg leads us on an eclectic and very personal romp through many of them. In 72 short essays accompanied by nearly 200 illustrations, we follow an erratic but fascinating route through the history of chemistry. The approach both complements and expands on Greenberg's earlier Chemical History Tour (Wiley, 2000).
He guides us from representations of the four ancient elements, through 18th-century illustrations of Dalton 's atoms, to recent depictions of molecules that are looped together like links in a chain. We see diagrams of apparatus and pictures of laboratories in action, from a 16th-century mineral assayer to a 20th-century chemistry class for women. We meet some of the great characters of chemical history portrayed on cigarette cards, and are introduced to some fascinating lesser-known persons. Among them is Marie Meudrac, who in 1656 became the first woman to have a chemistry book published. More

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