Environmental Soil Chemistry

Environmental Soil Chemistry

1st Edition - October 19, 1995

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  • Author: Donald Sparks
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483289205

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As the author states in his Preface, this book is written at a time when scientific and lay communities recognize that knowledge of environmental chemistry is fundamental in understanding and predicting the fate of pollutants in soils and waters, and in making sound decisions about remediation of contaminated soils. Environmental Soil Chemistry presents the fundamental concepts of soil science and applies them to environmentally significant reactions in soil. Clearly and concisely written for undergraduate and beginning graduate students of soil science, the book is likewise accessible to all students and professionals of environmental engineering and science. Chapters cover background information useful to students new to the discipline, including the chemistry of inorganic and organic soil components, soilacidity and salinity, and ion exchange and redox phenomena. However, discussion also extends to sorption/desorption, oxidation-reduction of metals and organic chemicals, rates of pollutant reactions as well as technologies for remediating contaminated soils. Supplementary reading lists, sample problems, and extensive tables and figures make this textbook accessible to readers.

Key Features

@introbul:Key Features
@bul:* Provides students with both sound contemporary training in the basics of soil chemistry and applications to real-world environmental concerns
* Timely and comprehensive discussion of important concepts including:
@subbul:* Sorption/desorption
* Oxidation-reduction of metals and organics
* Effects of acidic deposition and salinity on contaminant reactions
* Boxed sections focus on sample problems and explanations of key terms and parameters
* Extensive tables on elemental composition of soils, rocks and sediments, pesticide classes, inorganic minerals, and methods of decontaminating soils
* Clearly written for all students and professionals in environmental science and environmental engineering as well as soil science


Upper level undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and professionals, in environmental soil science, environmental and agricultural engineering, marine studies, and geochemistry.

Table of Contents

  • Environmental Soil Chemistry: An Overview:
    Evolution of Soil Chemistry.
    The Modern Environmental Movement.
    Contaminants in Waters and Soils.
    Case Study of Pollution of Soils and Waters.
    Soil Decontamination.
    Inorganic Soil Components:
    Pauling's Rules.
    Primary Soil Minerals.
    Secondary Soil Minerals.
    Specific Surface of Soil Minerals.
    Surface Charge of Soil Minerals.
    Identification of Minerals by X-Ray Diffraction Analyses.
    Use of Clay Minerals to Retain Organic Contaminants.
    Chemistry of Soil Organic Matter:
    Effects of Soil Formation Factors on SOM Contents.
    Composition of SOM.
    Fractionation of SOM.
    SOM Structure.
    Functional Groups and Charge Characteristics.
    Humic Substance-Metal Interactions.
    SOM-Clay Complexes.
    Retention of Pesticides and Other Organic Substances by Humic Substances.
    Soil Solution-Solid Phase Equilibria:
    Measurement of the Soil Solution.
    Speciation of the Soil Solution.
    Ion Activity and Activity Coefficients.
    Dissolution and Solubility Processes.
    Sorption Phenomena on Soils:
    Introduction and Terminology.
    Surface Functional Groups.
    Surface Complexes.
    Adsorption Isotherms.
    Equilibrium-Based Adsorption Models.
    Surface Precipitation.
    Sorption of Metal Cations.
    Sorption of Anions.
    Points of Zero Charge.
    Use of Spectroscopic and Microscopic Methods in Determining Mechanisms for Sorption-Desorption Phenomena.
    Ion Exchange Processes:
    Characteristics of Ion Exchange.
    Cation Exchange Equilibrium Constants and Selectivity Coefficients.
    Thermodynamics of Ion Exchange. Relationship between Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Ion Exchange.
    Kinetics of Soil Chemical Processes:
    Rate-Limiting Steps and Time Scales of Soil Chemical Reactions.
    Rate Laws.
    Determination of Reaction Order and Rate Constants.
    Kinetic Models.
    Kinetic Methodologies.
    Effect of Temperature on Reaction Rates.
    Kinetics of Important Soil Chemical Processes.
    Redox Chemistry of Soils:
    Oxidation-Reduction Reactions and Potentials.
    Eh vs pH and pe vs pH Diagrams.
    Measurement and Use of Redox Potentials.
    Submerged Soils.
    Redox Reactions Involving Inorganic and Organic Pollutants.
    The Chemistry of Soil Acidity:
    Historical Perspective of Soil Activity.
    Solution Chemistry of Aluminum.
    Exchangeable and Nonexchangeable Aluminum.
    Soil Acidity.
    Liming Soils.
    The Chemistry of Saline and Sodic Soils:
    Causes of Soil Salinity.
    Sources of Soluble Salts.
    Important Salinity and Sodicity Parameters.
    Classification and Reclamation of Saline and Sodic Soils.
    Effects of Soil Salinity and Sodicity on Soil Structural Properties.
    Effects of Soil Salinity on Plant Growth.
    Appendix A.
    Appendix B.
    Chapter References.
    Subject Index.

Product details

  • No. of pages: 267
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1995
  • Published: October 19, 1995
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483289205

About the Author

Donald Sparks

Donald Sparks
DONALD L. SPARKS is the Unidel S. Hallock du Pont Chair and Francis Alison Professor at the University of Delaware. He is internationally recognized for his research in the areas of kinetics of biogeochemical processes and surface chemistry of natural materials. His research has focused on fate and transport of trace metals in soil and water, soil remediation, water quality, and carbon sequestration in soils. Dr. Sparks is the author of two previous editions of Environmental Soil Chemistry and more than 350 refereed papers and book chapters. He is fellow of five scientific societies, and he has been the recipient of major awards and lectureships including the Geochemistry Medal from the American Chemical Society, the Liebig Medal from the International Union of Soil Sciences, the Einstein Professorship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Philippe Duchaufour Medal from the European Geosciences Union. Dr. Sparks served as president of the Soil Science Society of America and the International Union of Soil Sciences, has served on advisory committees for several national laboratories and national and international centers and institutes, and served as chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee for Soil Sciences and other NAS Committees.

Affiliations and Expertise

Director, Delaware Environmental Institute, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA

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