Chemistry of the Environment

Chemistry of the Environment

By: Thomas G. Spiro, Kathleen Purvis-Roberts, William M. Stigliani, Harry B. Gray

Publication date: November 2011
ISBN: 9781891389702

This completely revised third edition of this intermediate-level text uses concise, straightforward language and an accessible narrative style to give a concise, clear account of today's environmental issues and the science one needs to understand them.

For all sales outside of the United States, please contact Felicity Henson,

Title information

Chemistry of the Environment, 3rd Edition, is a concise, clear and current account of today’s environmental issues and the science one needs to understand them. This intermediate-level text, which recommends General Chemistry as a prerequisite, systematically lays out themes of sustainability, atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biospheres, while stressing the interconnectedness of environmental problems and solutions.  The completely revised third edition explains the natural chemical cycles, and how humans affect them. It also analyzes strategies for ameliorating human impacts. This stimulating new text uses concise, straightforward language and an accessible narrative style to inform quantitative thinking.

Pages: 638
Language: English
Publisher: University Science Books
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Chapter 1. Sustainability and Chemistry

Chapter 2. Green Chemistry



Chapter 3. Air Pollution

Chapter 4. Nitrogen Oxides, Ozone, and Gasoline

Chapter 5. Stratospheric Ozone Shield

Chapter 6. Climate Change



Chapter 7. Energy Flows and Supplies

Chapter 8. Fossil Fuels

Chapter 9. Nuclear Energy

Chapter 10. Renewable Energy

Chapter 11. Energy Utilization



Chapter 12. Water Resources

Chapter 13. Water as Solvent: Acids and Bases

Chapter 14. Water and Lithosphere

Chapter 15. Oxygen and Life

Chapter 16. Water Pollution and Treatment



Chapter 17. Nitrogen and Food Production

Chapter 18. Pest Control

Chapter 19. Toxicity of Chemicals


Appendix A: Organic Structures

Appendix B: Mathematical Fundamentals

“No other text in environmental chemistry so nicely balances breadth, depth and readability.”
-Professor A.D. Anbar, Arizona State University

“The authors provide clear and concise explanations and do a good job of integrating calculations throughout the book. This book is useful both for students learning to apply chemical concepts to understand the environment and for instructors seeking a distinct perspective and important data on the environment.”
-Professor Keith Kuwata, Macalester College

“I very much congratulate the authors. This is by far the best environmental chemistry text that I have read.”
-Professor John Perona, University of California at Santa Barbara

“Spiro, Purvis-Roberts and Stigliani write in a clear and engaging style. They organize the material in a logical and compelling manner, emphasizing the many cross-connections among environmental topics. The bottom line is that this is the environmental chemistry book that we have all been waiting for!”
-From Foreword by Harry Gray, California Institute of Technology

“This comprehensive new edition is well written and balanced…Summing up: Recommended for all undergraduate students and general readers.”

Harry B. Gray

Harry Barkus Gray is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and the Founding Director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology. His main research interests center on inorganic spectroscopy, photochemistry, and bioinorganic chemistry, with emphasis on understanding electron transfer in proteins. For his contributions to chemistry, which include over 700 papers and 17 books, he has received the National Medal of Science from President Ronald Reagan (1986); the Linderstrøm-Lang Prize (1991); the Basolo Medal (1994); the Gibbs Medal (1994); the Chandler Medal (1999); the Harvey Prize (2000); the Nichols Medal (2003); the National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences (2003); the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry (2004); the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2004); the City of Florence Prize in Molecular Sciences (2006); six national awards from the American Chemical Society, including the Priestley Medal (1991); and 16 honorary doctorates. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; an honorary member of the Italian Chemical Society; a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; and the Royal Society of Great Britain. He was California Scientist of the Year in 1988.

William M. Stigliani

William M. Stigliani is Professor of Chemistry, and develops curricula and teaches sustainability courses at the University of Northern Iowa.

Kathleen Purvis-Roberts

Kathleen Purvis-Roberts is a Professor of Chemistry at the W.M. Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges. She earned her B.S. from Westmont College and her Ph.D. from Princeton University, where she worked with Steven Bernasek. From there, she did her postdoctoral work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. She joined the faculty of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges in 2001. She is the recipient of the Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award (2013) and the Jefferson Science Fellowship (2016–2017).

Thomas G. Spiro

Thomas G. Spiro is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Washington. He received the B. S. from UCLA and the Ph.D. from MIT, and did postdoctoral work in Copenhagen. He joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1963, and served as chair of the chemistry department from 1980 to 1989, relocating to the University of Washington in 2007. He is the recipient of the ICPP Eraldo Antonini Lifetime Achievment Award (2010), the ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (2004), Biophysical Society Founders Award (2004), the Wellcome Visiting Professorship in the Basic Medical Sciences, at the University of British Columbia (1999) in1999, and the Bomem-Michelson Award in Molecular Spectroscopy (1986).