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Pure Appl. Chem. Vol. 73, No. 12, pp. 2059-2065 (2001)

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Vol. 73, Issue 12


Modern chemistry has clearly played a key role in the improvement of quality of life around the world. However, these advances come with a price: increased contamination of the environment by substances that can disrupt endogenous biological systems, sometimes severely, and ultimately impact on humans as well. It is accordingly appropriate for the chemical sciences community to actively address development of green chemical processes and environmental remediation, and a number of efforts in this direction have been initiated in various IUPAC Divisions.

The Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division has a long-standing commitment to environmental issues. There are currently on-going projects related to the thermodynamics and kinetics of gas-phase reactions in the atmosphere, and in the role of colloid and surface chemistry applied to environmental remediation.

The workshop organized by Prof. Brett has brought together specialists in the area of electrochemistry and interfacial chemistry to address approaches to the removal of potential contaminants from industrial wastes in water, soil, and the atmosphere, the use of electrochemistry for the generation of reactants,removal of contaminants and electroanalysis, and the use of colloids, microemulsions, and nanoparticles for remediation. Photocatalysis also figured prominently in discussions.An additional key element in the workshop was a tutorial session, prior to the lectures and poster session, designed to acquaint everyone with basic concepts.

It is hoped that this Special Topic Issue will serve to emphasize the challenge of dealing with environmental pollution and clean-up, consistent with the needs and resources of various countries around the world, while suggesting some possible solutions.

George S. Wilson
President, Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division

* An issue of reviews and research papers based on presentations made at the IUPAC/ICSU Workshop on Electrochemistry and Interfacial Chemistry in Environmental Clean-up and Green Chemical Processes, Coimbra, Portugal, 6-7 April, 2001.

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