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
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
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.
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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