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

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Vol. 73, Issue 12


This Special Topic Issue of Pure and Applied Chemistry on "Electrochemistry and Interfacial Chemistry for the Environment "derives from a workshop "Electrochemistry and Interfacial Chemistry in Environmental Clean-Up and Green Chemical Processes "which was held on 6 ­7 April 2001 in Coimbra, Portugal within the framework of a project in IUPAC 's Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division, jointly funded by IUPAC and by the International Council for Science (ICSU).

The objective of the project has been to increase awareness within the worldwide industrial and academic chemical community of the importance of electrochemistry and surface chemistry in environmental clean-up and in environmentally friendly industrial chemical processes. The negative impact on the environment of industrial chemical processes and other fabrication procedures is well known, and significant efforts have been made to reduce this impact through less-polluting and more energy-efficient processes with appropriate recycling and effluent treatment. Treatment of stored solid or liquid waste and remediation of contaminated land resulting from pollution are other problematic areas which deserve attention. Electrochemistry and interfacial chemistry have an important role to play in all these areas involving solid and liquid pollutants. There is a need to demonstrate and clarify what can be achieved using presently available technology and to point out future tendencies in technological development.

The workshop was directed toward three types of participant who have particular interest in the combination of electro-or interfacial chemistry and the environment:specialists of international standing, scientists from developing countries describing the specific problems their countries face, and researchers and students concerned with environmental problems.

This project was developed in the Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division and particularly in Commission on Electrochemistry (I.3)and Commission on Colloid and Interfacial Chemistry (I.6). The organizing committee, C.M.A. Brett (Chairman), J.F. Rusling, L.Koopal, and J. Gregory arranged a program of invited lectures to reflect the contributions that can be made by electrochemistry and interfacial chemistry to solving and preventing some of the present environmental pollution problems. The workshop comprised 16 invited lectures and 40 poster contributions, with 77 participants from 18 countries all over the world, with ample time for fruitful discussion of the advantages and limitations of the electrochemical and interfacial chemistry approaches at the small-scale level up to large-scale facilities.

The organizers are grateful to all who sponsored the workshop. Besides the main sponsors, IUPAC and ICSU, support was obtained from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Portugal, the Portuguese Chemical Society, the University of Coimbra and its Faculty of Science and Technology, the Luso-American Development Foundation, Instituto Pedro Nunes (Coimbra)and Instituto do Ambiente e Vida (Coimbra).

This issue results from the invitation to participants to submit articles based on their presentations for publication. It reflects well the panorama of subjects covered in the workshop with respect to fundamental aspects and the importance of current and new applications of electrochemistry and interfacial electrochemistry to environmental clean-up and green chemical processes. Topics covered vary from electrochemical reactors, electrosynthesis, electrochemical sensors, corrosion, photoelectrochemical degradation of pollutants, colloids for waste treatment, and industrial applications. All authors, and reviewers of the articles, are thanked for their efforts in making this a successful issue.

Christopher Brett
Chairman, Organizing Committee
Department of Chemistry, University of Coimbra, Portugal

* 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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