Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

18: Chemistry of the Environment

  • Page ID
  • Environmental chemistry is the scientific study of the chemical and biochemical phenomena that occur in natural places. It should not be confused with green chemistry, which seeks to reduce potential pollution at its source.

    • 18.1: Earth's Atmosphere
    • 18.2: Outer Regions of the Atmosphere
    • 18.3: Ozone in the Upper Atmostphere
      Most of the ozone in the atmosphere is in the stratosphere of the atmosphere, with about 8% in the lower troposphere. As mentioned there, the ozone is formed due to photo reaction. The ozone level is measured in Dobson Unit (DU), named after G.M.B. Dobson, who investigated the ozone between 1920 and 1960. One Dobson Unit (DU) is defined to be 0.01 mm thickness of ozone at STP when all the ozone in the air column above an area is collected and spread over the entire area.
    • 18.4: Chemistry of the Troposphere
    • 18.5: The World Ocean
      Water is the most important resource. Without water life is not possible. From a chemical point of view, water is a pure compound, but in reality, you seldom drink, see, touch or use pure water. Water from various sources contains dissolved gases, minerals, organic and inorganic substances.
    • 18.6: Fresh Water
      In addition to water, many inorganic substances or minerals are essential to life. These substances ionize in water to form ions and their solutions conduct electricity. Therefore, they are called electrolytes. Because most of these substances are already dissoved in natural water, we list ions instead of the mineral they come from.
    • 18.7: Green Chemistry
      Green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, is an area of chemistry and chemical engineering focused on the design of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances. Whereas environmental chemistry focuses on the effects of polluting chemicals on nature, green chemistry focuses on technological approaches to preventing pollution and reducing consumption of nonrenewable resources.
    • 18.E: Chemistry of the Environment (Exercises)
      These are homework exercises to accompany the Textmap created for "Chemistry: The Central Science" by Brown et al. These are homework exercises to accompany the Textmap created for "Chemistry: The Central Science" by Brown et al.

    Thumbnail: Acid mine drainage in the Rio Tinto River. (Public Domain; Carol Stoker @ NASA via Wikipedia).