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Vol. 26 No. 5
September-October 2004

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Environmental Colloids: Behavior, Structure, and Characterization

A new project will examine, through critical reviews, some of the important novel techniques for characterizing colloidal/particulate systems in the natural environment. The outcome of the project will be a volume in IUPAC’s series on “Analytical and Physical Chemistry of Environmental Systems.” The focus of the book will be on techniques that were not examined in previous volumes in the series and for which major advances have been made in the last decade.

The book will include reviews of our current understanding of the structure, role, and behavior of environmental particles, and will focus directly on aquatic systems and soils, although most of the chapters will also be directly relevant to atmospheric colloids. The characterization of colloids and their interaction with trace elements will be specifically addressed. Chemical, physical, and biological processes and interactions involving particles will be described. In addition, there will be substantial critical assessment of the techniques employed for the sampling, size fractionation, and characterization of particles. Particular attention will be paid to non-perturbing and quantitative approaches that take account of particle heterogeneity and polydispersity. Most of the focus will be on recent (past 10 years) developments related to the techniques. For instance, chapters on relatively standard techniques such as filtration, electron microscopy, and field-flow fractionation (FFF) will primarily review the more recent aspects of the techniques (e.g., the use and development of cross flow filtration and the coupling of novel analytical techniques with FFF).

The book will also provide a discussion of the newer methods that have been developed and applied over this time frame, including capillary electrophoresis, laser induced breakdown detection, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and synchotron based techniques. Each chapter gives, for the corresponding topic, a brief introduction general enough to enable the non-specialist to enter the field. Subsequently, a critical discussion about theoretical and experimental aspects of the methods as well as the needed developments and possible recommendations is given.

For more information contact the Task Group Chairman Kevin J. Wilkinson <kevin.wilkinson@cabe.unige.ch> or visit <www.unige.ch/cabe/wilkinson/>.

www.iupac.org/projects/2004/2004-015-1-600.html


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