The material properties and their applications in chemical, sustainable energy, and pollution abatement are discussed.

The energy and environmental issues have been among the most important topics in this century. The rising pollution levels and the long-term need for sustainable energy have necessitated new ways of using the optimal materials to combat these problems. Novel materials developments or new structure designs of materials for certain performances have become the critical points for these tasks. The physical chemistry of materials, as an emerging discipline of modern material sciences, concerns not only the production of new materials but also the physical and chemical characteristics and performances of materials for the maximum effect in their circumstance.

As the first book on this emerging discipline, The Physical Chemistry of Materials: Energy and Environmental Applications brings most aspects on this topic together under one cover. The book describes the methods of syntheses and characterization of adsorbents, ion exchangers, ionic conductors, catalysts, and permeable materials. It explores various examples of these important materials, including perovskites, zeolites, mesoporous molecular sieves, silica, alumina, active carbons, carbon nanotubes, titanium dioxide, magnesium oxide, clays, pillared clays, hydrotalcites, alkali metal titanates, titanium silicates, polymers, and coordination polymers. It shows how the materials are used in adsorption, ion conduction, ion exchange, gas separation, membrane reactors, catalysts, catalysts supports, sensors, pollution abatement, detergency, animal nourishment, agriculture, and sustainable energy applications. This book contains ten chapter contributions, which are arranged as: (1) material physics; (2) structure of adsorbents, ion exchangers, ion conductors, catalysts, and permeable materials; (3) synthesis methods of catalyst adsorbents, ion exchangers, and permeable materials; (4) material characterization methods; (5) diffusion in materials; (6) adsorption in nanoporous materials; (7) ion exchange; (8) solid-state electrochemistry; (9) heterogeneous catalysis and surface reactions; and (10) membranes. The former five chapters focus on the fundamental physical and chemical theories of material science (chapters 1, 2 & 5), and basic methods in synthesis (chapter 3), characterization and analysis (chapter 4) of materials; while the latter five chapters emphasize the applications with various examples in sustainable energy and pollution sensing and abatement. The structure of the book is coherent. Extensive equations, figures and references provide suitable complement to the text. The production quality allows the reader to understand the ideas with minimal confusion or difficulty.

This book succeeds in being systematic and practical, and can be used as a great reference for science and engineering researchers or a textbook for university studies. It focuses on four aspects: (i) providing an overview of the theoretical aspects of materials physics, examines the structure, synthesis, properties, and applications of adsorbents, catalysts, ion exchangers and conductors, and permeable materials; (ii) describing the characterization and analysis methods for materials; (iii) explaining physical transport mechanisms in various materials; (iv) demonstrating the most important aspects in energy and environmental applications. Not only does this book summarizes the classical theories under the discipline of physical chemistry of materials, but also exhibits their engineering applications in response to the currently urgent needs of energy and environmental issues.

On the other hand, this book struggles between its breadth and the depth of each aspect. It tackles most key issues in materials science and physical chemistry; while the readers may have to consult more specific references if they need to delve very deeply into a special topic. For example, the thermodynamics analysis is critical to the materials performance, but has not been addressed enough even though mentioned in Sections 6.5, 7.6 and 8.3. However, The Physical Chemistry of Materials successfully gathers disparate sources into a single convenient resource, and provides a means for its audience to quickly acquire familiarity with an important and emerging field.