Environmental Chemistry Joel R. Darren l. Michael M.


What is Energy?
  • Temperature vs. Heat- Heat is a total energy of molecular motion in a substance while temperature is the measure of the average energy of molecular motion in a substance.
  • Laws of thermodynamics-Thermodynamics is the overall study of heat and energy.
  • 1) Known as the law of conservation of energy, states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy can only be transfered or changed from one form to another.
  • 2) Entropy of any isolated system always increases. The entropy of the universe always increases never decreases.
  • 3) This law states that the entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches absolute zero. The entropy of a system at absolute zero is typically zero and is always determined only by the number of different ground states it has.
  • Caloriesa & Specific Heat-4.186= 1 calorie. Specific heat is a physical property of materials, its used to describe heat transfer. The specific heat of a material is an intensive property that is independent of the amount of a substance.

Recycling- Converting waste into reusable materials.

1. Up-cycling vs down-cycling

  • Up-cycling- reusing materials in such a way to create a higher quality or value than the original.
  • Down-cycling- recycling that involves breaking an item down into its component elements or materials.

2. Types of plastics

polyethylene terephthalate (PETE; PET)
  • Dangers- DNA damage, abnormal muscle development, ect.
  • This plastic consist of plastic bottles, polyester clothes, furniture, carpet
High-density Polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Risk- With the production of HDPE comes with secondary health risk. This also limits the amount of HDPE we can recycle.
  • HDPE is mostly made into milk gallons and motor oil, shampoos and conditioners, soap bottles, detergents, and bleaches.
Vinyl or Polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC)
  • types of plastic- This plastic is used for all types of pipes, and tiles.
  • Issues- not often recycled, VERY bad if ingested. This plastic should never come in contact with food.
Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE)
  • Plastic cling wrap, sandwich bags, squeezable bottles, and plastic grocery bags all are made from LDPE.
  • Issues- This type of plastic is very durable and flexible. The bags don't tend to release harmful chemicals when come into contact with items. Which makes this plastic great for food handling. This plastic is usually not recycled but can be in certain areas.
polypropylene (PP)
  • It is used to make plastic diapers, Tupperware, margarine containers, yogurt boxes, syrup bottles, prescription bottles, and some stadium cups.
  • Issues- Using this type of plastic isn't good because its not as common to recycle PP, as it is (HDPE, LDPE)
polystyrene (PS)
  • Disposable coffee cups, plastic food boxes, plastic cutlery, packing foam, and packing peanuts are made from PS.
  • Issues- PS or Styrofoam can be recycled but it's not very efficient. It takes a lot of energy to recycle so most places choose not too.
  • This catagory has so many different types of plastic it makes it hard to recycle. It can be harmful and dangers to recycle.
  • Issues- Used in baby bottles, large water bottles (multiple-gallon capacity), compact discs, and medical storage containers. Recycled plastics in this category are used to make plastic lumber, among other products


Soil then vs now, soil then shows us that it helped us grow plants. then we (the people) stated using fertilizer. That showed huge results to our plants, but did they ever look into what it would do to our soil? The fertilizer we put in our soil has chemicals and the soil we have in the ground has the water we could be drinking! therefor its getting harder to purify the water.

Soil Profiles

O- Horizon, Loose and partly decayed organic material.

A- Horizon, Mineral matter mixed with Organic Matter (Humus)

E- Horizon, Light colored mineral particles zone elevation and leaching

B- Horizon, accumulation of clay transported from above.

C- Horizon, Partially altered parent material.

Bedrock, Unweathered parent material.

Soil texture triangle, showing the 12 major textural classes, and particle size scales as defined by the USDA.

Plants and Nutrients

Plants must obtain the following mineral nutrients from their growing medium

Nitrogen (N) Phosphorus (P) Potassium (K) Calcium (Ca) Sulfur (S) and Magnesium (Mg)

Macro nutrients are a structural and energy giving caloric components of our foods that most of us are familiar with. Including carbohydrates, fats & protiens


Created with images by Didgeman - "glass ball autumn tree" • Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca - "Recycling Grunge Sign - Sepia" • How can I recycle this - "water_bottle" • fontplaydotcom - "fpx051913-08a" • NatureServe - "Soil Textural Triangle" • Glyn Lowe Photoworks. - "Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis - Iceland" • Freeimages9 - "flower onion green" • quapan - "shiny star leaf fringed weirdly in tarry moongate" • kkolosov - "top view closeup vegetarianism"

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