Environmental Chemistry Concepts By: Yoloany & Rylee


Tempature Vs Heat:

Heat is the total energy of molecular motion in a substance while temperature is a measure of the average energy of molecular motion in a substance.


The first law, also known as Law of Conservation of Energy, states that energy cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system. The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of any isolated system always increases.

Calories and specific heat:

The specific heat of water is 1 calorie/gram °C = 4.186 joule/gram °C which is higher than any other common substance. As water plays a very important role in temperature regulation. The specific heat per gram for water is much higher than that for a metal.


Up cycling vs. down cycling:

Downcycling Diminishes Value. By contrast, downcycling occurs when waste material is converted into something of lesser value. Recycling plastics is often downcycling because the end product is a lesser quality plastic. Upcycling Prolongs the Life of Materials

Types of plastics and issues:

  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE or polyester)
  • High density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Polyvinyl chloride (V or Vinyl or PVC)
  • Low density polyethylene (LDPE)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polystyrene (PS)


  • Acetaldehyde which has been linked to:
  • DNA damage
  • Abnormal muscle development
  • Alzheimer's and is listed as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer

Danger from plastic type 2: HDPE is one of the types of plastics that does NOT contain BPA (bisphenol A) or other commonly found toxic Research on Cancer

Type 3:

  • Endocrines disruption
  • Fetal development
  • Breast or testicular cancers
  • Autism

Vinyl chloride, linked to:

  • Cancer
  • Liver, lung, and kidney damage
  • Decrease in normal reproduction function
  • Brain, lung, and blood cancers
  • Ground and water pollution

Dioxins, which have been linked to:

  • Reproductive issues
  • Developmental problems
  • Hormone disruption
  • Immune impairment
  • And is a known human carcinogen

The #3 types of plastics often contain BPA. BPA has been linked to developmental issues during pregnancy and childhood, linking it to birth defects and neurological disorders.

Type 4: LDPE is sourced for fossil fuels and therefore not renewable, as well as not being biodegradable and poses a large issue for the environment since most LDPE (such as plastic bags) do don’t get to recycle.

Type 5: Scientists have found that PP can leach two chemical compounds (quaternary ammonium biocides and oleamide) that interrupt human enzymes and brain receptors.

Type 6: Polystyrene contains both styrene and benzene, two dangerous chemical compounds linked to human health risks. Styrene has been shown to be toxic to the nervous system, hematological, cytogenetic, carcinogenic, and disruptive to menstrual cycles. Benzene is a known carcinogen, particularly leukemia (cancer of the blood), and linked to anemia, excessive bleeding, and other blood disorders, irregular menstrual cycles, low birth weight, bone marrow damage, and more.

Type 7: plastics can be a variety of plastics, making it hard to determine their safety. And according to the Environmental Working Group, it often consist of polycarbonate, the plastic most likely to contain BPA (bisphenol A), which impacts development during pregnancy and childhood,12 BPA has been linked to neurological disorders, is an endocrine disruptor, and also tied to asthma, breast cancer, heart disease, leukemia, prostate cancer and other issues, obesity, testicular cancer, thyroid issues, and more.

Recycling metals and Paper:

Metals: Most of the metal we throw away at home comes from food and drink cans and aerosols. Typically food cans are made from steel, which can be melted down and turned into new food cans. Drinks cans are generally thinner and lighter and made from aluminum, which can also be recycled very easily. Mining aluminum is a very energy intensive and environmentally harmful process. That's why waste aluminum cans have a relatively high value and why recycling them is such a good thing to do.

Paper: Recycling one ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,000 kilowatts of energy enough to power the average U.S. home for six months and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent.


Soil Profiles: This layer generally forms above the mineral soil or occurs in an organic soil profile. The "O" stands for organic matter. It is a surface layer dominated by the presence of large amounts of organic material derived from dead plant and/or animal residues which is in varying stages of decomposition.

Sand, Silt and Clay ( soil texture): The soil textural class is a grouping of soils based upon these relative proportions. Soils with the finest texture are called clay soils, while soils with the coarsest texture are called sands. However, a soil that has a relatively even mixture of sand, silt, and clay and exhibits the properties from each separate is called a loam. There are different types of loams, based upon which soil separate is most abundantly present. If the percentages of clay, silt, and sand in a soil are known (primarily through laboratory analysis), you may use the textural triangle to determine the texture class of your soil.

Issues with soil : soil quality is affected by other aspects of agriculture. These impacts include compaction, loss of soil structure, nutrient degradation, and soil salinity. These are very real and at times severe issues.

soil properties: All soils contain mineral particles, organic matter, water and air. The combinations of these determine the soil’s properties – its texture, structure, porosity, chemistry and colour.

Plant Nutrients:

Micro and micro: Macronutrients are the structural and energy-giving caloric components of our foods that most of us are familiar with. They include carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that are essential for good health.

Fertilizers: is any material of natural or synthetic origin that is applied to soils or to plant tissues to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants.

Deficiencies and Toxicities: Symptoms caused by nutrient deficiencies are generally grouped into five categories: 1) stunted growth, 2) chlorosis, 3) interveinal chlorosis, 4) purplish-red coloring and 5) necrosis. Stunting is a common symptom for many deficient nutrients due to their varied roles in the plant.


Properties of water:

  • Adhesion/Cohesion
  • Capillary action
  • Color
  • Compressibility
  • Density and weight
  • Heat capacity
  • Meniscus

Types of water pollution:

  • Types of water pollution. There are many types of water pollution because water comes from many sources.
  • Nutrients Pollution. Some wastewater, fertilizers and sewage contain high levels of nutrients.
  • Surface water pollution
  • Oxygen Depleting
  • Microbiological
  • Suspended Matter
  • Chemical Water Pollution
  • Oil Spillage

Water treatment (removing pollution): Steam boilers can suffer from scale or corrosion when left untreated. Scale deposits can lead to weak and dangerous machinery, while additional fuel is required to heat the same level of water because of the rise in thermal resistance.

Water issues: The availability of water is a concern for some countries. But the scarcity at the heart of the global water crisis is rooted in power, poverty and inequality, not in physical availability.

Atoms and Ions:

Atomictheory: matter is composed of discrete units called atoms.

Ions: an atom or molecule with a net electric charge due to the loss or gain of one or more electrons.

Ionic compounds: The theory that substances whose solution conduct an electric current undergo electrolytic dissociation on dissolution.

Democritus was the first to create the atomic model in 400 B.C. He helped people understand the idea of atoms and genetics.


Created with images by NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Blue Marble 2000" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Coronal Rain, Solar Storm" • ChristopherPluta - "fire smoke hot" • slgckgc - "Got Recycling?" • Hans - "embers glow wood" • Alexas_Fotos - "iron scrap scrap metal" • bobistraveling - "15 Paper ConsolidatedWake County Recycling Tour NC 14.59.20" • Brian Smithson (Old Geordie) - "Water" • cogdogblog - "Pappa Bottle, Mama Bottle, and Little Baby Bottle" • zeevveez - "Plastic Bag after Rain (1)" • Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca - "Recycling Grunge Sign - Sepia" • E. D'Ascoli Photographies - "Courbes et lignes" • SoilScience.info - "Typic Hapludand (Medial, amorphic, isothermic) – Subagjo H1B" • Pexels - "corn agriculture soil" • Nicholas_T - "Snyder-Middleswarth Natural Area (8)" • andrewmalone - "Plant" • Pok_Rie - "sunset seascape water motion" • Art Poskanzer - "rough water" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "VISIONS: Seeing the Aurora in a New Light" • tonynetone - "Archytas"

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