Electron spin resonance. Part two: A diagnostic method in the environmental sciences

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A review is presented of some of the ways in which electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy may be useful to investigate systems of relevance to the environmental sciences. Specifically considered are: quantititave ESR, photo-catalysis for pollution control; sorption and mobility of molecules in zeolites; free radicals produced by mechanical action and by shock waves from explosives; measurement of peroxyl radicals and nitrate radicals in air; determination of particulate matter, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), soot and black carbon in air; estimation of nitrate and nitrite in vegetables and fruit; lipid-peroxidation by solid particles (silica, asbestos, coal dust); ESR of soils and other biogenic substances: formation of soil organic matter, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and no-till farming; detection of reactive oxygen species in the photosynthetic apparatus of higher plants under light stress; molecular mobility and intracellular glasses in seeds and pollen; molecular mobility in dry cotton; characterisation of the surface of carbon black used for chromatography; ESR dating for archaeology and determining seawater levels; measurement of the quality of tea-leaves by ESR; green-catalysts and catalytic media; studies of petroleum (crude oil); fuels; methane hydrate; fuel cells; photovoltaics; source rocks; kerogen; carbonaceous chondrites to find an ESR-based marker for extraterrestrial origin; samples from the Moon taken on the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 missions to understand space-weathering; ESR studies of organic matter in regard to oil and gas formation in the North Sea; solvation by ionic liquids as green solvents, ESR in food and nutraceutical research.
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