General Chemical Concepts

  • Christopher S. Cronan
Part of the Springer Textbooks in Earth Sciences, Geography and Environment book series (STEGE)


This introductory chapter presents a brief overview of basic chemical concepts that are important in the study of biogeochemistry. Chemical bonding mechanisms are examined, with particular emphasis on complexation reactions that influence the solubility and bioavailability of metals. The chemical behaviors of different elements and compounds are discussed in relation to oxidation-reduction, polarity of molecules, equilibrium reactions, and rate-limited processes. Examples are provided for transforming molar or mass-based concentrations into units of equivalent charges for ionic charge balance analysis. Finally, stable isotopes are introduced as a tool for tracing biogeochemical patterns and processes.


Equivalent Charge Heavy Water Molecules Organic acidsOrganic Acids Biogeochemical Analysis Heavy Isotope 
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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher S. Cronan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biology and EcologyUniversity of MaineOronoUSA

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