Environmental Systems: An introductory text by Dr S J Harrison, S J Harrison, Dr D N Mottershead, D N

By Dr S J Harrison, S J Harrison, Dr D N Mottershead, D N Mottershead, I D White

Utilizing power circulation and mass move as unifying topics, the dialogue is decided in a thermodynamic viewpoint.

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When two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen combine to form water (H 20), they do so by strong electron pair or covalent bond. The resultant water molecule is stable and, as a whole, electrically neutral. The electrons, however, have an asymmetrical distribution within the molecule which behaves as a molecular dipole, or polar molecule, due to the charge separation. This partial ionic character of the O-H bond in water lends the hydrogen atom some positive character, permitting electrons from another atom to approach closely to the proton, even though the proton is already bonded.

In a similar way, a Group II element, such as magnesium (1 S2 2S2 2p 6 3s 2), has to lose two electrons from the valence shell to attain the configuration of neon. Group VII elements, on the other hand, are one electron short of inert gas configurations and so must gain an electron. For chlorine (1 S2 2S2 2p 6 3s 2 3p 5) to reach the configuration of argon (1 S2 2S2 2p6 3s 2 3p 6) it requires the addition of an electron which forms a negatively charged ion an anion. In Group VI, oxygen (1 S2 2S2 2p4) requires two electrons to reach the electron configuration of neon (1 S2 2S2 2 p 6).

2 for explanation of notation) Na + CI Is 2s2 2p6 3s Is 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p5 Is 2s2 2p6 Is 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 neon configuration argon configuration However, the transfer of electrons in this way cannot be involved in the formations of many compounds. Gaseous oxygen exists in the Earth's atmosphere as mol~cules (0 2) each containing two atoms of oxygen that cannot reach the stable configuration of an inert gas by electron transfer. 3) have the inert gas strlicture plus an extra electron. For example, sodium (1 S2 2S2 2p 6 3s) has the same configuration as neon (1 S2 2S2 2p 6) plus one electron in the s subshell of the third shell.

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