Books  General Natural History  History of Science 

Phosphorus: An Element That Could Have Been Called Lucifer

Series: SpringerBriefs in Environmental Science Volume: 9

By: Mikhail Butusov(Author), Arne Jernelöv(Author)

101 pages, 17 colour photos and illustration, 10 b/w illustrations, tables


Paperback | Apr 2013 | #205312 | ISBN-13: 9781461468028
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £44.99 $58/€49 approx

About this book

Phosphorus starts with depiction of the phosphorus role in life creation and evolution. Then it outlines in which vital processes different phosphates participate in life of all flora and fauna, from DNA molecules till body tissues. Crucial function of phosphates was noticed long ago, but only in XIX century discovery of mineral fertilizers made it possible to sustain the needs of growing global population, thus initiating a "green revolution".

Though, for many decades after it, the complexity of interactions "fertilizer-soil-plant roots" was underrated, causing massive damages, such as soil destruction and eutrophication of waters. Still, mining of exhausting natural phosphate reserves continued worldwide. Lessons of what happened in XIX century due to scarcity of phosphates were ignored. In the meantime, production of phosphates reached its peak few years ago. Immediate implementation of phosphate recycling technologies from municipal wastes can help avoid imminent global disaster.


- Introduction
- The Role of Phosphorous in the Origin of Life and in Evolution
- Phosphorous in the Organic Life - Cells, Tissues, Organisms
- Phosphorous in Social Life
- Silent Underground Life
- Fertilizers - 100 Years of Supremacy
- Non-Fertilizer Uses of Phosphorous
- Eutrophication
- The Politics of P
- Peak Phosphorous
- Phosphate Recycling or Welcome from Lucifer?

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