Advances in the Use of Synchrotron Radiation to Elucidate Environmental Interfacial Reaction Processes and Mechanisms in the Earth's Critical Zone" -- Microbial Roles in Mineral Transformations and Metal Cycling in the Earth's Critical Zone -- Role of Biomolecules in Infuencing Transformation Mechanisms of Metals and Metalloids in Soil Environments -- Mechanisms for the interaction between heavy metals and variable charge surfaces -- The Electrostatic Field Effect from Surface Charges on Ion Diffusion/Adsorption in the Soil -- Dynamics of persistent organic pollutants in soil environment and their interaction with organic matter and root exudates -- Microbial extracellular enzymes and the degradation of natural and synthetic polymers in soil -- Effects of "aging" on bioreactive chemical retention, transformation, and transport in soil -- Sorption comparison between pharmaceuticals and hydrophobic organic chemicals in soils and sediments -- Adsorption of Organic Compounds by Black Carbon from Aqueuous Solution -- Structure, biological activity and environmental fate of insecticidal Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) Cry proteins of bacterial and genetically modified plant origin -- Subsoil acidification in farming systems: its possible causes and management options -- Microbial indicators of soil quality in upland soils -- The role of bacteria and archaea in nitrification, nitrate leaching and nitrous oxide emissions in nitrogen-rich grassland soils -- Impacts of agricultural management practices on soil physical, chemical and biological properties. This book focuses on the Critical Zone supporting life at the Earth's surface with emphasis on the new and emerging subject area of molecular environmental soil science. Advances in research methodology, and the use of synchrotron radiation in particular, are extensively reviewed. The role of microbes and biomolecules in mineral transformations, metal cycling, and the degradation of natural and anthropogenic organic compounds are also highlighted. The book is unique because it integrates a number of key contributions from traditionally separate disciplines. It also adds an important, and much needed, molecular dimension to an area of science that has traditionally been viewed on larger scales. The book identifies knowledge gaps, provides future research directions and addresses advances in research and education at molecular level. in this extremely important and challenging area of science for years to come. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Project Committee noted that the Conference, on which the book is based, identifies and builds on the need to view and understand the Critical Zone at the molecular level. The book will be an invaluable reference for researchers, students and professionals in this field of work.