Why green chemistry is necessary

After you finishing doing with your chemistry experiments at school, what would you do? You may pour the chemicals down the sink. Now imagine thousands of factories doing that, and you’ll realize there will be a problem. Luckily a solution is coming about – green chemistry.

Science and Sustainability
Every day, millions of tones of hazardous chemicals are buried underground, dumped into rivers, lakes and seas or spewed into the air. The aim of green chemistry is to develop new methods that reduce and prevent pollution.

Paul Anastas and John C. Warner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency laid out the Twelve Principles of green chemistry. They are:

  1. It is better to prevent waste than to treat it after it is formed.
  2. Methods for making new chemicals should be designed so that all the materials used in the reaction become part of the final product.
  3. These methods should use and generate substances that possess zero danger to human health and the environment.
  4. ‘Green’ chemical products should work as well as others, and still be less toxic.
    The use of ‘auxiliaries’ i.e. substances like solvents, purification agents etc., should be made unnecessary; or harmless substances should be used.
  5. ‘Green’ reactions should minimize the need for conditions like high pressure or low temperature. Instead, they should be possible at normal temperature and pressure.
  6. A raw material should be renewable (e.g. like biogas) rather than deplete the natural resource (like coal).
  7. A ‘green’ process should reduce the number of steps, and therefore the need for intermediate products.
  8. Reagents that can be used again and again (called catalytic reagents) should be used instead of those that are needed in large quantities (stoichiometric reagents).
    A ‘green’ chemical product should be designed so that when it is not needed, it can break down into harmless chemicals.
  9. A ‘green’ process should allow for monitoring and control in order to prevent the formation of hazardous substances.
  10. A ‘green’ substance or process should not carry a risk for a chemical accident, such as a fire or leak of dangerous substance.

You can see that green chemistry has many challenges ahead of it. To encourage scientists, many countries offer prizes for new technologies that follow these principles. These include the US, UK, Australia, Japan and Canada. In India, the pioneer of Green Chemistry is the Tata Chemicals Innovation Centre in Pune.

Advances in Green Chemistry
A few technical advancements have been made so far. One of the most important is the use of ‘dry media reactions’. In this, the reagents are embedded in a dry material, rather than dissolved in a solvent. The matrix can be recycled after the reaction is over, thus eliminating what would otherwise have been a huge waste of solvent.

A company called NatureWorks has developed a new packaging material called polylactic acid (PLA,its CAS number is 26100-51-6) using the above principles. The advantage of PLA is that it is not wasteful to make, and can be recycled. If you forget to recycle it and throw it away instead, it is degraded by bacteria into harmless substances.

How can you do?
You too, can make a contribution to green chemistry by taking a small pledge, when you do your chemistry practicals. Use as little of the chemicals you need; Don’t pour hazardous substances down the sink, dispose it through the correct methods; Work out the reaction carefully in your notebook before you do it in the lab; If your reaction needs heating or cooling, do it for the minimum time needed; If you follow the pledge, you’ll not only have a greener experience, but a safer and more scientific one too.

Tyrian Purple of Kings

Nowdays, clothes of different colours cost almost the same. But did you know that a few generations ago, the cost depended on the colour of the cloth? This was because dyes were expensive to obtain. Tyrian Purple was a dye so expensive that only kings could afford it!

Born in the Purple
Tyrian Purple (also called Royal Purple) dyes clothes a deep purple shade. In ancient times, it was extracted from the Mediterranean sea snail (Murex brandaris).

After the snails are fished from the sea, the dye-bearing vein is extracted and crushed. For every hundred pounds of the juice, 20 ounces of salt are added, and left for three days. It is then set to boil slowly in vessels of tin [or lead], to concentrate the dye, for upto ten days. Then the cloth to be dyed is immersed into the boiling mixture. The boiling is continued until the cloth is dyed to the satisfactory shade. Red shades are considered inferior to blackish ones. Finally the cloth is left to soak until it has fully imbibed the colour.

Worth its weight in silver
It is said that it took 12,000 snails to produce just 1.4 grams of this dye. Because of this, it was so expensive, that the historian Theopompus reported that, “Purple for dyes fetched its weight in silver”. Yet, there was a craze for this dye as a status symbol. In fact the Emperors of Byzantium made a law forbidding anybody from using it except themselves. The expression ‘born in the purple’ rose from this practice.

Dyes ancient, Dyes modern
Until modern times, all dyes were made in a similar manner. For example, cochineal (which gives a crimson colour) was made from the scale insect Kermes vermilio. To make one pound of dye, 70,000 insect bodies were boiled, dried, powdered and boiled again in ammonia. The red dye was then extracted by filtration and precipitation by alum. Indigo was extracted from leaves of the indigo plant (Indigofera tinctoria). Leaves were soaked in water and fermented to produce the blue dye. This was then precipitated using lye (sodium hydroxide), dried and powdered. To make just a 100 g of dye, you’d need to grow 37 square metres of crop – that’s why it was also called ‘Blue Gold’!

In 1909, Paul Friedlander discovered the chemical structure of Tyrian Purple (now called 6,6-dibromoindigo). But by then, the nature of the dye industry had completely changed. New dyes were now being made from the by-products of coal extraction. The first of these was mauveine, synthesised by the British chemist William Henry Perkin from coal tar in 1856. As these dyes were cheaper and offered a wider range of colours, the need for natural dyes disappeared. And that’s why the clothes we buy today and no longer priced on the basis of colour!

The Significance Indigo To India’s History

Well, we know chemistry influences the world. But did you know the curious history of a chemical accident – that’s tied to India’s struggle for independence?

The Blue Gold
Indigo is a blue dye which comes from the indigo (neel) plant grown in India. For
the East India Company (and later the British Raj), it was one of the most profitable commodities that it bought in India and sold in Europe. It was so valuable as a dye that it was called ‘blue gold’.

A lot of Indigo was grown in Champaran district in Bihar. The conditions for the farmers were cruel. They had no land of their own and leased land from zamindars. In return every farmer had to grow indigo compulsorily on 3/20th of the land (for which he was not paid), or pay a penalty of Rs. 100/- (called tawan). But they got nothing in return – the profits went entirely to the zamindars and the British.

A thermometer breaks, prices fall
The British controlled the entire trade in indigo. Other European countries
resented this. The giant German chemical company BASF poured in 18 million marks over several years to find a cheap way to make indigo.

A promising method was to make it from a material called phthallic anhydride (PA). PA is in turn obtained from naphthalene, which is present in large amounts in tar. But the method was not cheap.

In 1896, a technician called Eugene Sapper (sadly, not much is known about him) was trying to make PA by boiling naphthalene with strong H2SO4. While trying to measure the temperature, his hand slipped and the thermometer broke. The mercury in it reacted to form mercuric sulphate, which immediately acted as a catalyst. He got a much larger amount of PA than expected!

BASF quickly realised what this meant. More PA from the reaction meant cheaper PA, which meant cheaper indigo. Cheaper indigo meant that European countries did not need natural Indian indigo anymore. Over time, they stopped buying from the British, and even sold it to textile mills.

The Champaran Satyagraha
Natural indigo started making huge losses to zamindars. But they passed on these
losses to the farmers because they could still collect tawan. This drove the farmers deeper into poverty, as they had to sell their homes and other possessions to pay off the tawan. Many of them became so poor that they abandoned their homeland to become labourers in sugarcane plantations in Fiji, Trinidad and Mauritius.

In 1916-17, Mohandas Gandhi visited Champaran and understood the conditions of the farmers. He immediately went on a satyagraha asking the colonial government to stop the nasty practice. Instead, the British arrested him. Hundreds of thousands of people in India joined his protest, shaking the British government. It finally conceded, abolished tawan and gave more control over land to farmers.

The success of the Champaran Satyagraha showed that the struggle for independence could be achieved through truth and non-violence. Thirty years later, India was free.

Cream Of Tartar In Kitchen

 

Why are tarts and pastries made in bakeries so much smoother than when we make them at home? That’s because they use a secret ingredient – cream of tartar.

 

Uses in the kitchen

 

Chemists have another name for cream of tartar – they call it potassium hydrogen tartarate. It is a white, sour-tasting crystalline powder, and has many uses in the kitchen.

 

When you beat egg white, it produces foam that traps air. This is what helps make pastry light and fluffy. But the foam can break up, so bakers add a pinch of cream of tartar. This prevents the foam from collapsing. This helps the pastry remain smooth throughout.

 

Cream of tartar has many other uses too. If you make sugar syrup (for use with gulab jamuns, rasgullas etc), add a pinch of cream of tartar. That will prevent the sugar from crystallizing out of the syrup. Mixed with potassium chloride, it can serve as a substitute for salt. This is useful for people who have high blood pressure and should not take sodium.

 

If you add a pinch while boiling vegetables, it helps them keep their colour. This is because vegetable pigments are very sensitive to changes in pH. Cream of tartar acts a buffering agent, i.e. it prevents the pH from changing.

 

What do you do if you run out of baking powder, and the shops are closed? You can make your own with baking soda and cream of tartar(also known as Potassium bitartrate). When baking a cake, you can add a pinch each of these powders and mix well. The two chemicals react to form carbon dioxide in the oven, which causes the dough to rise. Baking soda alone will not work, as it needs an acid to activate it.

 

Cleaning agent

 

Cream of tartar is also a good rust remover. To use it, mix it with hydrogen peroxide and apply it on metallic objects. You can mix it with vinegar and use that mix to clean copper or brass utensils.Isn’t it a good chemical to have around the house?


Why Do Old Books Turn Yellow?

When you go into a big library, you’ll see many old books that have become yellow and brittle. Why did that happen? You may once wondered that, let’s find out the reason.

Make your own ancient treasure map
Draw a treasure map on a sheet of paper. Meanwhile, ask mom or dad to make you a cup of
black tea (without milk or sugar). Pour the tea onto a plate, place your map in it and let it soak overnight. In the morning, take out the map carefully and let it dry in the sun. Does it now have an ancient, yellow effect? Show it to your friends and tell them that an ancient pirate gave it to you!

Lignin and paper
As we know, paper is made from wood. Wood is in turn made of carbohydrates like cellulose
and lignin. Lignin is a very complicated molecule that adds hardness to wood. More the lignin, hardier is the wood. However, in paper it is a problem. Over time, lignin breaks down to form many phenolic acids, which are yellow in colour. These acids then react with cellulose. This causes the paper to become very brittle.

That’s what happened when you put the map in tea. There was tannic acid in the tea, which reacted with the acid in the paper.

How to make books last
William Barrow was a librarian in the 1930s, who was very interested in knowing how to
preserve old books (perhaps some of them had old treasure maps!) He was the one who discovered that it was the acid from lignin that caused it.

Since then, paper manufacturers remove lignin from the wood pulp before it is made into paper. These require additional chemical reactions. In addition, the paper is made alkaline by adding calcium bicarbonate. If any lignin is left in the paper, when it forms acid, the calcium bicarbonate will immediately react with it and ‘neutralise’ it. This kind of paper is called acid-free paper.

All this makes the paper expensive. Things like newspapers, tickets, notebooks etc are therefore not printed on it. But all books nowadays are printed on acid-free paper.

What Is Aqua Regia?

Sometimes you may have seen an old gold ornament at home that has got spots or other signs of age. Your parents may take it to a ‘polisher’ to get it cleaned and polished. But did you know that the polisher actually removes a layer of gold?

You may have seen the video on aqua regia – the chemical that can dissolve gold. Gold is a ‘noble metal’. That means it will not react with anything ordinarily. It was so named because it can dissolve the so-called royal, or noble metals, although tantalum, iridium, and a few other metals are able to withstand it. But in jewellery it is actually alloyed with copper or silver, which tarnish over time.

Aqua regia (Latin for “royal water”) is a highly corrosive, fuming yellow or red solution. The chemical is very powerful and can dissolve gold within minutes. That’s because the nitric acid and the hydrochloric acid in it act together (They cannot dissolve gold by themselves). The nitric acid converts a tiny amount of gold metal to gold ions. These ions react immediately with the chloride ions from the hydrochloric acid. This causes even more gold atoms to turn into gold ions, and the reaction speeds up.

You should not clean gold ornaments with aqua regia. Aqua regia dissolves gold, even though neither constituent acid will do so alone, because, in combination, each acid performs a different task. Sadly, many people use it, claiming to be ‘gold cleaners’ or ‘gold polishers’. However, they are not being honest with you. They dip your gold ornaments for a little while in a solution of aqua regia, rinse them with water and give them back to you. The gold looks new and polished.

In truth, the aqua regia (the CAS number is 8007-56-5) has actually eaten up a few top layers of the gold. It is so thin that you won’t notice. But in a day’s work, ‘polishing’ hundreds of ornaments for unsuspecting people, a ‘polisher’ may remove quite a few grams of gold. He can then precipitate the gold using sodium bicarbonate.

To clean gold jewellery, all you really need is hot water, some soap and a toothbrush. That’s because most stains on gold jewellery are just dirt, which will go off with soap (But don’t do this if there are gemstones in the ornament, for soap water can leave stains on them). If they persist however, it is best that you take your ornaments to a professional jeweller for polishing.

The Facts About Kohl Pencils

Women decorate their eyes with kohl and it definitely looks good as it lends a definition to the eyes and makes them look more beautiful. But have you ever thought how this kohl evolved? Let us discover…

Have you noticed Jack Sparrow, the famous pirate character from “The Pirates of Caribbean”, being played by Johnny Depp? Jack Sparrow outlines his eyes with dark kohl and his look in the film is definitely distinct and leaves a mark on the audience. Almost every actress faces the camera with kohl applied on her eyes? Kohl helps in defining the eyes and sans this application, our eyes look empty and sad.

Women decorate their eyes with kohl and it definitely looks good as it lends a definition to the eyes and makes them look more beautiful. But have you ever thought how this kohl evolved? Let us find out.

History
The kohl finds its roots to ancient times. The word “kohl” literally means to brighten the eyes. The kohl was used by the Egyptians around 4000 B C E. Both men and women used to make a paste of lead sulphide and antimony sulphide and apply it around their eyes. The Egyptians believed that by applying kohl to their eyes, they could guard their eyes from eye disease, ward off evil spirits and also protect their eyes from the sun.

The Egyptians also believed that kohl helps in highlighting their eyes and attention was paid to their eyes. Kohl helps in adding depth and intensity to one’s eyes.

How are Kohl pencils made?
Different countries practice different methods to prepare kohl. In Egypt, women lighten the lead sulphide using white carbonate of lead. Kohl is then made from the soot of sunflower seeds, almond shells and by perfuming it with frankincense.

Another way of preparing kohl practiced by the Egyptians is by pounding lead sulphide with gum and frankincense. This mixture is then mixed with goose fat and cow dung. The mixture is then burnt. Lead oxide gets released when the mixture is burnt. The by-product obtained from burning the mixture is then mixed with milk and fresh rainwater. This is again pounded with mortar. The result is fine black coloured powder. The powder needs to be as soft as velvet to be around the soft skin of your eyes.

In India, lamp black and lead are the main ingredients used during the preparation of kohl. Kohl contains many heavy metals, lead and antimony.

Today, kohl is available in many forms. You get kohl in the form of liquid and are called as eyeliner; you get kohl in the form of pencils and also in paste form. People buy the form which they are comfortable with. Companies press this powder in between soft cedar wood and give it a form of kohl pencil. For eyeliner, this mixture is liquefied and is filled in opaque bottles. They come with a small brush as an applicator. For wax based kohl, wax is mixed with the powder and this lends a smoother finish compared to the rest.

Definitely, eyes speak a million words than our mouth. So go ahead, give your eyes that dramatic look and make sure you grab attention.

Why Is Sulfuric Acid So Functional?

Sulfuric acid is involved, in some way or the other, in the manufacture of practically everything, such as petrol, fertilizers, cars and soaps. They, like a lot of other things, require sulfuric acid to be made. That’s why sulfuric acid is called the king of chemicals.

On earth, sulfuric acid does not exist in a natural form. But on the planet Venus, there’s plenty of it. There are lakes of the acid, which evaporate to form clouds, which then rain sulfuric acid upon the Venerean surface. Indeed, the production of sulfuric acid is sometimes used as a measure of how industrially advanced a country is. India produces about 48 lakh tonnes of this acid a year.

Sulfuric acid is often stored in concentrated form. When diluting it, never pour water into the acid. That will make the whole thing explode. Instead keep crushed ice (made from pure water) in a large beaker, and pour the acid onto it, drop by drop. The ice absorbs the heat of the reaction, so it won’t explode. When the ice melts, you get dilute sulfuric acid.

Large amounts of sulfuric acid is used to clean up rust from steel rolls. These cleaned up rolls are used to make cars, trucks, as well as household appliances. It is used to make aluminium sulfate, which is needed for making paper. It is used to make ammonium sulfate, a common fertilizer. Sulfuric acid is used in petroleum refining to make high-octane petrol, which burns efficiently. It is put in the lead-acid batteries of your car battery … well, it is used to make practically everything!

60% of all sulfuric acid produced is mixed with crushed phosphate rock to make phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid has two uses – to make phosphate fertilizers, and to make sodium triphosphate, which is a detergent.

Never handle sulfuric acid yourself. If you spill a drop on your hand, it will react with the tissue, burning it instantly. It also causes dehydration. Fumes of sulfuric acid can cause blindness, and damage the lungs if inhaled. In case you accidentally spill acid on yourself, wash it under a tap for fifteen minutes at least, so that even the tiniest drop is washed away.

Never pour it from the bottle, but always use a thick glass pipette with a rubber bulb. The best is to let your teacher handle it, while you stand aside and watch. Even dilute sulfuric acid is dangerous. When handling sulfuric acid, always wear thick gloves and a lab coat or apron. Never handle it on an open bench, but use it in a fume hood. 

The Histories Of Different Kinds Of Balloons

The colourful and beautiful balloons have always managed to enchant us. Every one of us loves balloons; no matter how old we are. The colourful balloons indeed manage to fascinate each one of us. Every celebration has balloons involved. No birthday parties or marriage parties are complete without balloons. But have you ever given a thought on how balloons came into existence? Let us find out.

Hot-air Balloons
Hot-air balloons were invented in the same year as gas or latex balloons. Brothers Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier were paper makers in France. One day, they noticed when their kitchen gas was lit; pieces of paper flew in the air due to hot air that was emitted from the gas. They decided to experiment with paper bags. In June 1782, they made a bag out of cloth which was lined with paper. The lit a fire underneath and the balloon floated for a mile and a half before landing.

In Paris, J A C Charles heard about this experiment and in August, he sent up a small balloon filled with hydrogen. Later in 1783, the first balloon carried two people and the balloon travelled 8 km for 25 minutes. Post this, today, the balloons have undergone lot of changes and man is in a position to fly just like the birds.

Gas Balloons
The word balloon finds its origin from the French word, “ballon” which means a huge ball. Also, the word balloon has other origins like Latin word “ballone” which again refers to a ball or from old German word “balla” which also means a ball.

It is believed that the first balloon was discovered by Bartolomeu de Gusmao and it made its first public appearance during an exhibition in Lisbon. Also, it is believed that the first rubber balloon was discovered by the famous scientist Micheal Faraday in 1824. Faraday filled the balloon with hydrogen gas and called it caoutchoucs.

However, it was found that helium atoms easily escaped from the pores of the cumene or rubber balloons and hence the balloons were later treated with polymer solution like hi-float gels to keep the gas intact for longer.

Later in 1970s, foil balloons were introduced wherein aluminised plastic films were found to be more durable and less permeable and also helped in keeping the helium gas from escaping. However, it was found that foil balloons were less flexible as compared to rubber balloons. 

Konw How Butanol Affects Our Life

Butanol is a flammable liquid that is used as a fuel and as an industrial solvent. Like gasoline, it is a hydrocarbon, meaning that it is composed of the chemical elements hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. Most internal combustion engines can burn butanol without experiencing problems, especially more modern engines. This fact has led to research into the use of it as a fuel additive and as an alternative fuel.

The interest in butanol as an alternative fuel stems in large part from the fact that it has certain significant advantages over ethanol. For instance, an engine which runs on this hydrocarbon will have an easier time starting in cold temperatures than one which uses ethanol. This is because of a chemical property called heat of vaporization. Fuel must be vaporized before it can be burned in an engine, and butanol can be vaporized more easily at low temperatures than ethanol. It is also much less evaporative than either gasoline or ethanol, and releases more energy than ethanol when burned.

These different chemical structures all have the same chemical formula and components, but have somewhat different properties. One of the isomers, known as tert-butanol, is actually a solid at room temperature, and therefore cannot be used as a fuel by itself. Because of the way it is structured on a molecular level, butanol is considered an alcohol. In practical terms, this means, among other things, that it is able to be dissolved in water, and that it is somewhat toxic, especially if its fumes are not properly contained or are not ventilated. It also exists in several slightly different forms, called isomers.

The production of butanol for fuel was traditionally accomplished by fermenting biomass, such as algae, corn, and other plant materials containing cellulose that could not be used for food and would otherwise go to waste. The fermentation process is facilitated mainly by a type of bacteria called Clostridium acetobutylicum. Oddly enough, these bacteria are rather closely related to those which cause botulism. Other microorganisms are also able to ferment these materials, and research into these types of production techniques is ongoing. More recently, most butanol has been produced industrially from fossil fuels.

Given the advantages of butanol over some other fuels, many wonder why it is not more widely used. The main reason is that the cost of producing and bringing it to the market results in a much higher cost to the consumer than the cost of gasoline, in many cases. Also, while it has a higher energy content than ethanol, it takes quite a bit more raw material to produce it. Some new developments, however, show some promise as being able to dramatically increase the yield of butanol through fermentation.

More Information About Alcohol

When we think of alcohol, the first thing that comes to our mind is drink… However, alcohol has better uses and is more than just a drink. Let us find out more about this important thing.

How is alcohol made?

Whether it is made as wine or beer, the method of production is essentially the same. A carbohydrate, such as starch or sugar, is broken down into glucose form and is then mixed with yeast and allowed to ferment for weeks or even months. Catalysts within the yeast then convert the glucose into alcohol and carbon dioxide thereby releasing the energy that the yeast needs in order to survive and grow.

Uses of Some Alcohols

Alcohols are not just drinks but are widely used as solvents. This is because of its ability to dissolve many substances that cannot be dissolved in water. Ethanediol (ethylene glycol), an alcohol, is used as anti-freeze, to prevent water from freezing in car radiators. The sweet tasting glycerol (glycerine) is an alcohol which is made as a by-product of the manufacture of soap from fats or oils. Ethanol has a boiling point which is similar to that of petrol. It burns very well with a clean flame, and can therefore be used as a fuel.

Oxidation of Alcohols

Alcohols react with organic acids to form substances called as esters, which are found in all living organisms. Animal fats and vegetable oils are examples of such esters. Many esters are sweet-smelling chemicals which are widely distributed among fruits. It is these that give a fruit its characteristic smell and flavour. Many esters are manufactured for use as food flavourings, while others are used as solvents. Ethyl ethanoate (also called as Ethyl acetate,the CAS No. is 141-78-6) for example is made from ethanol and ethanoic acid and is a common solvent for paints, glues and nail varnish.

Oxidation of alcohols to organic acids like vinegar is a two-stage process, the intermediate compound being an aldehyde. Methanol, for example, is oxidised to methanal (formaldehyde), and is used to preserve dead biological specimens and organs for use in scientific research. The oxidation of methanal produces methanoic (formic) acid, which is responsible for the stings of ants and nettles.

Super Thin and Strong Graphene-based Circuits

Integrated circuits, which are in everything from coffeemakers to computers and are patterned from perfectly crystalline silicon, are quite thin—but Cornell researchers think they can push thin-film boundaries to the single-atom level.

Their materials of choice are graphene, single atom-thick sheets of repeating carbon atoms, and hexagonal boron nitride, similarly thin sheets of repeating boron and nitrogen atoms. Researchers led by Jiwoong Park, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology, have invented a way to pattern single atom films of graphene and boron nitride, an insulator, without the use of a silicon substrate. The work is detailed in an article in the journal Nature, published online Aug. 30.

The technique, which they call patterned regrowth, could lead to substrate-free, atomically thin circuits—so thin, they could float on water or through air, but with tensile strength and top-notch electrical performance.

As it turns out, researchers’ patterned regrowth, which harnesses the same basic photolithography technology used in silicon wafer processing, allows graphene and boron nitride to grow in perfectly flat, structurally smooth films—no creases or bumps, like a well-knitted scarf—which, if combined with the final, yet to be realized step of introducing a semiconductor material, could lead to the first atomically thin integrated circuit.

Simple really is beautiful, especially in the case of thin films, because photolithography is a well-established technique that forms the basis for making integrated circuits by laying materials, one layer at a time, on flat silicon.

The research team, which includes David A. Muller, professor of applied and engineering physics, is working to determine what material would best work with graphene boron nitride thin films to make up the final semiconducting layer that could turn the films into actual devices.

The team was helped by already being skilled at making graphene—still relatively new in the materials world—as well as Muller’s expertise in electron microscopy characterization at the nanoscale. Muller helped the team confirm that the lateral junctions of the two materials were, indeed, smooth and well connected.

The science behind soda water

We all love to have a sip of our favourite soft drink when we are thirsty, especially in summers. And we also love to have a little fizz in it. This fizz is the bubbly effervescence that is produced by adding pressurized carbon dioxide gas to water. It’s also called carbonated water or just soda water.

The first soda
Joseph Priestley was the first person to invent soda water. He suspended a bowl of water over a beer vat in a brewery and patiently waited to see what happened. Soon the bowl of water was fizzing with carbon dioxide released from the fermentation of beer. And that was how soda was born. However, it was only in the later part of the 19th century that soda water was introduced as a popular soft drink.

Flavoured soda drinks
Eugene Roussel, a Frenchman in Philadelphia, was the first person to popularize flavoured soda soft drinks. He set up a small counter in the perfume shop that he owned and offered customers glasses of orange, cherry, lemon, teaberry, ginger, peach and root beer flavoured soda water. And since the people who started producing soda water were chemists, this product was easily available in medical shops in the United States.

The chemistry of soda
When carbon dioxide is mixed in water it forms carbonic acid. To this, salts like sodium bicarbonate (food grade, the CAS number is 144-55-8) are added to reduce the amount of acidity in the drink. Sodium and other metallic salts are used to neutralise the acidic flavour of the drinks.

Today, soda water is made by sending pressurized carbon dioxide through water. The high pressure allows more carbon dioxide to dissolve than it would normally be possible. The soda is then packed into an airtight bottle. When this pressurized bottle is opened, the gas rises to the top bubbling. And if you shake the bottle before opening, the soda will spill out splashing all over, when opened.

What Are The Uses of Zircon?

Zircon is a semiprecious brittle stone found around the world that is located in metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous rocks. As the oldest stone on earth, it was once considered an alternative for the diamond. Ground into fine sands, it also has industrial uses in the manufacture of ceramics, glass, metals and chemicals.

History
As the ICA states, “Hindu poets tell of the Kalpa Tree, the ultimate gift to the gods, a
glowing tree covered in gemstone fruit with leaves of zircon.” The oldest known object on earth is a tiny zircon that was located in Western Australia and is 4.404 billion years old, claims the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). The name is believed to have come from the Persian word zargun, which means “gold-colored” or jargoon, which is the name given to certain varieties of the substance.

Features
Its chemical name is zirconium silicate and its corresponding chemical formula is
ZrSiO4. It is a neosilicate, meaning that it is a silicate mineral that has isolated SiO4 tetrahedra, which are only connected through ionic bonds. When pure, zircon is colorless, but when other chemicals are introduced to it during its formation, zirconium silicate can become colored.

Exposure to sunlight may also even cause this change in color. It commonly is found with other stones, such as granite, sapphire and limestone. Its hardness on the Mohs scale is about 7.5. Some colors are black, yellow, brown, red and pink. Certain colors of this product may have different names.

Sources
Zircon can often be found with sapphires in Western Australia. It can also be found in
Norway, the Rhine area, Central France, Russia, Canada and Tasmania. The substance is frequently mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand. In the United States, zirconium silicate can be located in New York and North Carolina.

Ceramics
Zircon ceramics often serve as protective coatings on metals. Most products get ground
by processors into sands of varying grain size. Ceramics manufacturers make the most overall use of zirconium silicate, employing the finest sands to give their products high strength and high resistance to heat. Additionally, powdered zircon in ceramic glazes gives them an opaqueness that allows colors to stay fixed in varying light.

Jewelry
The famed cubic zirconium is a manufactured type of this compound. The natural mineral
can also be cut, polished and set as a gemstone. According to the Zircon Minerals Council, roughly 12 percent of mined product becomes jewelry, although some of the crystals have to be heated to destroy the trace radioactive elements they contain.

Dow’s Water-based Adhesive Received The Jung Innovation Award

On July 19, 2012, line ROBOND L-95D, the new member of water-based adhesives product that the Dow’s research developed, received the Ringier Technology Innovation Award.

Dow is pleased to offer a complete line of water-based dry bond laminating adhesives, the ROBOND L series, which meet a wide range of laminating adhesive needs, from general purpose label applications, to flexible laminations for food packaging, to applications requiring improved heat and chemical resistance. These products are VOC compliant, thus eliminating concerns around certain solvent-based chemistries.

The water-based single-component adhesive-epoxy(the CAS number is 61788-97-4 ) was debeloped together by the R & D center that Located in the U.S. and the technical center in Shanghai, adopting the Dow’s unique acrylic emulsion technology, eliminating the premixing process, completely avoiding the solvent emissions and significantly improve workplace safety, but also significantly improve the production efficiency of the processing enterprises. The product is suitable for both aluminized and transparent film substrate.

ROBOND L Generation 2 adhesives offer greater bond strength and chemical resistance to proceed to immediate slitting after the lamination. With excellent laminating performance even on CPP films and laminate constructions with aluminum foil, this new generation of adhesives is suitable for a broad range of substrates including films, foils, and paper. The laminations also endure pasteurization and aggressive filling goods, such as coffee or sauces.

Japan’s TDK Produced Ferrite Magnet That Off Rare Earth

The “Japanese Economic News” recently reported, TDK company in Japan (the original Japanese electrical chemical industrial company) developed the ferrite magnets that off rare earth, and planed to produce on April 2013. It also expected that the production will account for 40% of the total production of magnets.

This new type of ferrite magnet is not added the rare earth lanthanum (La, 7439-91-0) and the rare metal cobalt oxide (CoO, and the CAS number is 1307-96-6), but by the fine crushing of the magnetic body particlesand other new technology, it can also be able to achieve the same high performance standards of the rare earth magnet. The product can be an be widely used in automotive electric chair, electric windows, electric mirrors, small and medium-sized motors, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and other white goods area.

The advantages of this new magnet can be concluded as the following: it is not subject to dramatic influence changes of the rare earth price; low prices and stable supply. It is expected that Japanese electronics companies that with production and sales of white goods for emerging markets will widely use this material.

English Successfully Used Discarded Tires To Extract Carbon Black

Recently, three British inventors extract the carbon black from discarded tires. The carbon black, which has low price, may be used as a printing ink coloring of special carbon black substitutes.

The method can be generalized as the following: Isolated from the air, getting carbon black, steel and silica mixture after pyrolysising the in the condition of high temperature 800 ℃. Baking after magnetic separation and screening, the semi-pure charcoal powder is produced. And then washing it by using hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, you can get the black printing ink with carbon black (also known as Acetylene black or lamp black). Compared with conventional furnace black production process, the pyrolysis process does not emit carbon dioxide.

The Production Status and Future Pattern of Coke In The World

Since the 1980s, accompanied by the United States, Japan and other developed Western countries moved into the period of industrialization, the worldwide steel industry also had a steady but slow growth period. Especially after the 1990s, in the economic and environmental considerations, many EU member states closed a large number of the operation of coke oven and changed to import cheap coke, coke’s production in the world has a negative growth.

Until 2002, driven by the strong economic growth of the “BRIC” emerging market countries, the worldwide steel industry entered into a new growth cycle. The coke industry increasingly restored and then showed a good posture of the production and demand booming and the equilibrium in the market.

In recent years, Chinese consumption structure has been upgraded, and its industrialization and urbanization process also has been accelerated, leading to the rapid development of coke industry and the rapid expansion of production capacity in domestic. Today, China has become the world’s coke-producing countries. Global production of this substance was up to 690 million tons in 2011. In the same year, China’s coke(also known as 1-Cocaine, the CAS number is 50-36-2) production totaled 428 million tons, increased approximately 11% compared to last year. The output accounted for about 60 percent of the world coke production in the world’s absolute leader.

Amoung the proportion of coke production in various regions of the world, Asia, Europe and the CIS are still the main producing areas of the world coke, the sum of its coke production accounted for the proportion of the world’s coke output reached 89.54%, but in Europe the proportion has declined, while the proportion in Asia increased significantly .

Mercury Posoning To Huamnbeings

Mercury, also known as quicksilver with the chemical label Hg, is one of only four metals that stay liquid at room temperature and is easily absorbed through the skin. Used for centuries in the medical industry, is has now become known as an environmental hazard and raised concerns about its use in industrial settings. It is a neuro-toxin that can severely damage the human nervous system and brain.

Together with lead, mercury causes thousands of poisonings a year, almost all of which come from broken thermometers and simple household items such as broken fluorescent light bulbs and certain latex paints. Many fungicides and pesticides also contain the element. There are several drugs and common vaccines that contain small amounts of it as an essential ingredient. It is also present in electrical switches, certain art supplies, blood pressure cuffs, and dental amalgams. If you’re interested in finding out more about them, you can visit the United States Food and Drug Administration Website for a full list.

Mercury poisoning is less prevalent than it was in those bad old days, but can still be a concern. The disease was commonly seen in hat-makers in the 18th century, since a Hg compound was widely used in making felt. Unaware of the danger of skin absorption of this chemical, hatters handled the felt, and over a period of time, went insane from the poisoning. This gave rise to the phrase “mad as a hatter,” which in turn led to Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter character. The most common source of high levels of it today is consumption of mercury-contaminated fish.

The presence of mercury (CAS number is 7439-97-6) in the water causes a double problem, since it eventually builds up in fish that are eventually consumed by people. As a result, many types of fish now contain levels of Hg dangerous enough to be considered a serious hazard. In fact, methylmercury is now one of the main causes of the poisoning in humans. The element is released into the environment by several processes, including coal burning and the disposal of hazardous wastes.

The human body can not, unaided, process and remove it from the brain and nervous system. Therefore, in cases of its poisoning, radical therapies are required to eliminate the contaminant. Chelation therapy is the therapy currently used, in which chelating agents are introduced. Chelating agents can form bonds with the poisonous heavy metals, and then the compound created can be eliminated. In addition, it is dangerous to humans because it’s still being used in many aspects of daily life. By reducing it presence, it may be possible to also reduce its effects.

The Ingredients Of Expensive Lotion Is Only Water?

According to Beijing Youth Daily news, recently Evian, Avene and other lotions were ridiculeed by the British media. They said that the ingredients of these lotion is just water, while their price were more expensive than oil. The beauty experts then ridiculed this assertion and said that the lotion is for skin, is not the water simplely for the vehicle tank.

British “Sun” recently put gun pointed at lotion water in cosmetics. The report showed that these lotions were known as providing fresh feeling for the skin, but most of the components was water. If converted in accordance with the capacity, the price of these make-up water is 60 times that of gasoline (CAS NUMBER: 86290-81-5). Brands including Evian and Avene were named.

British media reported that in order to confuse the public, some cosmetic companies deliberately did not list the ingredients of lotions, instead of using “aqua”, which is actually the Latin name of water.

However, there are also beauty experts in China saying that, most of the cosmetics are synthetic chemical products, people should not simply just look at the ingredient list. “If in accordance with the understanding of these people, the diamond wore on woman hands is just a bunch of carbon only.”