The famous philosopher of the 16th century, Sir Francis Bacon, defined science as a blessing that enriches human health and welfare with new products and methods.This laid foundation for importance of chemistry. The technology of the 20th century and the next century is a product of scientific discoveries. And most of these discoveries have left their mark on every stage of our lives.
Uses of chemicals in daily life:
When we order a hamburger, fries or soft drinks, do we really know what we’re ordering? This appetizing smell, that eye-catching color, where does the flavor come from? How was the consistency in the spilling of ketchup? The secret behind each of these is chemistry.
In fact, our nutrients include proteins, fats,
carbohydrates, plants and animal nutrients, vitamins and some
minerals. But nutrients have a feature far beyond these. Many
chemicals are used in the production of herbal products. Therefore, many
basic nutritional properties of the crop collected from the field are
lost. For example, when wheat becomes flour, it loses most of the minerals
in it and only starch remains. Most of the vitamins disappear when the
fruits are peeled and cooked.
Many additives are added to the nutrients to restore nutrient power and prevent disease.
One of the first examples of this is potassium iodide, which is added to the salt in 1924 to prevent goiter (a disease) which causes swelling of thyroid glands. The addition of vitamin D to milk has been a preventive practice for rickets disease, which causes deformation of the bones. Iron and vitamin B, which is added to our foods made from dough like bread, also increases the nutritional power of the flour.
Many chemical additives are used in the food industry in order to ensure that foods are more delicious, smell better, more durable and solidify. Moreover, we find answers to questions such as how astronomers feed in space and how to keep their bodies healthy in chemical products.
Importance of chemistry in medicine:
Humanity has chewed or swallowed medicines made from plant extracts for thousands of years to get rid of illnesses and pains. In the mid-1800s, revolutionaries engaged in chemistry found that the willow tree bark contained salicylic acid. In 1899, Bayer, Germany, started to produce aspirin from salicylic acid.
Before the 1930’s, infectious diseases were the main cause of death. Flu, plague, scarlet fever affected almost the entire city in a few weeks. But by the antibiotics developed by chemists in the 1960’s, a significant proportion of lethal diseases were brought under control. Penicillin and tetracycline are used in chemical laboratories to synthesize molds and bacteria.
Scientists are able to change many organisms through chemistry to produce more drugs than can be obtained from nature. They can produce synthetic microorganisms that can replace even human hormones and enzymes. Can you imagine that the bacterium has become a health drug?
Chemistry in cleaning Procedures:
What is soap? Soap is obtained from the mixture of animal oil or coconut, olive, cottonseed oil with sodium hydroxide. The resulting soap molecule consists of two parts. The head part which mixes with water and the tail section which fuses rapidly with oil and dirt consisting of carbon. Most of the dirt that does not come out with simple water is composed of oily or dirt mixed with the oil of our skin. Soap this fat mixture of dirt when the tail of the soap molecule combines with this greasy dirt, the head of the molecule remains on top with water. Friction breaks the dirt layer in the skin into small pieces, while soap molecules mix more easily between them and wrap them around the dirt to prevent them from adhering to the skin. Liquid soaps are characterized by being softer and forming a thinner layer.
Chemistry in clothing:
Until the 1900’s, most of the clothes were obtained from natural plant and animal products. Artificial silk fabric began to be used in England only in the 1900’s. Although man-made fabrics are produced by human beings, cellulose and plant fibers are used in production, it can be called a kind of cotton. In fact, man-made fibers are made from chemicals obtained from oil.
When a chemical molecule or monomer is formed into a long chain, giant molecules, which we call polymer, are formed. Many different products are obtained from the different composition of these polymers. The first man-made fiber was employed by DuPont in 1934. Nylon obtained by Wallace Carothers. The first bulk product made from nylon and put on the market at a cheap price was the nylon. Today, many different types of nylon garments, sails, parachutes, toys, brushes, even artificial human organs are produced.
It is a mixture of polyester alcohol, a polymer type, with organic acids. With its polyester shrinkage, it becomes waterproofs.
Coloring of fabrics with dye is also a separate chemical process. In 3000 BC, the Egyptians began to use paints from soil, plants and insects. In 1856, William Perkin, an 18-year-old student, found a human-made paint by chance. The first color he obtained was a light purple color.
Polymer Chemistry in daily life:
Among the substances produced by humans, the polymer, which we call plastic, has a special place. The first polymer was obtained from a change of cellulose in the late 1800’s. There are two types of plastic, depending on how they react when heated. Thermoplastic is the type that melts when heated and takes its new shape when it is cooled. In contrast, thermosetting plastic is a type of plastic that gains continuous hardness when formed.
Examples of polymer in daily life:
The most common form of thermoplastic type is nylon. Thin and lightweight polyethylene is used mostly in bags.
By replacing a hydrogen in the ethylene molecules with chlorine, the polyvinyl chloride is commonly known as vinyl is used to form Raincoats, unbreakable bottles, plaques, artificial leather and water pipes.
By changing the two hydrogen of ethylene, a plastic foil is used to pack the food.
If the four hydrogen of the ethylene molecule are replaced by chlorine, then Teflon is produced which is used in making of pots, artificial vessels and astronaut’s cloth that are used in space.
Glass Chemistry in daily life:
Glass was probably first produced by the Egyptians 5,000 years ago. Since then, there has been no change in raw materials such as sand silica, sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate. The safety glasses used in automobiles today are hardened by mixing a molten lithium compound. In some glasses, the photochromic glass with silver compound is used which darkens in color in sunlight and become clear in the dark. It is used in the construction of a high quality lens in a microscope and a microscopic glass camera.
Heat resistant glass is produced by using boron oxide instead of sand silica. Nickel-oxide is used in lamps produced for black lights. And many colored glass, such as glass used in mosque windows, are produced by the addition of selenium and zinc oxide.
Chemistry of iron & steel in daily life:
The use of Iron in our daily lives began with the melting of iron in 1000 BC. Iron remains important in the modern era. But scientists have been developing ways for creating new raw materials.
The resistance of steel, which is an iron and carbon alloy, depends on the amount of carbon in it. High carbon steel is used in making sharp cutters. However, it is possible to make the steel both lighter and more robust by replacing the carbon in it with other metals.
The science of chemistry has intensified its work on iron that are increasingly lightened while increasing strength and resistance. Nickel, chromium alloys are extremely resistant to destruction and corrosion caused by very high temperatures. Alloy of titanium with aluminum vanadium and molybdenum is used in high speed aircraft and satellites.
As we have seen, chemistry is an integral part of our daily lives. Our food, our garments and the raw material of thousands of materials are based on the chemical science. Chemistry is actually just a tool. It is a tool to get to know the world we live in and to reach the future we will live in greater prosperity.
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