Essay On Scientific Summary Of Superconducting Seaweed
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Scientific Summary of Superconducting Seaweed
Biopolymers are natural macromolecules, which are produced by living organisms. Biopolymers are polymers having monomeric units that are bonded covalently to produce larger structures. They are used in information storage and transfer, and are also helpful in giving structure, strength, and flexibility to the natural substances. They have also been used in protection. Biopolymers are of different types. These are neutral polysaccharides such as amylase (starch), anionic polysaccharides such as alginate, polyphenols such as lignin, polypeptides such as gelatin, and cationic polysaccharides such as chitosan. Gels are made of double helical filamentous structures in which water is incorporated.
Alginate or alginic acid is an anionic polysaccharide found in the cell walls of different organisms such as brown algae, where it forms a gum with the help of water. Alginate has the ability to absorb water quickly in the extracted variety. It has the ability to absorb 200 to 300 times more water than its own weight. It is present in different colors ranging from white to the yellow color as well as yellowish-brown. It has different forms such as granular, filamentous, and powdered forms. Alginates are linear copolymers having several monomers. Sodium alginate is the sodium salt of alginic acid that is a gum obtained from the cell walls of brown seaweed. It is used in a different industries such as textile printing, food industry, and pharmaceutical industry. Dental impression objects use alginate to form gels. Alginate is safe both in the food as well as skin related products. Calcium alginate is also a form of alginate that is made from sodium alginate by removing sodium with calcium. Alginate beads can also be made by replacing calcium with barium (Ba2+), Strontium (SR2+) (Morch, et al., 2006), magnesium (Mg2+), cobalt (Co2+), iron (Fe3+), and nickel (Ni2+). Due to the gelation ability of alginate to the divalent cations as, for example, Ca2+, it can be used for encapsulation and cell immobilization. Industrial varieties of alginates are obtained from seaweeds such as Ascophyllum nodosum and the the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera. Two genera of bacteria are also able to produce alginates. These are Azotobacter and Pseudomonas (Remminghorst, and Rehm, 2009)
Yttrium Barium Copper Oxide (YBa2Cu4O7) belongs to the family of crystalline chemical compounds having high temperature superconductivity. It is the first compound found to have superconducting nature above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen. It is prepared by the combination of Y3+, Ba2+, and Cu2+, along with alginate beads and heating the solution to 920˚C forming a gel. YBa2Cu4O7 is made up of layers having CuO2 planes and CuO4 ribbons. Superconducting materials such as YBa2Cu4O7 are used as magnets in magnetic levitation and magnetic resonance imaging.
Superconducting seaweeds can be among the best examples of green chemistry that is based on the optimal use of natural products. These seaweeds are able to perform an important physicochemical process, i.e. transmission of electricity without any resistance, thereby resulting in faster and efficient electricity. They can also help in encompassing delicate complexities of technology as, for example, networks and helices. Much work has already been done by nature that can efficiently be used by human beings. Superconducting properties can reduce the cost of producing electricity by 60%, and in case of superconducting seaweeds, simple chemistry along with cheap products can make superconducting materials really cheap for larger availability, thereby further reducing the cost of electricity.
Morch, Y. A., Donati, I., Strand, B. L. and Skjak-Braek, G. 2006. Effect of Ca2+, Ba2+, and Sr2+ on alginate microbeads. Biomacromolecules, 7, 1471-80.
Remminghorst, U. and Rehm, B. H. 2009. Microbial production of alginate: Biosynthesis and applications. Microbial Production of Biopolymers and Polymer Precursor: Applications and Perspectives.
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