Synthetic Ivory

Topics: Chemistry, Polymer, Chemical compound Pages: 1 (325 words) Published: July 13, 2013
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In a time of limited resources, and with the population of the human race increasing at an alarming rate, demand for products will be at an all time high. This is why synthetic resources will become of great importance in the near future. For instance, ivory is high in price and involves the hunting of an endangered species, the elephant, this is why creating a synthetic form of this material would not only make it more affordable, it would also help preserve wildlife. A synthetic substance is defined as something that is not natural or genuine. Recently a Texas chemist, Orlando Battista, discovered a way to create synthetic ivory by mixing microcrystalline cellulose, calcium phosphate, and a special gelatin and then letting the concoction dry at room temperature for 10 weeks. Microcrystalline cellulose is a term used for refined wood pulp. In a chemist’s point of view, ivory is a compound of polymeric material and minerals, therefore by using polymer chemistry creating synthetic ivory is made possible. Polymeric material is defined as a material that is composed of many large molecules, which have been created from the chemical bonding of smaller substances. These large molecules are usually based on carbon. Thus, polymer chemistry is a science that deals with the chemical synthesis and chemical properties of polymers.

In my opinion synthetic ivory will deplete or even cease the hunting of elephants, therefore aiding in the protection of animals and the environment. I believe this topic to be extremely important to not only our future as a species, but also of great significance to moving forward technologically in a “greener” way. This being because, the reason why many companies do not want to lean towards creating “greener” products is because they do not want to lose money. However, with the creation of synthetic products, such as ivory, they will realise that they help the environment while also making more of a profit.
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