In this article, we still talk about chemistry and the substance that is the subject of our story is called glucose. But instead of exploring the properties and uses of glucose, we focus on what is a beautiful page of applied scientific method, dated to the late nineteenth century and starring the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1902, the German chemist Emil Fischer, of which we see in a photograph reproduced here beside.
This article is the natural continuation of “A plastic of world…“published some time ago. At that time we did a roundup of the most important “traditional” plastics commonly used in for containers and packaging.
In this article we will look at the frontier of technology that deals with plastics.
“Would you exchange your detergent XYZ with two buckets of a detergent whatever it is?”.
This catchphrase has been with us for many years as an evidence of a race to the improvement of a product that increasingly has become the icon of the modern world, clean and increasingly distant from the natural environment.
The picture on the right gives us an idea of the proliferation of substances designed to remove dirt in the most varied situations. But what differs and what is common to all these products? And how did that come about?
Plastic is the generic name shared by a particularly large amount of materials that today have a wide and capillary diffusion and of which we have a daily experience, sometimes without even realizing it.
Plastics, just because they are distinguished in many groups and subgroups, are extremely versatile. This means that they can be used in many different situations.
If we think, for example, of the plastic used in our cars, probably the first application that comes to mind is the instrument panel and the dashboard. On a second thought, even the seats are covered with a plastic material, suitably transformed to become a fabric. Not to mention the padding, which is a plastic foam to become soft.
It’s more difficult to associate the plastic to the bodywork, that instinctively we catalog as metal, but that too, in hindsight, is plastic coated, being the paint yet another variation of this ubiquitous substance.