11 May 2015
Application Assignment #3 – Equilibrium and Electrochemistry
According to Chemicool chelation is the “formation or presence of bonds between two or more separate binding sites within the same ligand and a single central atom” (chemicool). Chelation therapy is a process in which reduction of toxic effects of metals within the human body take place. The agents often bind to the toxic ions and form structures that are then easily excreted. Most agents are made up of atoms like Sulphur, Nitrogen and Oxygen functioning as ligand atoms. As metals release toxic substances into the human body the need for an agent to try and reduce the toxicity for our well being is necessary. Most of the heavy are toxic such as lead, copper and zinc which accumulate in the human body. The process of chelation causes a chemical reaction involving a shift of equilibrium to remove the metals before the organs get permanently damaged. The shift in equilibrium occurs because when the agent is introduced to the body to try and reduce the effects, with the body being the system it tries to re-establish equilibrium by shifting from left to right.
Barium sulphate is usually made by a combination of a solution of the ions and salts of barium and sulphate. Barium being a heavy metal is highly toxic. In colour it is a white solid with a crystal structure. The reason that Barium sulphate salt is used is that the ions of Barium are opaque to x-rays and can absorb the rays much better than other compounds. Without it, the x-ray would not show our organs clearly because our digestive system is mainly composed of soft-tissue structures that don’t show up. Even though the ions are poisonous it is safe to use because the ions have been added into water and suspended. The compound of barium sulphate is nearly insoluble and it’s because of its very low solubility that makes it safe. Because it is nearly insoluble the body does not absorb the molecules. It is safe as when Barium Sulphate is introduced into the body the shift in equilibrium favours the products side shifting left to right as more barium ions and sulphate is produced. When the patient swallows the barium sulphate the barium ions stick with the suphate making it not lethal to humans as one would think.
According to How Stuff Works, the process of electroplating is of “coating a metal object with a thin layer of another metal by means of electrolysis. [It] is used to give metal objects a better appearance to protect them from corrosion, wear or rust” (science.howstuffworks.com). According to statistics from bcscta the Canadian loonie has been electroplated with 91.5% Nickel with an additional 8.5% bronze plating since the year 1987. The reason the original design was not used which was of two men in a canoe but when the mint sent for the master copy of the design to mint on the new dollar coin the design was lost in transit. The royal Canadian mint then used the design we know now submitted by a local Ontario citizen named Robert-Ralph Carmichael. Soon after Canadians started calling it a loonie for depicting a loon and the name has been used ever since.
According to HowStuffWorks, when electronic devices break ingredients such as “acid fumes, chlorine and sulfur dioxide” are released into the environment and “leftover acids and sludge are dumped into the river”. Researches in the Darthmouth Toxic Metals Research program made a list detailing what some of the effects may be. One of them is that arsenic can possibly stop the process that makes cells grow, contributing to a variety of illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. Cadmium metal can prevent metabolization and lead to weakened bones. Chromium that is in the