Using Catalysts to Manufacture Margarine
Uses of inorganic substances
Uses of inorganic substances
How nickel is used as a catalyst
Nickel is on the first row of the metal group on the periodic table at number 8, its periodic arrangement is as follow: 4s2 3d8
A catalyst is substance that changes the chemical rate of reaction; it usually changes it by speeding it up
Hydrocarbons are compounds that only contain hydrogen atoms and carbon atoms that have been joined together by some chemical bonds. The most common types of hydrocarbons are alkenes. A Saturated hydrocarbon is when the hydrocarbon only contains a single bond between carbon atoms. Alkenes are hydrocarbons that contain at least one double bond in at least two carbon atoms, this that is why they are unsaturated.
In the manufacture of margarine, people use nickel in hydrogenation of vegetable oils. Hydrogenation is when you add hydrogen to substances. Unsaturated vegetables oils can react with hydrogen at the temperature of 60 degrees if there is a nickel catalyst present.
In the manufacture of margarine, nickel catalyst is used as a hydrogenation process to get the right texture on the product (margarine). For example if you want a hard texture, you can raise the melting point of the oil used by hydrogenating it with the nickel catalyst. Factors like the temperature or the amount of time it takes for the hydrogen to go through the oil should be carefully controlled. This is so that most of the carbon-carbon double bonds are hydrogenated.
What are the properties and uses of nickel?
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Nickel is a good conductor of heat and electricity, it can be beaten and turned in a thin sheet. It has also a great resistance to rusting and corrosion which means that it does not react with oxygen in the air to form any kind of metal oxide.
Nickel when used with other elements is used in many ways for various things starting from cookware equipment, mobile phone, transport, building even power generation machines and many more. Its uses are spread because it has a great toughness, good strength at high and low temperatures, and it resistance to corrosion is better compared to other materials. Nickel alloys like stainless steel containing mostly nickel are often used for things like gas turbine and chemical plants.
In addition to this the above qualities, nickel is also used to make food like margarine where it is used as a catalyst for hydrogenation. In the manufacture of margarine, nickel catalyst is used as a hydrogenation process to get the right texture on the product (margarine). For example if you want a hard texture, you can raise the melting point of the oil used by hydrogenating it with the nickel catalyst. Factors like the temperature or the amount of time it takes for the hydrogen to go through the oil should be carefully controlled. This is so that most of the carbon-carbon double bonds are hydrogenated.
In the reactivity series, nickel is about halfway the group, compared to other metals, nickel is more reactive than copper, silver and gold but is less reactive than aluminium, zinc iron and chromium.
Are other catalysts better to manufacture margarine?
Palladium and platinum are both alternatives of catalysts but the problem with them is that they don’t work as well as nickel. Unlike palladium and platinum, nickel does a really good job at adsorbing reactant which is when reactants stick on the active sites of the surface of the catalyst.
Normally, the role of a good catalyst is to absorb the molecules from the reactant strongly enough so they can react but not too strongly to the point that the molecules will not be able to leave the surface later on. This is exactly what nickel as a good catalyst does to the reactants it comes in contact with. Unlike nickel, silver is not a really good catalyst because it doesn’t hold the reactant molecules strongly enough for them to react, which lead to no reaction at all. Palladium is another example of bad catalyst because its grip on the reactant’s molecule isn’t as good as nickel’s.
Copper uses and properties
Copper as a metal is a really good conductor of electricity and heat which allows it to have multiple uses, malleable metal which means that it is soft enough and can easily be bent and be reshaped. As one of its properties, copper is very resistant to corrosion which means that it does not react with oxygen in the air to form any kind of metal oxide. Copper has a high density and that what enables it is be such good conductor because it has so many particles in it.
Because of its good a relationship with electricity; it is used for things like electrical wiring. Another use of it is gas and water pipes; this is possible because it does not react with water. This makes it the perfect metal for plumbing in houses and most buildings, but it can also be used in factories. Copper is also used to make cookware, things like sauce frying pans. We can mix copper to obtain other uses of the metal. For example, mixing copper and zinc can create brass and from the mixture of copper and we can get bronze.
Even though its price is really high in the comparison table, copper is the most effective metal. This is because of its excellent abilities of conducting elements such as heat and electricity and its underactivity with other things.
We use Nickel as a catalyst for most reaction because it cheaper to run the reaction with it, it is also cost effective and that’s what makes it is desired by most people.
Why is gold or iron used in electrical cable instead of copper?
Using soft metals like gold and iron are better to use in electrical cable because they are much more dense metals compared to copper. These metals are really good conductors of electricity, gold for example can handle really voltages in comparison to metal copper.
In electrical cable, copper is used for low voltage, but it loses a lot of that power in the way if the cable is long whereas a medium gold cable using the same amount of power will lose much less power. Usually, copper cable can support a maximum of only 32Eu/t but a gold cable can support a maximum of 128 Eu/t
Copper is the best conductor of electricity because its electricity conductivity is of 100 compared to the other metals. Copper has a density of 8.9 which is quite dense for a metal that is supposed to be a conductor of electricity. Iron on the other hand has a density of about 7.9 which is not far from the density of copper but is still less dense which therefore makes a better electricity conductor. In addition, iron is a stronger metal with the strength of 1000 compared to copper which has a strength of 300. This makes iron a more suitable metal for uses in electrical cable.
The fact that cupper has a higher density than the other metals means that it has more electrons and for any metals, the denser it is the better its electricity conductivity will be. That is why cupper, which has a higher electricity conductivity than aluminium and steel is better at conducting electricity than these other metals therefore making it more suitable for electrical cable uses.