Scientists Discover Possibility for New Materials Derived from Uranium
According to a new study published on December 7, 2017, scientists discover new applications of uranium
A team of researchers at the University of Manchester discovered that uranium, which is usually used for weapons development, is now capable of new unprecedented reactions.
Uranium has the ability to transform the way industry produces bulk chemicals, polymers, and precursors to new drugs and plastics.
“What makes uranium unique is it sits at a crossroads in the periodic table, not a positional one but one in terms of character; it can behave like the lanthanides sometimes, the 14 element row above the actinides, or sometimes it reacts just like transition metals,” said head of Inorganic Chemistry at Manchester, professor Steve Liddle.
From among the elements in the periodic table, Uranium is most accessible, as the others are scarcely available and harder to extract. Scientists discovered that uranium can be used in several applications in industries such as the pharmaceutical and chemical. In the chemical industry, the element can be used for the development of biodegradable plastics and in the pharmaceutical industry for new medicines. Its application in the production of biodegradable plastic would help in the development of eco-friendly bottles, alongside the efforts to reuse and recycle plastic.
“This discovery will lead to some monumental developments that could change the way we live. Development work like this really could pave the way for new medicines and also the creation of truly biodegradable hard plastic. It is comparable to the discovery of liquid crystal displays, which happened 20 years before everyone sat up and realized that they could be used in modern computer displays and TVs,” said the author of the study, Steve Liddle.
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