The Benefits Of Chemistry Research

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Scientific research is vital for national development and material well-being of any country especially developing nation. While lack of scientific research is often a critical limitation to economic progress, hence, the importance of chemistry research in a developing nation cannot be over emphasized. In this case, Nigeria. Chemistry research has so many economic benefits, notwithstanding the negative role chemistry research does play globally, such as pollution and drug abuse, the positive roles are also well known. Chemistry is the central in the drive of global sustainable economic development. It plays the major roles in aerospace industry, automobile, electronics, energy, food (fertilizers and insecticides), clothing (textile fibers), housing (cement, concrete, steel, bricks), Medicine (drugs), Transportation (fuel, alloy materials). Presently, man is experiencing an era in scientific and technological development that affects his life in one way or the other. Virtually everything we use daily involves chemistry which is the study of matter. Generally, chemistry research has major contributions to make to the quality of life, human welfare, and sustainable development. Chemical science has been practiced on an ever- increasing scale for decades. It has enabled the production of a wide variety of goods that are valued by humans. In the process of research, discovery and innovation, chemistry works in tandem with other science disciplines including physics, biology, biotechnology and material science.

CHEMISTRY RESEARCH

With the ever-growing human population, environmental pollution, depletion in supply of non-renewable energy sources, high cost of living, and incessant power failures, developing nations needs an alternative energy source, more environmentally friendly products, and processes that are more reliable, safer, secure, and affordable.

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Chemistry Research is the only key to an industrialized, technologically advanced, economically vibrant, and safer Nation. In developing countries, chemistry research is of great economic benefit. Environmental pollution and waste generation are some of the aching problems many developing countries are suffering from. Many of the reasons behind these problems lie in policies and strategies adopted that are based on end-of pipe treatment. Most frequently, income generation activities are dependent on an efficient use of energy and other resources, such as water, which may pose some serious problems to future generations

CHEMISTRY RESEARCH AND THE ECONOMY

Only research and innovation will allow the development of economic and social networks and processes that fulfill the requirements of sustainability. The future has to be planned with visions, creativity, and fantasy, including brand new approaches and the exploration of the unknown. Chemistry, as the science of matter and its transformation, plays a central role in this process (Azapagic, et al 2004).

ROLE OF CHEMISTRY RESEARCH IN INDUSTRIES/ ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

The products of chemistry research are all around us, the services derived from chemistry research underpin every aspect of modern life. Chemical Industries are the prime factors to convert the raw materials into desired products that we use in our day-to-day life. This has brought a tremendous change in the way the things operate. It is very important for us to understand the importance of the chemical industry which has touched all our facets of life like Aerospace, energy, petroleum products, Agriculture, Environment, Food, Hygiene, Décor, and Transportation. Toiletries like soaps, scents, perfumes, deodorant are personnel products that we use every day, and we do not compromise on it.

The Economic Benefits of Chemistry Research to developing nation ranging from the water we drink and the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, the cars we drive and the energy used to heat and light our homes, chemistry research has changed our way of living and increased our quality of life. More than 80% of the chemical industry concentrates on producing polymers, and plastics. They are not only used in packing, but also in numerous other things, like wiring, furniture, clothing, home décor, prosthesis and electronics. PVC piping, water tanks, huge storage containers are made out of plastics. Plastic used in domestic appliances and car dashboards, polyester used in packaging, clothing, home furnishings and carpets, through to medicines, clean drinking water, sewage disposal, paints, rubber compounds for tyres, and automotive lubricants.

  • ENERGY – chemistry research will improve the efficiency with which energy is generated, transmitted and used is a critical aspect of securing future energy requirements. For example, advanced materials research is helping to produce more efficient photovoltaic products, to enable conventional vehicles to operate with improved fuel economy, and to increase the longevity, safety and efficiency of nuclear reactors.
  • FOOD SUPPLY – agricultural and bio-chemistry research leading to increased yields is critical to securing future global food supplies. Fertilizers, and pesticides aids in the agriculture and development. The green revolution has happened only due to the advancement of chemical industry in Nigeria. The fertilizers and pesticides, not only increase the yield of the crop, but prevent from pest attacks. Apart from in-house usage of food products within our country, we are also exporting a lot of grains, fruits, flowers and ornamental stem to various parts of the world.

Economic benefit to agricultural product:

  • However, the major economic impacts from agricultural product as regard chemistry research in developing nation is come from its impact on crop yields. By increasing yields and enabling successful crop production across a wider range of land and climate combinations.
  • Lowering the global and Nigeria prices of key agricultural products – including meat and dairy products which use cereals as feed;
  • Lowering the cost and increasing the availability of essential foodstuffs;
  • Reducing the amount of land that is required for crop production;
  • Increasing land available for other agricultural products, thus influencing their supply and price;
  • Increasing the supply of land for other non-agricultural uses, including recreation, housing and industry;
  • Reducing pressures to bring or keep wild land under cultivation, so increasing the diversity of habitats and related biodiversity;
  • Increasing Nigeria’s “food security” and reducing the Nigeria’s food imports;
  • Increasing discretionary spending power for consumers, particularly for poorer households where food accounts for a bigger proportion of the overall shopping basket; and,
  • Improving nutrition standards in developing countries, so spurring growth and investment in education, which in turn boost world trade growth.

SECURITY – increasingly sophisticated ‘Lab on a chip’ technology is leading to improved public safety through enabling the development of faster, more accurate methods to detect and measure potentially harmful chemical compounds. Forensic chemistry research is leading to improved detection rates by increasing the ability to generate information from a crime scene (e.g. DNA profiling and advanced fingerprint technology)

HEALTH – chemistry research helps to improve the quality of life, and to save lives, not only through new or more effective medical treatments, but also by enabling improvements to products ranging from healthier foods to safer fire resistant materials used in clothing and buildings.

Pharmaceutical industries and life-saving drugs are the fastest growing industry in developing countries. Nigeria for instance invites a lot of people for medical tour. Numerous laboratories are also set-up to study various drug for the prevalent and widespread diseases. Before these laboratories in Nigeria, we have been exporting a lot of chemicals, which was expensive and mostly unaffordable for a large sector of people.

  • Fire resistant glass, one of the most chemistry intensive products marketed by Pilkington, reduces both the human and economic cost of fire by reducing the speed at which a fire/smoke can spread.
  • Azoxystrobin, an extremely successful agricultural fungicide developed by UK-based chemists between 1981 and 1996, is now used to increase yields of more than 120 types of crop in over 100 countries. (Professor David Delpy, 2010)

Advanced researches like bio-engineering, mutation, artificial human organ production and genetic-reengineering can be made possible in Nigeria, only with the help of the proper chemical industries who can take a giant lip in research from this sector.

CHEMISTRY RESEARCH IN THE UK

Chemistry research has brought great increase and progress to the UK economy which is a developed country, if some of this research are put in place in a developing country like Nigeria there will be a shift and a boost in the Nigeria economy. Some of the industries put into consideration include

THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY

Aerospace industry in the UK: This section presents a case study from the aerospace industry to illustrate the role of UK chemistry research in facilitating success downstream of the chemical industry. In the UK Dependence on chemistry research: entirely dependent (100%) Chemistry research directly enables the aerospace industry to contribute £6.8 billion to the UK economy and supports 107,000 jobs in the UK aerospace industry.

Inputs from chemistry into the aerospace industry range from chemicals and solvents to plastics, synthetic resins and rubbers through to reinforcing fibres, paint, insulated wiring and metal compounds, with a total value of £1.2 billion per year. (Professor David Delpy, 2010)

COMPOSITE MATERIALS

UK-based research into composite materials, such as carbon fibre and polymer matrices, has its foundations in fundamental chemistry research in the areas of synthetic polymers, and produces materials with properties far in advance of available metals.

Composite materials have played a prominent role in raising the efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of flying, by reducing the weight of aircraft and allowing innovative engineering design to improve overall performance. Composite materials have long been used in many parts of an aircraft, such as interior fittings, trailing edges and the tail section, but are now being used for load carrying parts of its structure, including the wings and fuselage.

The UK continues to play a central role in the development of new lightweight materials for aircraft, both through industrial research and EPSRC funded academic research.

AEROSPACE INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA

With regards to the aerospace industry, Nigeria is not considered to be in a state of manufacture but in a state of continued airworthiness. Most developing countries like Nigeria does not manufacture aircraft, rather we only maintain and conduct regular inspection. The only active force in the manufacturing of Aircraft is the Nigeria Air Force Research and development Centre who are actively involved in the construction of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

Chemistry Research plays an important role for the continuous development and advancement in this as area of research. Why because, composite materials are required for construction of this materials and most of the composite materials being used are ordered from the United Kingdom and then used for construction.

It is evident that Chemistry Research plays a central role in the development of new lightweight materials for aircraft, both through industrial research and funded academic research. (Professor David Delpy, 2010)

THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

Chemistry research directly enables the automotive industry to contribute £8.2 billion to the UK economy and directly supports 166,000 jobs in the UK automotive industry.

The use of chemistry has permeated every aspect of the automobile industry, ranging from the plastic used for car dashboards and polyester for trimming, through to paints, rubber compounds for tyres and, fuel additives and lubricants. Chemistry research is playing a crucial role in the development of future technologies to be applied in the automotive sector. By creating engine lubricants that enable biodiesel to be utilised efficiently at higher volumes, uptake of biodiesel as a fuel type increases, and so, therefore, does the potential market.

The new engine lubricant developed will ensure that biodiesel does not result in increased engine maintenance costs for the users. It is estimated that global demand for biodiesel will be over 19 million metric tonnes in 2010. However, these cost savings will not be restricted to biodiesel users, as cost savings are passed down the supply chain.

Increasing the usage of biodiesel will benefit the environment, by reducing the level of carbon emissions from automobiles. This development represents a way in which chemistry is central to the method of tackling society’s issues.

AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA

The prominent automobile manufacturing company presently in Nigeria is the INNOSON MOTORS. Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Co. Ltd., shortened as IVM, is a Nigerian automobile and bus manufacturing company. It was founded by Innocent Chukwuma and runs a plant in Nnewi in the state of Anambra.

70% of the car parts are produced locally while the rest is being imported from Japan, China and Germany. With increase in chemistry research, all the car parts can be produced in Nigeria.

CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

Chemistry research directly enables the construction and materials industry to contribute £34.9 billion to the UK economy and supports 741,000 jobs in the UK construction and materials industry.

The construction and materials sector utilises chemistry in a wide range of final products, such as plastics and paints. In addition, the sector also uses chemistry to improve materials with additives.

The developments made through chemistry research lead not only to new products, but also result in higher safety standards. Chemistry research is making buildings safer and playing a vital life-saving role.

Research collaboration between universities and industry in the UK has led to various improvements in the properties of glass used for construction.

These breakthroughs include fire-resistant glass and photovoltaics, both of which carry a high value-added for producers, and have supported UK glass producers throughout the current recession, as traditional automotive and construction orders declined.

The fire-resistant properties that can be incorporated into glass through chemistry research have a clear health and safety applicability.

The construction and building materials (hereafter referred to simply as construction) industry is one of the largest in the UK, with GVA of £85 billion accounting for 7.2% of UK GDP in 2007. Unsurprisingly given its size, the industry is one of the major employers in the UK, with employment totalling 1.7 million in 2007. (Professor David Delpy, 2010)

ELECTRONICS

Chemistry research directly enables the electronics industry to contribute £14.4 billion to the UK economy and supports 279,000 jobs in the UK electronics industry. Chemistry plays an important role within the electronics industry. Fundamental research conducted by chemists impacts on the electronics sector through conductive polymers and various insulating plastics. Desire for generating energy from renewable sources has led to demand for photovoltaics of increasing efficiency. Consequently, fundamental research in both UK industry and academia into photovoltaics is extremely active.

Fundamental research at the University of Manchester led to the development of a new method of manufacturing quantum dots in an efficient and large scale.

Quantum dots have a large potential market, with applicability in lighting, display technology, photovoltaics, and biomedicine – by way of example, the global market for display technologies today is already in excess of £55 billion and is estimated to exceed £65 billion by 201183.

Nanoco, the owner of the IP, continues to conduct research in the UK, with the backing of major international manufacturers.

The UK electronics industry generated £16.4 billion of value added in 2007, accounting for 1.4% of UK GDP. Activity in the electronics industry supports 322,000 jobs, across areas including the manufacture of computers, electronic valves, lighting equipment and watches.

ENERGY

Chemistry research directly enables the energy industry to contribute £6.0 billion to the UK economy and support 32,000 jobs in the UK energy industry. This supports the oil, gas, nuclear and renewable energy sectors in providing energy for electricity, heating and transport. The provision of electricity is significantly dependent upon chemistry research. New technologies enable electricity to be generated and transmitted in more efficient and environmentally-friendly ways, drawing on improved technologies for conversion (from the energy sources) and the handling of waste materials.

The role of chemistry in the UK’s energy sector is likely to increase in the coming years, through both the pursuit of alternative energy sources, such as hydrogen and solar power, and the Government’s planned scaling-up of power obtained from nuclear sources. 90% of the UK’s nuclear power relies on graphite moderators – the material which slows neutrons and hence improves fission. The science of moderators is heavily dependent upon chemistry, particularly through UK-based fundamental research.

This research underpins assessments of reactor longevity and safety, ensuring that plants are not unnecessarily closed down prematurely, which would cost billions of pounds of lost production. The production and distribution of electricity, and the distribution of gas, generated £13.6 billion invalue added in 2007, equivalent to 1.53% of total UK GDP. The UK energy sector employs 82,000 people

The chemical products sector supplies relatively little, in terms of consumables to the UK energy sector, with chemical inputs valued at £48 million representing only 0.16% of total inputs of £31 billion. Of the chemicals that are purchased by the energy industry, organic and inorganic compounds account for £37 million, with industrial gases and dyes being the remainder. The energy sector also purchases little by way of inputs that are dependent upon chemistry; the three largest indirect chemical inputs into the energy sector – printing and publishing, paper products and electronic.

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The Benefits Of Chemistry Research. (2022, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-benefits-of-chemistry-research/
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