Saturday, November 29, 2008

Silica and Diatom Algae

Diatoms silica & industry: harnessing the biological methods of diatoms to make silica could offer a cheaper and less energy-intensive route to make silica. Harvey Black examines the advantages.
Article from: Chemistry and Industry Article date: December 1, 2003
Black, Harvey
* Understanding the way diatoms make silica could benefit industrial process
* In the past four years, two proteins in the manufacture of silica have been isolated
* In diatoms, sugars surrounding proteins key to assembly of silica structures
* Diatom genome project under way in US, sponsored by US Department of Energy
The lowly diatom may be the basis for major advances in manufacturing, These algae, of which there are between 10 000 to 100 000 species, form silica cell walls (frustules) of intricately patterned silica at ambient temperatures.
Silica is an important industrial product used in everyday items from toothpaste, as abrasives, ...

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