Before discussing the different usage of scavenger chemicals you must know what these chemicals are.
Introduction with scavenger chemicals
The chemical which can be mixed to a combination to deactivate or remove unwanted and impure reacting products like oxygen etc. to ensure the absence of unfavorable reactions are known as scavenger chemicals.
Usage of scavenger chemicals
Scavenger chemicals can be used in a wide range of applications like:
- Hydroxyl radical is the most commonly used and short-lived scavenger chemical in atmospheric chemistry. In the environment, it is produced through a photolytic process. This oxidant is most important for removing methane, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons like hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, and other impurities from the environment.
- Methane gas can be used as a gas that acts as a scavenger for separating fluorine atoms from a molecular laser isotope
- Ascorbic acid and Hydrazine can be used as an oxygen scavenger to slow down corrosion.
- Naringenin and Tocopherol are scavenger free radicals of bioactive nature that work as antioxidants. The synthetic counterparts of these scavengers are known as synthetic catalytic scavengers.
- The compounds of Organotin are used as scavenger containing hydrochloric acid in manufacturing polymer.
- Glutathione found in the body is a scavenger that oxidizes peroxides and free radicals. It also attacks dangerous exogenous toxins alkylating electrophiles, produced during the process of metabolism as a thiol nucleophile.
- The chemicals that absorb oxygen are known as oxygen scavengers. They are placed inside the modified packs of products to improve the looks and extend the life of products packed in them as self-adhesive labels or small sachets. The iron powder packed in these labels or sachets oxidizes by absorbing the oxygen remaining in the pack if any. They also help in maintaining the safety of the product for a long time. Various types of oxygen scavengers are used these days in various types of applications.
Usage of oxygen scavengers
Oxygen scavengers are typically used in:
- Vitamins and pharmaceuticals to prevent oxidation of vitamins like A, C, and E and extend the life of pharmaceuticals
- The wine industry normally uses Potassium Metabisulfite not only to separate the wine from oxygen by providing a coat of gas but to scavenge oxygen also.
- Medical devices and diagnostic kits
- Rancidification of Foods like Snacks and nuts, Dry food with whole fat, smoked, cured, and processed meats, seasonings and spices, dairy products and cheeses, grain items and flour, etc.
Oxygen scavengers also help in:
- Retaining the flavor of fresh-roasted nuts and coffee
- Preventing oxidation of oleoresins present in the seasoned foods and spices
- Slowing down the growth of mold in fizzed products from dairy and natural cheeses
- Delaying the browning of some vegetables and fruits without any enzymatic reaction
- Slowing down the condensation and oxidation of the red pigment of almost all types of sauces and berries
- Providing an environment in museums free from pests by absorbing oxygen.
Thus, scavenger chemicals can be used in a wide range of applications mainly for preserving things by deoxidizing them.
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