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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

New Eco Friendly Method

19thSeptember 2019

Why in News? 

Three years ago researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras observed silver slowly dissolving in a glucose solution when heated to 70 degree C. Now, the team has demonstrated an environment-friendly strategy to degrade the chemically inert and physically stable plastic fluoropolymer — polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) of which Teflon is made.

Important Facts:

  • All that is required to degrade the fluoropolymer into molecules is continuous stirring of it in water containing 1,000 ppm glucose and metal ions for about 15 days at 70 degree C.
  • The team tested Teflon in different forms — pellets, tapes and plates. They repeated the experiment using a Teflon beaker and tried different metals too and still got the same result each time.
  • The only difference was that the particles did not show bright red luminescence when copper, silver and iron were used instead of gold.
  • According to the paper, similar chemistry can possibly lead to micro and nanoplastics in food during cooking as many modern cookware are coated with Teflon.

Triboelectric degradation of PTFE, polypropylene and other polymers might be occurring in nature in large water bodies such as oceans where metal ions are found in abundance and waves provide constant agitation.


Facts for Prelims

Akademik Lomonosov:

It is the world’s only floating nuclear power unit. The plant was launched by Russia on May 19, 2018 at the St Petersburg shipyard.

Recently, this floating nuclear power plant completed its 5,000-km journey along the Northern Sea Route. This has sparked fears among environmentalists over the safety of the Arctic region.


Yellow fever mosquito:

Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, is a mosquito that can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika fever, Mayaro and yellow fever viruses, and other disease agents. The mosquito can be recognized by white markings on its legs and a marking in the form of a lyre on the upper surface of its thorax.



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