Year 12 Industrial Chemistry Option Section 1 Replacement for Natural Products

  • discuss the issues associated with shrinking world resources with regard to one identified natural product that is not a fossil fuel, identifying the replacement materials used and/or current research in place to find a replacement for the named material
  1. Natural rubber comes from the sap (“latex”) of a tree which is native to tropical South America, but now widely grown in plantations in tropical Asia, especially Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Today, most rubber products are made from various synthetic rubbers (e.g. “neoprene”) which are polymers made from petrochemicals.Natural rubber verses synthetic rubber
    Natural rubber Synthetic rubber
    Supply of natural rubber cannot keep up with demand from a rapidly growing population and economy (1950s) which require large plot of land competing with land needed for food production From petrochemicals which can be obtained at reasonable prices in 1950s and are readily available.
    Natural rubber varies in quality due to changes in properties. Consistent quality can be obtained, versatile and hard-wearing properties
    Can be grown in only tropics and are subjected to other factors such as price fluctuations, political instabilities. Supply of petrochemicals easily available and factories can be set up anywhere to make synthetic rubber with more reliability, efficiency and predictable price structures.
    • identify data, gather and process information to identify and discuss the issues associated with the increased need for a natural resource that is not a fossil fuel and evaluate the progress currently being made to solve the problems identified