About the Book
It is the organic pigment chlorophyll that captures the Sun’s bountiful light energy by absorbing the red and blue parts of the visible light spectrum and reflecting green. This energy then splits (oxidises) the water molecule during the first stage of photosynthesis to generate molecular oxygen (the vital gas that keeps us alive) and hydrogen ions, the latter subsequently combining with carbon dioxide, reducing it to create the simple sugar, glucose which contains 6 carbon atoms. However, it has recently been found that this gas, in its ionic (bicarbonate) form, also performs a regulating function in the photosynthetic splitting of water. Retinol (Vitamin A1) is essential, not merely for eyesight but for skin maintenance, normal functioning of the immune system, embryonic development and red blood cells. The multitude of organic molecules and compounds is mind-boggling, numbering in the millions and their numbers are increasing, inexorably.
My books: The long reach of organic chemistry: an eclectic journey down carbon lane, parts 1 & 2; Water: a biography of the planet’s foremost, fundamental fluid; Blood: life's most wondrous transportation system; Alcohol: a spiritual exposition, an intemperate odyssey; Oxygen: the story of a primal fluid of vital importance to all life forms & our intimate relationship with this extraordinary gas; Time for reflection: the unsustainable demand for water & the consequences for our planet; What a load of bails & Spin washed and Kumble dried. My education: PhD in Physical Chemistry, Salford University. My research: using chromatography, particle sizing, microscopy, calorimetry, spectroscopy & rheology to study elastomers, plastics & hydrocolloids viz. starches, tree gum exudates, mucopolysaccharides, xanthan gum, konjac mannan, pectin, wheat protein, cellulose, hyaluronic acid, inulin, quorn, agar, alginates, carrageenans, dyes & sugars