Glossary

CHEMISTRY & PHYSICS

Artificial fertiliser (also called synthetic fertiliser) is manufactured in the chemical factories predominantly from petroleum and coal products. Other raw materials are mineral salts and air from which is obtained nitrogen by distillation of liquid air under great pressure.

Biological engineering attempts to either mimic biological systems to create products or modify and control biological systems so that they can replace, augment, or sustain chemical and mechanical processes. Biological engineers or bioengineers are engineers who use the principles of biology and the tools of engineering to create usable, tangible, economically viable products.

Carbonic acid is a chemical compound with the chemical formula H2CO3. In physiology, carbonic acid is described as volatile acid or respiratory acid, because it is the only acid excreted as a gas by the lungs. It plays an important role in the maintenance of the acid–base homeostasis.

Chemical compound is any substance composed from the elements in the periodic table. According to spiritual science all elements in the periodic table belong to the mineral kingdom.

Chemical element is a substance that consists of single type of atoms only. These elements are arranged into a chart called the periodic table.

Chemical engineering refers to the ability of artificial, human-made creation of new chemicals from various raw materials and/or already existing chemicals in the laboratory environment.

Chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another set. Chemical reactions are usually characterized by a chemical change, and they yield one or more substances, which usually have properties different from the initially involved substances. Different chemical reactions are used in combinations during chemical synthesis or decomposition in order to obtain a desired product. In biochemistry, a similar series of chemical reactions form metabolic pathways. These reactions are often catalyzed by enzymes.

Coal tar is a brown or black liquid of extremely high viscosity. Coal tar is among the by-products when coal is heated in an airless furnace or oven at high temperatures with the aim to make coke or coal gas.

Coke is a fuel with a high carbon content with few impurities, usually made from coal.

Cycloparaffins are types of hydrocarbon compounds that have several rings of carbon atoms in the chemical structure of their molecules.

Decomposition is a chemical reaction where a more complex substance breaks down into its more simple parts. One example of a decomposition reaction is the electrolysis of water to make oxygen and hydrogen gas: 2H20 → 2H2 + O2

Electro-osmosis is an alternative explanation in plant biology for the movement of liquids which carry nutrients inside plants. The plant nutrients are in the form of mineral salts which work as electrolytes when dissolved in water. When a cell is submerged in water, the water molecules pass through the cell membrane from an area of low electrolyte concentration to high electrolyte concentration (e.g. if the cell is submerged in saltwater, water molecules move out; if it is submerged in freshwater, water molecules move in); this is called osmosis. Osmosis is responsible for the ability of plant roots to draw water from the soil. The further movement of water upwards against the forces of gravity is helped by the difference in electric charge between the root and the top of the plant. For example, we can detect a small electric current if we connect an instrument to the ground (via a metal rod) and to the top of a tree.

Electrolytes are compounds that produce negatively or positively charged molecules or atoms when dissolved in suitable solvents such as water. This includes most soluble salts, acids, and bases. Electrolytic solution can conduct electricity and for this reason can be used in batteries, etc.

Entropy refers to the tendency of disintegration of any form of organisation due to the dispersal and loss of the energy used for the activities of a system or a living organism. However, the living system does not just produce entropy, but also produces the organising energy (called negative entropy or syntropy).

Herbicides are chemicals which are designed to kill other plants except those which farmer want to grow.

Hydrocarbons are chemical compounds containing only carbon and hydrogen. Many hundreds of such compounds are known, and most occur in coal, petroleum, and natural gas.

Inorganic refers to the realm of the mineral kingdom composed by the physical elements listed in the periodic table. It also includes minerals and chemical compounds which are found in living organisms, such as water, carbon dioxide, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, etc.

Periodic table is a tabular arrangement of the chemical elements, organized on the basis of their atomic numbers, electron configurations (electron shell model), and recurring chemical properties.

Pesticides are chemical substances or biological agents (such as a bacteria, insects, etc) that deters, kills, or otherwise discourages so-called ‘pests’. Although plants themselves produce chemical substances that act as pesticides, the expression became the synonym for synthetic pesticides used widely since the beginning of conventional farming.

Petrochemicals are chemical products derived from petroleum (i.e., crude oil). Among them are: synthetic fibres, lubricants, adhesives, agrochemicals, cosmetics raw materials, flavourings, fragrances, food additives, dyes, paints, cleaning agents, pharmaceuticals, and health care products.

Petroleum (or crude oil) is a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface, which is refined into various types of fuels or it serves as raw material for production of various petrochemicals.

Plasma is the condition of matter which can be reached when gaseous substance is subjected to further heating until it reaches the so-called critical point, when it changes into another state, called plasma. Any substance can be brought into the state of plasma; for example, iron has the melting point 1,535 °C, the boiling point at 2,750 °C, and the critical point at 8,227 °C.

Pyrogen is an alternative name for hydrogen, meaning ‘fire-substance’. This name, used by Rudolf Hauschka in his book The Nature of Substance, if adopted, would be more appropriate then hydrogen (water-substance), because the properties of this element demonstrate the strongest link to warmth from all elements in the periodic table.

Supramolecular scale encompasses more complex molecules, such as enzymes, proteins, DNA, and similar large molecules.

Synthesis is a chemical reaction where two or more simple substances combine to form a more complex substance. One example of this reaction is the combination of iron and sulphur to form iron sulphide: 8Fe + S8 → 8 FeS

Synthetic refers to those substances made by humans in the laboratory environment through chemical processes not induced through naturally occurring biological processes.