Relation to Syllabus


The information presented on this page is designed to be used by teachers to show the links between the material in this trail and the NSW HSC Chemistry (Stage 6) Syllabus. Relevant excerpts of the Syllabus are shown on this page and a copy of the full Syllabus may be downloaded from the Board of Studies website in PDF format. Additionally, teachers are advised to take note of the Board Bulletins as they contain up-to-the-minute important information.

9.2 The Identification and Production of Materials

Contextual Outline

Humans have always exploited their natural environment for all their needs including food, clothing and shelter. As the cultural development of humans continued, they looked for a greater variety of materials to cater for their needs.

The twentieth century saw an explosion in both the use of traditional materials and in the research for development of a wider range of materials to satisfy the specialist needs of space travel and the information technologies. Added to this was a reduction in availability of the traditional resources to supply the increasing world population.

Chemists and chemical engineers continue to play a pivotal role in the search for new sources of traditional materials such as those from the petrochemical industry. As the fossil organic reserves dwindle, new sources of the organic chemicals presently used have to be found. In addition, chemists are continually searching for compounds to be used in the design and production of new materials to replace those that have been deemed no longer satisfactory for needs.

2. Some scientists continue to research the extraction of materials and energy from biomass to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels

Students learn to:
discuss the need for alternative sources of the compounds presently obtained from the petrochemical industry
explain what is meant by a condensation polymer and describe the reaction involved when a condensation polymer is formed
describe the structure of cellulose and identify it as an example of a condensation polymer found as a major component of biomass
identify that cellulose contains the basic carbon-chain structures needed to build petrochemicals and discuss its potential as a raw material
assess current developments in the use of biopolymers and describe a process currently used industrially to produce biopolymers

solve problems and perform a first-hand investigation to identify cellulose and analyse information to examine the effect of decay bacteria on cellulose
process data from secondary sources to analyse the efficiency of conversion of plant material to ethanol
use available evidence to gather, process and present data from secondary sources and analyse progress in the development and use of a named biopolymer. This analysis should name the specific enzyme(s) used or organism used to synthesise the material and an evaluation of the use or potential use of the polymer produced related to its properties

All Syllabus extracts Copyright © Board of Studies NSW 1999 and provided here as a courtesy to teachers by the Key Centre for Polymer Colloids without warranty or claim of ownership. Teachers, students or anyone using this information for decision-making purposes should refer to the original documents presented by the Board of Studies NSW.

Please note that the Board of Studies NSW also releases Board Bulletins containing additional important information. Users are strongly advised to take note of these Bulletins.