Chemical engineers put forth their principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, and economics to efficiently use, produce, design, transport and transform energy and materials. But, did you know that the animal kingdom has been doing that ever since the Big Bang first brought forth life on earth? Humans credit themselves with patenting and pioneering rights way more than we ought to be because a lot of what we call ‘modern infrastructure’ and advancements have its roots from the animal kingdom. After all, it is not just mere co-incidence that the pattern of an energy grid look alarmingly similar to that of a bee hive or a bullet train a kingfisher bird because bullet train drew its inspiration by Japanese engineer Eiji Nakatsu. In fact, the animal kingdom is flushed with skills and calibre one can only term ‘extraordinary’.
So, if you are one among those pulling their hair off by the complexity of mathematics principles or the confusion of matter's composition, structure, and properties here is a list of inborn ‘chemical engineers’ in the animal kingdom that will leave you shocked for good:
Electric Eels: Unlike energy that is produced from the wind, sun or water, electric eels produce a huge electrical charge as a means of defence mechanism to protect itself from predators. In fact, their slimy bodies contain electric organs with about 6,000 specialised electrocyte cells that discharge a burst of at least 600 volts.
Cattle: A legit reason to cut down meat-eating and discourage animal farming because cattle emit a large volume of methane through burping and flatulence which is a big no to the alarming greenhouse effect. In fact, the UNFAO records that cattle farming is responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gases.
Honey Bees: One of nature’s finest and greatest gifts, it shouldn’t come as surprise that honey bees are also excellent chemical engineers. Honeybees make nectar they collect from flowers, which is a sugar-water mixture. The process is undergone by the use of invertase, an enzyme that honeybees produce that converts most of the sucrose into glucose and fructose. A small amount of the glucose is then converted into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide by glucose oxidase. The gluconic acid then reduces the pH of the honey to preserve it and the hydrogen peroxide gives protection against microbes hence the durability.
Silkworm: Like bees, silkworm are also busy engineers who use their salivary glands to produce fibroin to form cocoons. Cocoon produces approximately one kilometer of silk fibre.