What is food mineral?

Minerals are inorganic elements that originate in the earth and cannot be made in the body. They play important roles in various bodily functions and are necessary to sustain life and maintain optimal health, and thus are essential nutrients.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Chemical element of silicon

Silicon is the fourteenth element of the periodic table and is a Group IVA element, along with carbon germanium, tin and lead. Classified as a metalloid, silicon is a solid at room temperature. The name silicon is derived from the Latin word “silicis” meaning “flint”.

In 1811, Joseph Gay Lussac and Louis Jacques Thénard reacted silicon tetrachloride with potassium metal and produced some very impure form of silicon. The credit for discovering silicon really goes to the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius of Stockholm who, in 1824, obtained silicon by heating potassium fluorosilicate with potassium. The type of furnace now used to make silicon, the electric arc furnace, was first invented in 1899 by French inventor Paul Louis Toussaint Heroult to make steel.

Silicon is the second most abundant element in our planet’s crust. Oxygen (47.3%) and silicon (27.7%) together make up 75% of the weight of Earth’s crust. Most of the crust’s silicon exists as silicon dioxide; we are familiar with this as sand or quartz.

The element silicon is used extensively as a semiconductor in solid-state devices in the computer and microelectronics industries. For this, hyperpure silicon is needed. The silicon is selectively doped with tiny amounts of boron, gallium, phosphorus or arsenic to control its electrical properties.

Some scientists suggest silicon helps develop collagen. Silicon is involved in the metabolism of connective tissue and is important for the biosynthesis of collagen and glycosaminoglycan, which are needed for bone formation. Collagen, a structural protein, partially makes up the connective tissue of animals. Osteoporosis patients, as well as patients for other skin and bone-related health issues, take silicon as supplement. Like calcium and vitamin D, silicon can help improve the strength of human bones and lower risk for osteoporosis.

Silicon is essential to plant life. Phytoliths are tiny particles of silica that form within some plants. Red wine, beer, raisins, whole-grain bread, bran cereal, brown rice, green beans and mineral water are some of the more common sources of silicon. Other common sources are barley, oats, whole wheat, nuts, dried fruit, bananas, root vegetables, spinach, seafood and organ meats.
Chemical element of silicon

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