Nicotine Synthesis Essay

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The first step is the pretreatment of the biomass; it includes the grinding of the tobacco to the appropriate size. Subsequently, the biomass is dried as the moisture content of the particle will determine the efficiency of the process. The second step is the Paralysis reaction; the preheated mass is introduced into the paralysis reactor which contains an airlock to keep the oxygen and unwanted air out of the reactor. The combustor preheats the paralysis reactor and heats the biomass indirectly. Paralysis of organic substances produces the gas and liquid product, leaving the solid residue behind. It differs from other reactions such as combustion and Hydrolysis as it does not utilize oxygen, water, or any other reagents within the reaction…show more content…
For instance, in a controlled experiment, Ian Baldwin, a scientist, severed the nicotine producing enzymes within the Nicotiana attenuata tobacco plants with siRNA. He depicts the different groups to be tested, “Focusing on an enzyme, called putrescine methyltransferase (PMT), central to nicotine biosynthesis, two techniques that interfere with PMT production by silencing the gene, pmt, that encodes the enzyme. One of the techniques (which adds genetic sequences called “inverted repeats” to gene fragments) proved far more effective at silencing pmt, producing 29 out of 34 plant lines with only 3%–4% of normal nicotine levels”(Baldwin). The plants containing various levels of nicotine were tested and nicotine's role in tobacco fitness was determined. The nicotine deprived plants were influenced the worst by displaying the most damage-losing twice as much foliage. Interestingly, worms feeding on nicotine-deficient tobacco grew bigger and faster than those feeding on plants with normal nicotine levels. The data clearly indicated the vast influence nicotine has on plants and that tobacco-chewing insects “prefer low nicotine diets.” In the absence of nicotine, plants are negatively affected and could potentially eliminate our

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