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PHYSICOCHEMICAL, SPECTROSCOPIC AND RHEOLOGICAL STUDIES OF IRVINGIA GABONENSIS (O’RORKE) BAILL AND CELTIS ZENKERI (ESA) ENGL GUM EXUDATES

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

A gum in general, is any water-soluble or water-swellable polysaccharide that is extractable from marine and land plants, or from microorganisms that possess the ability to contribute viscosity or gelling ability to their dispersions (Abu Baker et al., 2007). The most fundamental property of a gum therefore is its water solubility and high viscosity in aqueous dispersions. Among the advantages of natural gums over their synthetic counterparts are their biocompatibility, low cost, low toxicity (eco-friendliness) and relative widespread availability (Odeku, 2005; Emeje et al., 2009; Nep and Conway, 2010; Ogaji and Okafor, 2011). Plant gums are organic substances obtained as an exudation from fruits, trunk or branches of the trees spontaneously or after mechanical injury of the plant by incision of the bark or after the removal of the branch or after invasion by bacteria or fungi (Ahmed et al., 2009). They are capable of displaying colloidal properties in an appropriate solvent or swelling agent. According to Ahmad et al. (1994), most plant gums are polyelectrolytes, which is a class of polymers that bears a large number of ionizable groups on the main chain. Gums have numerous applications in several industries. For example, Albizia zygia and some Albizia lebbeck gums have been found to be useful as natural emulsifiers for food and pharmaceuticals (Mhinzi, 2002). According to DePaula et al. (2001) Albizia lebbeck gum exudate is also used as a substitute for Arabic gum in the metallurgical industries. Guar and some other gums have a number of applications in the mining and mineral processing industry (Ma and Pawlik, 2007). In the froth flotation of base metal and platinum group metal ores, guar gum is used as a depressant of naturally hydrophobic waste minerals such as talc. The role of the polysaccharide is to adsorb on the talc surface, render it hydrophilic and prevent its flotation (Ma and Pawlik 2007).facebook sharing button Sharetwitter sharing button Tweetmessenger sharing button Sharewhatsapp sharing button Shareemail sharing button Email

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