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How Enzymes Are Used in Plumbing

One of the most frequently asked questions about plumbing is “What can I do about a foul odor coming from a drain?” There are a few answers to this question depending on the type of drain and the cause of the odor. One common location where foul odors occur is the garbage disposal, and one of the best ways to get rid of the odor is by using enzyme cleaners. How and why do these types of cleaners work? Once you understand what enzymes are, you can begin to see why they are especially useful in plumbing.


What Is an Enzyme?


An enzyme is a molecule that serves as a catalyst for chemical reactions. A chemical reaction is when two starting chemicals, called substrates, react with each other and convert into entirely different molecules, called products. An enzyme is a sort of third party to this reaction and is a catalyst, meaning that it helps to speed up the process. Each enzyme is built to speed up only certain reactions, but the different types of enzymes are almost limitless.


Enzymes in the Body


Enzymes are crucial for all life, including human life. Inside the human body, there are millions of enzymes. Without these enzymes, chemical reactions would not occur rapidly enough to keep us alive. When we take a breath of air, in order for the oxygen to be useful to our body, a chemical reaction must occur. In order for that reaction to occur fast enough to provide us with oxygen to live, a sufficient amount of enzymes must be present. Digestive enzymes are just one of the many important enzymes in the body, and they help break down the food that we eat.


Enzymes in Plumbing


Seeing how enzymes can help break down food in the human stomach, it becomes clear why they are useful in removing odors from garbage disposals. When a garbage disposal starts to stink, it is because food particles are stuck in the disposal and are beginning to rot. By pouring a plumbing cleaner down the drain, chemical reactions can occur to break down the food. With enzymes, these chemical reactions are sped up, making for a more efficient cleaning product.


Other Applications


Enzymes are being used for much more than just plumbing. Chemical reactions are useful in all sorts of industrial applications. Enzymes only exist for certain substrates and chemical reactions, but the promise of enzyme-based products is so great that scientists are working on engineering new enzymes to suit specific needs.



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