Discuss briefly giving an example in each case the role of coordination compounds in:
(i) biological system
(ii) medicinal chemistry
(iii) analytical chemistry
(iv) extraction/metallurgy of metals
(i) Role of coordination compounds in biological systems:
We know that photosynthesis is made possible by the presence of the chlorophyll pigment. This pigment is a coordination compound of magnesium. In the human biological system, several coordination compounds play important roles. For example, the oxygen-carrier of blood, i.e., haemoglobin, is a coordination compound of iron.
(ii) Role of coordination compounds in medicinal chemistry:
Certain coordination compounds of platinum (for example, cis-platin) are used for inhibiting the growth of tumours.
(iii) Role of coordination compounds in analytical chemistry:
During salt analysis, a number of basic radicals are detected with the help of the colour changes they exhibit with different reagents. These colour changes are a result of the coordination compounds or complexes that the basic radicals form with different ligands.
(iii) Role of coordination compounds in extraction or metallurgy of metals:
The process of extraction of some of the metals from their ores involves the formation of complexes. For example, in aqueous solution, gold combines with cyanide ions to form [Au(CN)2]. From this solution, gold is later extracted by the addition of zinc metal.