• Oxidation Reactions of Alcohols

A Guide to Oxidation Reactions of Alcohols

May 4th, 2016|

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Today’s post is a quick one for the chemistry students, with a look at alcohol oxidation reactions. These are commonly taught at A level and beyond, and this graphic tries to provide a basic summary of the reagents used, equipment required, and ways of identifying the products formed.

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  • Buckminsterfullerene

Sir Harry Kroto & Buckminsterfullerene

May 2nd, 2016|

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Over the weekend, the news of Sir Harry Kroto’s passing filtered slowly through the internet. Perhaps the best summary of his life and achievements was already written by Kroto himself, so here we take a brief look at his most acclaimed discovery: that of the amusingly named form of carbon, buckminsterfullerene.

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  • 16-05-01 This Week in Chemistry

This Week in Chemistry – The World’s Smallest Thermometer & Colour-Changing Arsoles

May 1st, 2016|

Here’s the weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news. This week features the world’s smallest thermometer, progress towards understanding what makes some mushrooms glow, and more. As always, links to further articles and original research papers are provided below, as well as further studies of interest not included in the graphic.

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  • 04-27 – Wallace Carothers' Birthday Nylon

Chemistry History – Carothers, Condensation Polymerisation, & Nylon

April 27th, 2016|

On this day in 1896, Wallace Carothers was born. Listed by C&EN magazine in their recent list of scientists who should have won a Nobel prize, we have Carothers to thank for nylon, which can be used in clothing, carpets, car parts and more. Here’s a quick look at the chemistry behind the discovery.

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  • Understanding Nuclear Power

30 Years Since Chernobyl – How Nuclear Reactors Work

April 26th, 2016|

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Early in the morning on 26 April 1986, a safety system test at the Chernobyl power plant in Pripyat, now part of Northern Ukraine, ended in a nuclear disaster with catastrophic consequences for both those working at the plant and those living in the surrounding area. The narrative seems to be a classic cautionary tale against the utilisation of nuclear reactors to generate power, but the reality is more nuanced. Here, we look at how nuclear reactors work generally, what led to the accident at Chernobyl 30 years ago, and the differences between Chernobyl and modern reactors.

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  • 16-04-24 This Week in Chemistry

This Week in Chemistry – Lead-Removing Microbots, & a Super-Stretchy Polymer

April 24th, 2016|

Here’s the weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news. This week features graphene-based microbots that could help remove lead from water, a new simple carbon-carbon bond forming reaction, and more. As always, links to further articles and original research papers are provided below, as well as further studies of interest not included in the graphic.

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