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Colourful Chemistry Inorganic Chemistry

The Chemistry of Fireworks

The colours in fireworks stem from a wide variety of metal compounds – particularly metal salts. ‘Salt’ as a word conjures up images of the normal table salt you probably use every day; whilst this is one type of salt (sodium chloride), in chemistry ‘salt’ refers to any compound that contains metal and non-metal atoms ionically […]

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Colourful Chemistry

‘Poisonous’ Poinsettia pH Indicators

I’m making pH indicator paper with some of my classes this week, using the coloured leaves of red poinsettia plants, which set me thinking about the chemistry behind why these plants can be used as indicators. Poinsettias have a reputation for being poisonous – a claim that is in fact entirely unfounded. A quick google […]