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C&EN Materials Chemistry

Metal-air batteries: Present and potential

In the future, metal-air batteries have the potential to better the storage abilities of the lithium-ion batteries we currently use for a range of applications. Here, we look at a selection of the different types being developed, their current capacities, and what the future might hold. View the full graphic in Chemical & Engineering News.

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Environmental Chemistry Materials Chemistry

What’s your biodegradable coffee cup made of – and how biodegradable is it?

Has your local coffee shop recently switched to biodegradable cups? Or maybe your workplace canteen has made the switch to biodegradable cutlery? Perhaps the plastic packaging of your favourite magazine is now a biodegradable wrapper? You might wonder what materials are behind these biodegradable products, and exactly how much better they are for the environment […]

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C&EN Materials Chemistry

How do different light bulbs work? – in C&EN

Light bulbs come in different shapes, sizes, and types. How do these different types of bulb work? This month’s edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical & Engineering News sheds some light on the materials different bulbs use and compares their attributes. View the full graphic on the C&EN site.

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Chemistry in the News Materials Chemistry

Why can leaves cause train delays? The chemistry of leaves on the line

Autumn is here, and for most of us, it’s a time of beauty as the leaves cascade through an array of hues before pirouetting down from the trees. If you have to travel by train, however, you might tire of ‘leaves on the line’ being the supposed cause of train delays. It turns out to […]

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Materials Chemistry

What are wedding rings made of, and how do their properties vary?

I’m currently at that age where my Facebook news feed is an endless stream of either wedding or baby photos. Most recently, one of my best friends was shopping for wedding rings in advance of their marriage next year, which got me thinking about different wedding ring metals. What elements are they composed of, and […]

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Materials Chemistry

The chemistry of condom materials – from sheep guts to synthetic rubber

Today, we take contraception for granted to a certain extent. It’s easy to forget that, less than 200 years ago, the only condom available was one made from a length of sheep gut that you had to wash and re-use. Today, they’re made from a handful of different materials. This post looks at their recent […]