2104, 2016
  • The Water Treatment Process

The Chemistry Behind Your Home’s Water Supply

April 21st, 2016|

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We take for granted the water that comes out of the taps in our home when we turn them on – but a lot of work goes into getting it there. Chemistry, too, has a hand in making sure that the water is safe to drink. Here, we take a look at the water treatment process, and in particular the chemicals used to get clean drinking water to your tap.


1411, 2015

World Diabetes Day: Glucose, Insulin, & Diabetes

November 14th, 2015|

As it’s World Diabetes Day today, here’s a mini-graphic taking a quick look at what diabetes is, and the differences between the three main types. Though there’s no article to accompany this one, there’s a download of the graphic below, and links to further reading on the topic.


411, 2015
  • Chemistry of Fireworks – Bangs, Crackles & Whistles

The Chemistry of Fireworks: Bangs, Crackles & Whistles

November 4th, 2015|

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With the 5th of November approaching, the distant reports of early fireworks displays can already be heard in the evenings here in the UK. Discussion on the chemistry of fireworks usually centres on the compounds used to generate their array of colours, but there’s a whole lot of chemistry behind the sounds they make too. Here we take a brief look at some of the ways in which pyrotechnic chemists give fireworks their characteristic bangs and screeches. […]

2610, 2015
  • A Rough Guide to IARC Carcinogen Classifications

A Rough Guide to the IARC’s Carcinogen Classifications

October 26th, 2015|

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Today’s big news has been the story that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified processed meat (including bacon, ham, and salami) as a Group 1 carcinogen. This places it in the same group as smoking, which has led to a number of headlines claiming that it means the risk from the two is the same. It isn’t – and today’s post takes a close look at the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s classification system in order to explain why.


1208, 2015
  • The Chemistry of Swimming Pools

Chlorination & Pee in the Pool: The Chemistry of Swimming Pools

August 12th, 2015|

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Swimming pools are a brilliant way of cooling off during a hot summer. Of course, this isn’t a particularly original idea, and hundreds of people might use a particular pool every day. Chemistry is on hand to help prevent us from swimming in water that harbours potential water-borne infections. It can also help out with the cardinal sin of pool-peeing, though not without consequence. It does this, as you likely already know, through the chlorination of pool water – although it’s less simple than you might think! […]

608, 2015
  • Coke & Diet Coke – Fact & Fiction

Coke & Diet Coke: The Facts and the Fiction

August 6th, 2015|

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Over the past week, you may well have seen a couple of graphics purporting to explain the effect that drinking a can of Coke or Diet Coke has on your body. They’ve been picked up by a range of online news and media sites, and as a result circulated widely. Unfortunately, although some of the information contained in them is correct, a lot of it is sensationalised, hyperbolic, or just plain wrong. This graphic is an attempt to sort the fact from the fiction, and give a clearer picture of what’s going on when you drink a can of Coke.