711, 2016
  • 2,4-DNPH and controlled explosions

What is 2,4-DNPH and Why Are Schools Carrying Out Controlled Explosions?

November 7th, 2016|

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In the UK, school chemistry departments found themselves unexpectedly hitting the headlines last week due to a chemical used in A level chemistry practicals. The chemical involved was 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (2,4-DNPH) – so what is it and why the sudden spate of concern? This post and graphic takes a look at the chemical facts behind the stories.

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405, 2016
  • 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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2708, 2015
  • A Basic Guide to Decoding the Names of Organic Compounds

A Basic Guide to Decoding Organic Compound Names

August 27th, 2015|

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If you’ve ever looked on the back of a bottle of shampoo, or at that of a household cleaner, you’ve probably come across a list of organic compound names. To chemists, these are precise descriptions of the compounds, but to non-chemists, they can sometimes just look like some kind of indecipherable code. The aim of today’s graphic is to try and shed a little light on this code, and what it all means. […]

1609, 2014
  • 20 Common Amino Acids

A Brief Guide to the Twenty Common Amino Acids

September 16th, 2014|

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The proteins that make up living organisms are huge molecules, but they’re composed of tinier building blocks, known as amino acids. There are over 500 amino acids found in nature, yet, of these, the human genetic code only directly codes for 20. Every protein in your body is made up of some linked combination of these amino acids – this graphic shows the structure of each, as well as giving a little information on the notation used to represent them.

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109, 2014
  • Benzene Derivatives in Organic Chemistry

Benzene Derivatives in Organic Chemistry

September 1st, 2014|

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Benzene is a hugely important compound in organic chemistry. It consists of six carbon atoms joined together in a ring, with a hydrogen atom bonded to each carbon; by replacing one or more of these hydrogens with a functional group, a large number of different compounds can be formed. This graphic looks at a selection of the most common simple derivatives which can be obtained in this manner.

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3107, 2014
  • Heterocycles in Organic Chemistry

A Guide to Simple Heterocycles in Organic Chemistry

July 31st, 2014|

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We’ve already examined the functional groups that can be present in organic molecules in a previous post; here, we take a look one step further, at heterocycles. Heterocycles are hugely important in organic chemistry – they make up more than half of all known organic compounds. Caffeine is a prime example of an everyday chemical that is composed of heterocycles, as is nicotine, and there are plenty of others in pharmaceuticals and natural products we use on a natural basis. Parts of our DNA are even made up of compounds which contain heterocycles.

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