Chemistry History Organic Chemistry

Today in chemistry history: August Kekulé and the structure of benzene

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of August Kekulé, most famous for his proposed structure for the benzene molecule. This graphic looks at his structure and its limitations and shows how later work improved upon his initial proposal.

Biochemistry C&EN Food Chemistry

A guide to natural sweeteners – in C&EN

Sugars aren’t the only plant compounds you can use as sweeteners. The latest edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical & Engineering News looks at the molecules in sweeteners from a variety of sources. View the full graphic on the C&EN site.

Chemistry in the News

What is ammonium nitrate and what happens when it explodes?

Today’s news has been dominated by the terrible explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. The blame for the explosion has been directed at 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that was being stored in a warehouse in Beirut’s port. What is ammonium nitrate, why can it explode, and what happens when it does? This graphic takes a look.

Biochemistry Biology C&EN

Rashes and burns: summer plant irritants – in C&EN

When outdoors this summer, watch out for plants that can cause rashes, blisters and more! Learn more about the chemistry behind these reactions in the latest edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical & Engineering News. Click to view the full graphic on the C&EN site.

Alcohol Chemistry

#NationalTequilaDay: Types and flavour chemistry of tequila

Today (July 24) is National Tequila Day. What contributes to the flavour of this Mexican spirit? This graphic takes a look at how tequila is made, the different varieties, and some of the compounds that contribute to its taste.

Chemical Concerns Cosmetic Chemistry

#NationalTattooDay – Tattoo colourants and concerns

A lot of people have tattoos: an estimated 12% of Europeans and 24% of Americans. What’s in tattoo ink, and how are different coloured tattoos produced? This graphic for National Tattoo Day (July 17) takes a look.