Element 87 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is francium. Vanishingly rare, francium is unstable and radioactive, and also doesn’t conform to expectations about its reactivity.
Here’s the monthly summary of chemistry stories that have hit the news. This month features news on a catalyst that can transform single-use plastics into lubricants, copernicium’s liquid behaviour, and more! Links to articles and studies for all the featured stories are provided below.
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.
Element 86 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is radon. Radon is the biggest source of natural background radiation and also has associated health risks.
Element 85 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is astatine. Astatine is incredibly scarce on Earth, and there’s so little of it around that we don’t know a great deal about it.
Element 84 in our International Year of the Periodic Table series is polonium. Polonium is a highly radioactive element which has been used as a heat source for space travel and exploration. It was also the centre of attention in a high-profile poisoning several years ago.