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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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Atmospheric Chemistry Chemistry History

Today in Chemistry History: Susan Solomon, ozone depletion, and CFCs

Susan Solomon’s work led to confirmation that chlorine-containing compounds can deplete ozone. In particular, she explained why this depletion was focused over the poles. This graphic looks at how ozone depletion happens. Below, we’ll look in more detail at Solomon’s contributions.

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Miscellaneous Graphics

The Chemistry of Petrol & The Tetraethyl Lead Story

Tomorrow (18th May) marks the date of birth of Thomas Midgley, who made significant contributions to something many of us make use of on a regular basis: petrol. Midgley was the research assistant to Charles Kettering, and the duo were responsible for the addition of the compound tetraethyl lead to petrol, an innovation that would […]

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Atmospheric Chemistry

A Brief Guide to Atmospheric Pollutants

Back in school, you’ll have learned that the air in our atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen, at 78%, and oxygen, at 21%, with a number of other trace gases. It’s to these trace gases we’re looking today – more specifically, at how human activity can result in the release of air pollution in to […]