Chemistry in its Element

  • Nutmeg fruit and seeds


    17 December 2018

    The spice that gives your Christmas eggnog its distinctive taste and aroma is also a toxic narcotic that played an important role in international history

  • Hot molten steel in a foundry

    Low-background steel

    7 December 2018

    Post-nuclear steel is a little bit radioactive, so for some specialist jobs we need to find a source of steel from before the bomb

  • Tin cans

    Tin chlorides

    29 November 2018

    The compounds that put the 'tin' in tin cans and help you to reflect on your appearance

  • Chopping onions on a wooden board with a ceramic knife

    Propanethial-S-oxide: how chopping onions makes you cry

    23 November 2018

    Kat Arney’s investigation of the pungent chemical in onions is enough to bring tears to your eyes

  • Coloured epoxy resin on wood


    16 November 2018

    Epoxies – including hard-wearing resins and strong adhesives – can be found almost everywhere, from your household white goods to the Large Hadron Collider

  • Football hitting the back of the net

    Levulinic acid

    9 November 2018

    How one footballer's climate concerns led to the creation of a green chemistry company: the story of Mathieu Flamini, GFBiochemicals and levulinic acid.

  • Grapefruit


    2 November 2018

    Florence Schechter discovers how a seemingly healthy grapefruit-based breakfast could disrupt your daily drugs

  • Universal indicator paper


    25 October 2018

    Kat Arney gets to the bottom of the story of phenolphthalein – a chemical with two very different uses. If you've measured pH in a classroom or had some trouble in the bathroom, you may have met this compound before.

  • Resin drips from the Mastic tree


    19 October 2018

    A biologically active compound from the biblical balm of Gilead, said to ‘heal the sin-sick soul’ and mentioned at the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

  • Algae bloom in Reflecting Pool, Washington, DC


    12 October 2018

    The compound formerly known by the no-nonsense name 'very fast death factor'