Chemistry in its Element: Compounds

View all stories with this category.

  • News stories about 'Ginger Jake', the spirit that caused paralysis known as 'Jake walk' during prohibition

    Phosphorus chlorides

    22 September 2017

    A hugely useful group of compounds that have a distinct dual personality

  • Glove box for working in an inert atmosphere

    tert-Butyl lithium or t-BuLi

    13 September 2017

    A pyrophoric reagent that remains one of chemistry’s staples and the liquid salts that can tame its wild reactivity

  • Alizarin based pigment being squeezed from a metal tube


    7 September 2017

    Mike Freemantle introduces a pigment used by William Morris that also gave the Redcoats their distinctive hue

  • Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) pictograms for chlorine trifluoride on a background of flames

    Chlorine trifluoride

    31 August 2017

    Tabitha Watson introduces a poisonous, corrosive and extremely reactive compound that will start ‘roaring reactions’ with almost anything

  • A photograph of a ship made out of ice


    23 August 2017

    A lightweight, bulletproof material made from ice and wood pulp

  • A baby in a disposable nappy with a snowglobe

    Sodium polyacrylate

    16 August 2017

    Need some fake snow for your Christmas party? Simply look inside a baby’s nappy.

  • Film x-ray of human foot and arthritis at first metatarsophalangeal Joint . 2 position ( front and side view )


    10 August 2017

    A popular prescription pill that helps to keep gout and other arthritic conditions under control

  • Red-bellied Piranha, mouth open to show the teeth

    Piranha solution

    4 August 2017

    When you need to get your glassware extremely clean, you need a cleaning solution with real ‘bite’

  • Wooden floorboards


    27 July 2017

    Wood has been vital in the development of human civilisation. Brian Clegg looks at the compound at its heart

  • Soldiers wearing WW1 gas masks. L-R: American, British. French, German. 1917-18.


    21 July 2017

    One of the few technical mistakes the Germans made in the first world war