Chemistry in its Element

  • Lemons

    Citric acid

    8 July 2015

    If life hands you lemons, make lemonade – or you could make citric acid, a very useful commodity chemical according to Andrew Turley

  • Large rolls of paper

    Sodium sulfate

    1 July 2015

    Brian Clegg on sodium sulfate, known as ‘the miraculous salt’ because of its strong laxative effects.

  • Old photo of man drinking from big bottle


    24 June 2015

    Tempted by a tipple of home-brewed moonshine? Andrew Turley examines the risks associated with drinking methanol.

  • A doctor checks someone's pulse

    Cortisol & Hydrocortisone

    16 June 2015

    Brian Clegg investigates a compound that calms inflamed joints and excites the stressed brain: Cortisol

  • Man washing his hair


    10 June 2015

    Ben Valsler examines the chemicals at the heart of one of the latest cosmetic & food additive scare stories: Parabens

  • Someone wearing a gas mask


    3 June 2015

    Matt Gunther investigates a clear, colourless gas responsible for thousands of deaths in the Great War: Phosgene

  • A pyramid in Egypt

    Calcium hydroxide

    27 May 2015

    It rendered walls of pyramids and helps remove unwanted hair - Brian Clegg introduces a compound with many names - Calcium hydroxide

  • Inside of a shell showing mother of pearl


    20 May 2015

    From a glamorous necklace to cutting edge body armour - Helen Scales investigates the properties of nacre

  • Woman with a jar of face cream

    Hyaluronic acid

    13 May 2015

    Brian Clegg smooths out the wrinkles over the darling of the cosmetic industry, hyaluronic acid

  • Mussels

    Mussel adhesive proteins

    6 May 2015

    How do mussels stick tight and weather the constant ocean waves? Helen Scales discovers mussel adhesive proteins