Chemistry in its Element

  • Manganese dioxide

    Manganese dioxide

    25 November 2015

    Brian Clegg paints a picture of a compound found in ancient cave paintings and top-of-the-range electronics: Manganese dioxide

  • Old engraving of workers making mercury fulminate

    Mercury fulminate, Hg(CNO)2

    18 November 2015

    Michael Freemantle examines the explosive history and chemistry of mercury fulminate

  • Podcast

    Zirconium tungstate

    11 November 2015

    Generally, things get bigger as they get hotter. Neil Withers examines one of the exceptions – zirconium tungstate

  • Formula 1 pitstop


    4 November 2015

    There’s more to toluene than TNT, as Brian Clegg reveals

  • Old photo of a man making guncotton

    Guncotton or nitrocellulose

    28 October 2015

    From an apron aflame to a popular propellant, Michael Freemantle tracks the history of guncotton

  • Pot of Marmite

    Thiamine or vitamin B

    22 October 2015

    Brian Clegg introduces an essential nutrient, and the first to hold the name ‘vitamin’: Thiamine or vitamin B

  • vials of cephalosporin


    15 October 2015

    A story which starts knee-deep in sewage and ends with the spread of drug resistant infections like MRSA

  • War poster about lewisite


    7 October 2015

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a molecule named after you? But perhaps not this week’s compound, the chemical weapon lewisite

  • Argonne National Laboratory

    Xenon hexafluoroplatinate

    30 September 2015

    Hayley Birch discovers the compound that opened up a wing of the periodic table for reactions: Xenon hexafluoroplatinate

  • Iced tea

    Sodium azide

    23 September 2015

    Raychelle Burks finds out how Potbelly’s patrons became poisoning patients, in the mystery of the sodium azide-laced iced tea