Michael Freemantle

  • Grenadine-based drinks


    21 December 2017

    Super-sweet and packed with preserving power, Mike Freemantle discovers that fructose can help keep things fresh long after the sell-by date

  • Swimming underwater in a pool

    Acesulfame potassium

    30 November 2017

    A sweet solution to monitoring contaminated water

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Preparing a solution from the salt of sodium dichromate

    Sodium dichromate

    6 October 2017

    Discover the compound at the heart of a multi-million dollar legal case and an Oscar–winning role for Julia Roberts

  • Picric acidiStock2259112300tb

    Picric acid

    20 July 2016

    A yellow dress, of the type worn by Jane Austen, sets Michael Freemantle exploring the chemistry of picric acid

  • Ammonium carbonatecredit RSC Ben Valsler300tb

    Ammonium carbonate

    29 June 2016

    Ever taken a whiff of smelling salts? For many years, the compound that contributed the pungent pong was ammonium carbonate

  • Ionic liquids concept illustration

    Ionic liquids revisted

    7 October 2016

    Ionic liquids have flowed far and wide since they first bubbled to the surface in the late 1990s. Michael Freemantle reports

  • Bandaged British World War 1 soldiers in a battlefield trench, 1915-1918.


    8 March 2017

    How chemical weapons inspired the birth of cancer chemotherapy

  • Packet of mercurous chloride tablets, Kassel, Germany, 1914-1917

    Mercuric chloride

    29 March 2017

    From an early ointment for spots to a medicine for syphilitic Victorians

  • Orange and black striped caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth, on wild yellow ragwort flowers

    Ragwort alkaloids

    19 April 2017

    Pyrrolizidine alkaloids from Ragworts and other plants are popular with pollinators but a potent poison to livestock, as Mike Freemantle discovers

  • Trees in autumn


    7 May 2017

    The pigments responsible for the rich colours of autumn leaves

  • 0717CW - Last Retort - Index

    The Weizmann contribution

    5 July 2017

    How the future president of Israel kept Britain fighting in the first world war

  • Soldiers with gasmasks

    The chemists’ war

    10 August 2015

    The first world war not only exploited known chemistry but also led to significant advances. Michael Freemantle explains

  • 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

  • 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

  • A nurse tends to a World War I victim

    Diethyl ether

    2 December 2015

    Michael Freemantle awakens us to the history of diethyl ether

  • Man welding

    Calcium carbide

    19 January 2016

    Michael Freemantle tells us of discovery that lit the homes and put the food on the table of millions of people

  • Men in gas masks


    9 February 2016

    Michael Freemantle relates the history arolein, a poor tear gas with unexpected benefits

More by Michael Freemantle