This Day in Chemistry: Joseph Priestley

Lucy Bell-Young

1st August 2018

Chemistry, Science

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Portrait of Joseph Priestley

On this day in 1774, Joseph Priestley first isolated one of the most crucial elements of our time: oxygen. A chemist, philosopher, famous dissenter and eventual expatriate, Priestley provided the scientific work that modern-day chemistry hinges on – but he didn’t necessarily agree with the theories his work facilitated. About Joseph Priestley Born in 1733,… Continue reading »

Sodium Polyacrylate

Lucy Bell-Young

25th July 2018

Chemistry

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A baby diaper section of a Chinese store

What do disposable nappies and fake snow have in common? A superabsorbent and anionic polyelectrolyte polymer! Or, more simply, sodium polyacrylate. This compound is capable of absorbing 800 times its own weight in water and can be found in disposable nappies, fake snow and even astronaut suits. What is Sodium Polyacrylate? Also known as waterlock,… Continue reading »

The Chemistry of Coffee

Lucy Bell-Young

11th July 2018

Chemistry, Science

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The Chemistry of Coffee

Coffee is a cornucopia of chemical compounds. Together, they create a unique composition that gives coffee its unique smell, flavourful taste and kick of energy. So what does chemistry have to do with all of this? Chemical Composition of Coffee Coffee contains a variety of different chemicals, including over a thousand aromatic compounds. Of course,… Continue reading »