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The Recycling Rates of Smartphone Metals

Regular readers will spot that today’s post is a bit of a twist on an old post from the site’s archives, which looked at the elements present in a smartphone and the roles that they play. In this updated version, I wanted to highlight which elements in your smartphone will actually get recy ... more

The Chemistry of Cherries

It’s cherry season, and the cherry trees are currently heaving under the weight of both sweet and sour cherries. Here we take a look at the chemical differences between the two, and why cherry stones are poisonous. more

The Chemistry of Bell Peppers

Bell peppers come in a range of hues, from fresh greens to vibrant reds. Chemical pigments are behind these, but what changes to cause peppers to travel through this spectrum of colours? Here we take a look at the compounds behind the colours (as well as some pepper aroma chemistry) – and f ... more

Canada Day

Happy Canada Day to all of our Canadian readers! To celebrate, here’s a brief look at some of the different chemicals in maple syrup. more

Raspberries, Weight Loss, & The Galaxy

Raspberries, like all fruits, contain a complex mix of organic compounds. Unlike many fruits, however, raspberries have the less common distinction of lending their name to the compound that is a major contributor to their aroma – and one of the compounds that contributes to their flavour h ... more

Why Chilli Peppers are Spicy

The idea for this graphic came to me whilst saving the chilli peppers from a forlorn looking, aphid-infested chilli plant that’s probably on its metaphorical last legs. I thought it would be quite interesting to look at the origin of the heat in chilli peppers, and how this can be quantifie ... more

The science of thunderstorms – thunder, lightning, and chemical reactions

Having already looked at the chemistry behind the smell of rain, here’s a look at some of the science behind thunderstorms. How does lightning happen, what gives it its blue-violet tinge, and what does it have to do with plant growth? more

The Chemistry of Mummification

Mummies are, perhaps, the easiest go-to costume for Halloween: grab some bandages, drape yourself in them, and job done. However, there’s a little more behind the traditional embalming process used in Ancient Egypt, as well as a surprising amount of chemistry. Here we take a look at the che ... more

Halloween Special

Fake blood is an essential accessory if you’re going for a gory halloween look with your costume this year. There’s a lot of chemistry in the substance it sets out to mimic; we can explain the colour, smell, and different types of blood with the aid of chemistry (and some biology thrown in ... more

Developing Advanced Lithium Ion Batteries

Today’s graphic takes a look at the research of Kent Griffith (@kentjgriffith), a PhD student from the University of Cambridge who’s currently looking into developing advanced lithium ion batteries to power our phones, laptops, and more. more

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