Smelly Sulfur (5)

Chances are, we have all 'smelt' natural gas. It is not a bad, offensive smell but it is certainly not pleasant and because of this smell, we know that there is unburnt gas about. Not a welcome prospect in a Chemistry lab! But did you know, natural gas (or methane) is actually odourless? Image kindly reproduced according to the licence at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Methanethiol-3D-balls.png This is because methanethiol (also known as methyl mercaptan), another of our smelly sulfur compunds is added to natural gas. ...

Chemical breath

A portable breathalyser has been developed by a team of researchers in the USA. The breathalyser has been developed using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to analyse organic markers. It is hoped that it will be able to be used to detect lung cancer and heart transplant rejection. The idea ogf using it to detect terrorists has also been suggested. The researchers tested people who handled explosives daily and found out that they exhaled a whole range of organic compounds that the control group ...

Methane – new colection methods needed

  Methane, CH4 is the smallest member of the homologous series of alkanes. It is found in crude oil and is the principle component of natural gas. It is produced in swamps (where vegetation decays anaerobically under water) and in paddy fields. By User:Doron (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia CommonsThe problem with its release into the atmosphere is that it is a green house gas but if we could somehow trap or collect the methane released from these ...

The Lazy Gas?

By Wednesday, August 25, 2010 , , , , 0

  Which element is lazy? It is Argon, named by William Ramsay in 1865 named from the Greek word 'Argos' - which means lazy. But why lazy? Well, it doesn't do anything (ie, react) so Ramsay felt this was a good name. There is a retail store in the UK that has the same Greek name...... I wonder if they realise what it means as well?! nrHVOFG2V-c

The Carbon Cycle (in a nutshell)

  The recycling of Carbon on the earth is an essential process as it helps maintain the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.   Carbon is stored (locked up) in fossil fuels, the sea, organic material and the atmosphere. This balance was evenly maintained …. until we came along and started to cut down trees or burn fossil fuels, increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Article adapted from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/sci_nat/04/climate_change/html/carbon.stm

Water (H2O)

  The wonders of Water:   We survive because of water - no surprises there - and we all know of lots of ways in which water is essential for life but did you know ...... ..... that water is responsible for warming the planet?   Without water vapour in the atmosphere (where it makes up only a maximum of 4% of the atmosphere) , the earth would have an average temperature of - 20 oC, instead of +15 oC as water is the most important ...

Solid or Gas?

I am yet to find a satisfactory answer to this question, so please, enlighten me! What I am trying to find out is ..... ....Imagine you are in a spaceship orbiting the Earth - on one your crew members has decided that they have had enough of your company and throws you out of the airlock with no spacesuit on. What happens? Remember, space is a vacuum and liquids will boil in a vacuum. Space is also very very cold. So, will the air in ...

Solid – Solid Phase Reactions

  Most of the reactions we carry out in the lab involve a liquid reacting with another liquid, a liquid reacting with a solid or a solid reacting with a gas. There are no solid - solid reactions. Why? (You can post your reasons below) - if you cannot think of any please contact me!   The following clip shows that solid - solid reactions do occur and they can be quite vigorous! The reaction of Iodine and Aluminium N5h5ohd8298 Can you think of any reasons ...