RSC - Advancing the Chemical Sciences


Chemistry World

 

In the papers...


Spices combat greenhouse gas

Feeding cows and sheep coriander and tumeric, spices used to flavour curries, could reduce the amount of methane - a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide - they produce by up to 40 per cent. The spices kill the 'bad' bacteria in the animals' guts that are responsible for producing methane while allowing other 'good' bacteria to flourish.  
The Independent, 19 July 2010 

Coppers catch copper thieves 

Communications company British Telecom is coating its valuable copper cables in an invisible paint known as SmartWater. The paint leaves an indelible mark on skin or clothes for up to 60 days if the cables are stolen. It shows up under ultraviolet light, and will be used to trace the stolen metal and identify the criminals involved. 
The Times, 26 July 2010

Replacing coal with biomass 

Energy firm Drax, Britain's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, wants to convert its coal-fired power station into a biomass burning station within 10 years, enabling it to become an energy neutral energy producer. The company has said it will only go ahead with the revolutionary plans if the government agrees to grant renewable subsidies to converted coal plants, as at present only purpose-built biomass plants receive extra payouts. 
The Guardian, 4 August 

Spray-on glass repels bugs 

Liquid glass - made from silica mixed with either alcohol or water - can be sprayed onto surfaces to form a coating 500 times thinner than a human hair that repels dirt, water and bacteria. A study at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, UK, proved that liquid glass reduces the number of disease-causing bacteria on children's toys, and could be used to prevent hospital-acquired infections, such as the superbug Staphylococcus aureus, that are resistant to many antibiotics. 
The Independent, 9 August 2010