Chemical Reactions

Chemical Reactions

Substitutions, alkylations, oxidations, combustions, decompositions … The list goes on … There are many different types of chemical reactions, but all can be basically described as a process in which a substance (reactant) is converted into a different compound (product). This is typically accompanied by: Colour … [Read more...]

The Magic Powers of Soap!

The Magic Powers of Soap!

From a chemical point of view, soap is simply a salt of fatty acids. These substances have a familiar use for cleaning and washing, but they’re also important lubricants in many industrial processes. Basically, the process to produce soap involves mixing any kind of fat – animal- or vegetable-based – with a strong … [Read more...]

The Many Faces of Ethanol: chemical, drink, poison, medicine, metabolite ….

The Many Faces of Ethanol: chemical, drink, poison, medicine, metabolite ….

For many, summer is synonymous with enjoying an alcoholic drink outdoors, while bathing in the sun! In this case, the term alcohol actually refers to ethanol, the product of fermentation of different fruits and vegetables. However, for chemists, there is so much more to ethanol than a simple beverage... Ethanol as a … [Read more...]

What is Acetic Acid?

What is Acetic Acid?

Acetic acid – also known as ethanoic acid – is an organic compound with the formula CH3COOH. Roughly about 4 to 8% by volume in vinegar – giving it its characteristic pungent smell and sour taste - is the most common ingredient in this condiment after water. On the other extreme, when used undiluted (anhydrous) it’s called … [Read more...]

5 Uses of Sodium Hypochlorite

5 Uses of Sodium Hypochlorite

The most common use for Sodium chlorite (NaClO) may be as bleach, but it is certainly not the only one. Other examples include cleaning water and disinfection for the treatment of eczema, to name just a few.  How is it produced? In 1789, Claude Berthollet was the first to synthesise potassium chloride (KClO) by mixing … [Read more...]