8: Charred Wood (12 Days of Christmas)

published on July 20, 2020

So for the eighth day of Christmas we have something which could be really sad but is actually chemically quite exciting this was a present from my colleague Pete licensed who is director of our new carbon neutral laboratories which are being built one of the first

Wooden chemical laboratories to be built anywhere in the world and some of you may know that the first time when it was half built the building caught fire and burnt the ground and what this is is a slice from one of the beams that wasn't

Completely burnt away so you can see it's charred on the outside it's got charcoal carbon but the middle is okay but it's actually the carbon that is really interesting we have colleagues here in the School of

Chemistry who are specialists in carbon and they have put this carbon under an electron microscope and the structure of the carbon is what are called nano onion skin so you have layers and layers of carbon and chemically these are very

Interesting you can make catalysts out of them so they're going to use this they're going to publish a paper on it from the bent building and I'm really keen to see what the experimental section is going

To look like first bell in your building I'm pleased to say the building is up and much further advanced than before the fire and so you'll be seeing a video about its opening sometime in the summer but for now for the eighth day of

Christmas we have a piece of charred wood a fire the fan anthracite element six a glowing guitar plectrum for drinking receptacles three chemical badges two periodic table bed covers and a piece of tartaric acid

From a Swiss wine barrel what is day nine going to bring which is the last two dates after the 20 million pound building was completely destroyed by fire most of you by now who probably

Heard that there was a huge fire the evening of September the 12th which completely destroyed the new chemistry building

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