Thursday, 28 March 2013

Chemistry fail

Thursday, 28 March 2013 20:01
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

One of the very first things we learned in chemistry (it may even have been on the first day) was the difference between chemical compounds and mixtures, and how the properties of a mixture are a combination of the properties of the components but the properties of a compound may be very different.

The example we used was iron filings mixed with bits of yellow sulphur, compared to iron sulfide. Another good example is water, which is liquid and non-flammable, unlike hydrogen, which is gaseous and flammable, and oxygen, which is also gaseous.

Yet today, I saw a repost on Facebook warning about brominated vegetable oil and claiming that "The main ingredient, bromine, is a poisonous, corrosive chemical".

So should we also warn that the main ingredient of table salt is "a poisonous, corrosive chemical"? Chlorine is no joke... but sodium chloride doesn't act like chlorine gas any more than a Hindenburg filled with water would be able to burn.

Feh.

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pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)
Philip Newton

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