I am a chemist trained in both organic and inorganic chemistry who works in Sweden at Chalmers University of Technology. I live with my wife, step-daughter, two cats, a tropical fish tank and a west highland white terrier dog in Sweden. Sadly my female westie passed away on midsummer’s day. Here I am in the lab.
If you have any questions about anything I blog about then please ask me by adding a comment onto a blog entry, if you do not know which blog entry relates best to your question then just pick one randomly. I will try to answer all questions to the best of my ability.*
I have docent status (My docent is in organic chemistry), my chemical interests include both nuclear and recycling topics. I am involved in the chemistry of serious nuclear accidents, at Chalmers we have a research lab named SNARL (Serious Nuclear Accident Research Lab) in which students do research on the behaviour of radioactive iodine and radioactive ruthenium under the conditions of a serious nuclear power plant accident. Questions such as “Will the paint on the walls of the plant make the accident worse or less bad” are being considered in this lab.
I also have an interest in the chemistry of nuclear waste, it so happens that intermediate level waste stores have a special problem. If cellulose (cotton, wood or paper) is exposed to calcium hydroxide (from cement) then (2S,4S)-2,4,5-Trihydroxy-2-(hydroxymethyl)pentanoic acid (α-Isosaccharinic acid) will form. The α-isosaccharinic acid has the potential to alter the way that some of the metals in a nuclear waste store will behave. I also have an interest in the design and creation of new chemistry for advanced nuclear reprocessing.
I have an interest in nonradioactive / nonnuclear chemistry as well, I am supervising and assisting with the supervision of students working on the recycling of plastics, solar cell production scrap (CuInSe2), nickel and other substances.
I hope to bring you through my blog interesting short articles about chemistry, university life and anything else which take my fancy. I am glad that you have taken the time to read what I have wrote. Please do feel free to comment and remark on the blogs, but I would rather that your comments are of a “family friendly” nature as I have no wish to read insulting, lewd, crude or rude things. I also doubt if my other readers want crude or rude things to read.
If you find something interesting in society which you think might relate to chemistry then please do bring it to my attention using a comment on this page. I hold the view that for many things in chemistry the best teaching examples relate to everyday life.
I would like to remind my readers that the production or modification of fireworks / explosives in the home (or other non-licensed facility) is both strictly against the law and very dangerous. To put it another way, the penalty for fooling with fireworks or explosives can be either death or dismemberment where the offender has no right of appeal.
I also may mention some chemistry experiments, please note that while I may issue the occasional warning about the experiment I can not accept any responsibility for your physical, mental or social wellbeing. Nor can I accept any responsibility for any damage to property or the environment which you might cause. To give an example, if I mention an experiment and you do it at home. If during the experiment you cut your hand, drive yourself insane, feel a sense of self disgust, incur the wrath of your parents, a school teacher, police officer / (insert some other authority figure), offend your wife/husband/mum/dad or burn a hole in the rug then please do not complain to me. You choose to try the experiment.
Public safety announcement is over, now I will get back to me.
I got my BSc + ARCS at Imperial College in London. I did my PhD in Prof J. Derek Woollins’s group at Loughborough, I post doced in Scotland (Aberdeen), the Czech Republic (Brno), London (Imperial College) and at the University of Reading. Just after getting back from Brno I became a chartered chemist (CChem).
I do both research and teaching work at Chalmers, one of the things I teach is organic chemistry to the chem eng students. Please do not confuse me with a man called Mark Morrison Foreman, I do not do research with rats
PS. For the spivs, bad lads and criminally minded out there I have a special message. Please save me the effort of having to refuse to tell the world about some bits of chemistry which have clear misuse potential, I will not consider or answer some questions in this blog for what I call social responsibility. Examples of topics which I never give detailed advice on include the synthesis of street drugs, fireworks, explosives and some poisons. While I might write about some topics like this there are always some questions which I view as being off limits.
For example do not bother asking me questions like
“How can I make a bomb ?”
“How can I make vodka in my shed”
“How can I make crack cocaine in my kitchen ?”