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The Compound Interest Newsletter - Issue #1

Andy @ Compound Interest
Andy @ Compound Interest
Welcome to the first edition of the (imaginatively titled) Compound Interest Newsletter! I’ll be using these newsletters to highlight topical graphics from the site, past and present, updates on what I’m working on, and other interesting chemistry content from across the web. I’m hoping to post these newsletters on a roughly fortnightly basis – though the exact day I publish them will likely vary depending on how busy I am!

The end of the leaded petrol era
It’s easy to forget that, while leaded petrol has been banned in Europe and the US for almost two decades now, it’s still been being used in a small number of countries until recently. Last month, leaded petrol pump sales finally ended in Algeria, the final country in which it was still available – though it is still used in some aviation and racing fuels.
Anyway, the news was a good opportunity to reshare this graphic on how petrol and diesel fuels work, as well as the different compounds used as anti-knocking agents over the years. The article that accompanies the graphic is worth a read for the tale of Thomas Midgley, the man described as having “more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history.”
Click image to view and download the graphic on the Ci website
Click image to view and download the graphic on the Ci website
Radon rising: The radiation beneath our feet
My latest edition of Periodic Graphics in C&EN might be of interest if you’ve ever wondered about the radon testing that’s undertaken as part of buying a house! It takes a look at where radon comes from and how it can affect our health. Read the full graphic on the C&EN site.
Click to view the graphic on the C&EN site
Click to view the graphic on the C&EN site
National Mushroom Month
September is National Mushroom Month, which is a good excuse to look back on this graphic and excerpt taken from Why Does Asparagus Make Your Wee Smell? on the various toxins found in different mushrooms. You’ve got to say, ‘Destroying Angel’ takes some beating as a poisonous mushroom name!
Click to read the full graphic on the Ci site
Click to read the full graphic on the Ci site
Crochet enantiomers
If you know how to crochet, here’s a project for you: crotchet enantiomers! This brilliant pair now perching on my bookshelf were sent across to me by Natalie Fey, who has posted instructions on how to make your own on the Picture It… Chemistry website.
Salters Chemistry Club
If you’re a teacher in the UK, this might be of interest: The Salters Institute is launching an interactive learning platform for students aged 11-14 called Choose Chemistry, for which I’ve contributed a new series of student-friendly infographics. They’ve also been working with chemistry researchers and other content creators to produce a range of content that will be being released on a weekly basis. You can sign your school up here.
Coming soon...
After a visit to see Anglesey Abbey’s yearly dahlia display last weekend, expect a graphic on the chemistry behind all of the fantastic colours below very soon! I’m also working on a collaborative book project, the details of which I’ll have to keep under wrap for a few months…
Hope you’ve enjoyed this first edition of the newsletter! If you have, please do share it with anyone else you think might enjoy it, and/or on social media.
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Andy @ Compound Interest
Andy @ Compound Interest @compoundchem

Topical chemistry graphics and other interesting chemistry-related nuggets from across the web. Sent fortnightly.

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