Metals/Nonmetals

Articles

The Quest for a Clean Drink
April 2008 (pp 4–6)

Author: Christen Brownlee
Chemistry Connections:
Bonding, Metals/Nonmetals, Reactions, Solutions, Sustainability
Description:
Tells of the problems in India and Bangladesh of obtaining clean drinking water, starting with contamination of surface water, followed by arsenic contamination of groundwater. Then discusses three different practical methods of purifying the water to remove the arsenic, all of which are being used successfully in these countries. The chemistry, including equations of the processes is illustrated.

Bling Zinger: The Lead Content of Jewelry
April 2006 (pp 11–14)

Author: Christen Brownlee
Chemistry Connections:
History/Biography, Metals/Nonmetals
Description:
Describes the properties of the element lead and some of its compounds that have been used throughout history. Describes its use in ancient viaducts, pottery, jewelry, crystal and even food. Focuses on the modern use of lead compounds in gasoline, paint and jewelry and the dangers this usage poses to humans. Explains that lead is a neurotoxin that accumulates in the body and inhibits the production of hemoglobin and also mimics the behavior of calcium ions in the nervous system. Describes chelation therapy to remove lead from the body.

ChemSumer: The Chemistry of Digital Photography and Printing
February 2006 (pp 4–7)

Author: Brian Rohrig
Chemistry Connections:
Atomic Theory, Bonding, Metals/Nonmetals, Periodicity
Description:
Begins with a very brief description of film photography and its chemistry. Then describes the role of “n” and “p” type semiconductors to form diodes, photosites or pixels, in the digital camera sensor. Also discusses differences between black and white and color sensors. Then it discusses inkjet vs. laser printing processes, focusing on charge differences to transfer the image or text.

Flaking Away
February 2006 (pp 17–19)

Author: Christen Brownlee
Chemistry Connections:
Metals/Nonmetals, Reactions, Solutions, Sustainability
Description:
Talks about the demise of older cars due to rusting, focusing on the role of electrons in this chemical reaction, oxidation-reduction. Discusses how different regions of the same metal piece can act as anodes and cathodes simultaneously, and how water as a solvent for ions on the surface is the connector between these two areas of positive and negative charge that allows redox to occur. Differences in rusting rates in different geographical regions of the country are attributed to the presence of salt, either from ocean spray in coastal areas, or from salting of roads in colder regions of the country. Also discussed: reversing the rusting process (not practical), other objects that rust, the cost of rust, and paints to prevent corrosion. Chemical equations for rusting are provided.