Tom Westgate

  • Interstitial oxide ions

    Clean energy


    Tom Westgate meets some chemists working towards a fossil fuel-free future

  • Drinking water in a glass
    The Mole

    Water for life


    Tom Westgate investigates the chemistry and chemists helping more people to access clean water

  • Periodic table with the rare earth elements highlighted
    The Mole

    Rare earth elements


    They sit at the bottom of the periodic table like they don’t belong, but these elements are vital ingredients in many gadgets and ‘green’ technologies. Tom Westgate finds out what makes them so versatile and valuable.

  • Jessica Kershaw
    The Mole

    A day in the life of a trainee patent attorney: Jessica Kershaw


    Jessica Kershaw has spent the past four months as a trainee patent attorney for Carpmaels & Ransford, London. She talks to Tom Westgate about her typical day

  • Bales of compacted cans
    The Mole

    Recycling plastic bottles


    Recycling plastic bottles prevents the plastic from going to landfill, saves energy and reduces our dependency on oil. But what do we have to do to put the bottle back on the supermarket shelf?

  • Farrah Bhatti
    The Mole

    A day in the life of a committee specialist: Farrah Bhatti


    Farrah Bhatti is a committee specialist on the House of Commons’ Energy and Climate Change select committee. She talks to Tom Westgate about her typical day

  • Citrus fruits on a chopping board
    The Mole

    Citric acid


    When you squeeze lemon juice over your pancakes this Shrove Tuesday, you will be using citric acid – 2-hydroxypropane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid. This molecule has a host of applications, making it quite a magnificent molecule

  • Stored nuclear waste

    Dealing with nuclear waste


    Nuclear power is a low-carbon technology, but it does come with a catch: it produces waste that emits harmful radiation for many thousands, even millions of years. UK chemists, however, are working to produce materials and technology to deal with this problem.

  • Making bread on a base of Canadian bread flour

    A little selenium goes a long way


    Despite being one of the rarest elements on Earth, selenium is an essential nutrient. But our diets contain less selenium now than ever before. Does this put our health at risk?