As a Christmas special we have a go at oxidising benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde using an unusual reagent, copper (II) nitrate. Watch to see how we get on.

As is traditional at Christmas we perform an experiment using bleach to see if we can prepare manganese dioxide by reaction with manganese sulfate, and put the chlorine gas by-product to a good use in simultaneously preparing solid iodine.

We test out a few 'urban chemical myth' type methods which are alleged to be able to produce cyanide salts, and perform some tests in order to see if the products do actually contain any appreciable level of cyanide.

We prepare nickel chloride in solution and then in crystalline form, and experiment to see how it reacts with sodium borohydride to create a potentially interesting and useful reducing agent.

We start with relatively OTC ingredients including sodium benzoate and calcium carbonate, and perform a reaction to prepare a batch of crude acetophenone.

We extract benzoyl peroxide from a skin treatment cream, and then explore some of its properties and test to see just how stable/unstable it is.

We begin the start of a set of experiments to find out if hydrogen peroxide is a viable organic oxidising agent using a variety of catalysts and procedures. We also give a few thoughts on the events of the past month in relation to the termination of our YouTube channel.

We take a previously synthesised vanillin and nitroethane condensation product, and reduce this using sodium borohydride to create a vanillin-nitropropane compound. Do note that the further reduction product of this (if converted to an amine) would be non-pharmacologically active.

We prepare dichloroacetic acid using an unusual reaction starting with trichloroacetic acid and reducing this using zinc metal powder.

We use some interesting and unusual new chocolate to demonstrate our favourite, delicious, and very simple chocolate truffle recipe.

We try out two methods for producing carbon monoxide gas, and then demonstrate its deadly mode of action and why it is such an innocuous poison.

After successfully oxidising piperinic acid to piperonal using a mixture of permanganate and periodate, we try out a viewer suggestion and see if sodium hypochlorite bleach has any potential for this same reaction.

We thermally decompose trichloroacetic acid under alkaline conditions in order to produce a familiar aroma and reagent, chloroform!

We reduce benzoin using a combination of red phosphorus and iodine, creating hydriodic acid in-site, forming desoxybenzoin as the product in a low yield.

We prepare Urushibara type-A nickel starting with basic nickel carbonate, preparing a nickel chloride solution, reacting with zinc powder, and then dissolving excess metal away using acid before washing the product.

We react glycine with acetic anhydride to form acetylglycine, and then react this in a condensation reaction with vanillin to form an interesting heterocyclic oxazolone compound.

We perform a test of the nitroaldol reaction between benzaldehyde and nitroethane in order to see if plain old potassium hydroxide can act as a catalyst.

We condense vanillin and nitromethane in the presence of methylamine as a catalyst in the 'Henry' reaction to produce a vanillin nitrostyrene compound, and then recrystallise this.

We have another few goes at producing vanillin nitrile via a couple of reactions. Watch to see what we learned on the way.

We firstly prepare pyridine hydrochloride, get this as dry as we can (very difficult!) and then see if this can be used as a demethylation reagent for vanillin to produce protocatechualdehyde.

We prepare pyridine-N-oxide, a more reactive pyridine derivative by reacting pyridine with the urea-peroxide adduct we made in a previous video.pyri

In a previous experiment we prepared ethyl iodide using ethanol, iodine, and aluminium foil. We try again and see if methyl iodide can be similarly prepared, and in what sort of yield.

We prepare potassium phthalimide via a reaction between phthalimide and potassium hydroxide in ethanolic solution.

We experiment with a new reducing agent, zinc in acetic acid, and see if this has the power to reduce an oxime to the corresponding amine.

We prepare a glyoxylate solution via an interesting reduction reaction between oxalic acid and magnesium metal. We then see if this can react with phenol in a reaction to produce a hydroxymandelic acid.


Created 9 months, 4 weeks ago.

178 videos

CategoryScience & Technology

Chemistry for home and amateur chemists. Follow our adventures on Twitter at

In May 2015, two amateur-chemists decided to start filming their hobby and a journey of learning and discovery. Based at a secret island base location, they pieced together a small 'lab' fitting into a small cupboard in a spare kitchen, and filmed over 150 experiments in a "series 1" spanning inorganic, organic and every-day household chemistry.

In mid-2017 the pair sadly departed company to different corners of the world, with one intrepid experimenter determined to keep on the work with occasional videos. They vowed to come together again one day to do "series 2".

Their popular but controversial YouTube channel "ChemPlayer" was banned in April 2018 for crimes against narration, but has since moved here to BitChute for your continued enjoyment.

The journey continues!