Fluorok at Headington

Budding chemists had an insight into applications of Chemistry in the real world with a visit from an Oxford University spin-off.

Dr Andy Schwarz from Fluorok visited the Chemistry department on Monday 26th February to share his journey from school to Fluorok, a start-up company and spin-off from Oxford University, where he is commercial director.

He narrated his story though the projects he has worked on – biodegradable polymers made from sugar, polymer additives to make petrol consumption more effective and greener, smart materials used in gaming mice and prothstetic limbs and now obtaining fluorine from minerals in a safe and sustainable way.

Dr Schwarz impressed the girls with the number of different ways some of the Chemistry learnt in school can be developed at university and applied in varied settings and applications.

Chemistry teacher Mrs Sallie Campbell said: “We were amazed at how much fluorine is needed to make any lithium cell – without which none of us would be able to do homework, research or engage in social media!”