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The Bombardier Beetle - Ionic Liquids

Quentin Cooper talks to Prof Andy McIntosh about his research into the Bombardier beetle, an amazing insect which sprays its predators with a toxic blast of steam.

The Bombardier Beetle
The Bombardier Beetle has the amazing ability to spray its predators with a toxic blast of steam. Its extraordinary powers of defence have now inspired a new generation of technology. Quentin Cooper talks to Andy McIntosh, Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion at the University of Leeds and Richard Walker from Quintiles about how its rear end has helped develop new fuel injection systems, fire extinguishers, new types of nebuliser and even needle free injections.

Ionic Liquids
When is a liquid not a liquid? When it’s a salt. Why a new generation of solvents could revolutionize chemistry. Ionic liquids are being used to purify drugs, clean up industrial waste, extract metals and make bio diesel more engine friendly. Are ionic liquids heralding a new era of green chemistry? Quentin is joined by Tom Welton from Imperial College London and Andy Abbott from Leicester University to find out.

Available now

30 minutes


  • Thu 8 Nov 2007 16:30

Inside Science

Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.