It's time to see how the world of chemistry has changed! Do you want to know about the latest discoveries that may soon change our lives? We present a summary of the most important events in 2019. You are invited!
We have a very special time behind us, because last year was the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Periodic table by Dmitri Mendeleev. To honour this milestone in chemistry, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) and UNESCO declared 2019 the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT2019)”. In connection with this event, have a look at our Facebook fanpage, where we have organized a unique contest on the knowledge of the elements and periodic table. Apart from a special anniversary, this year was full of new discoveries. We have selected the 10 most interesting ones, among which there are, for example, spectacular results of research on the new state of matter, the method of using sunlight to produce fuels or creating cyclocarbon. Below is a calendar of the 10 most interesting chemical discoveries and events of 2019.
The FCC is to be four times bigger and many times more powerful than the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The accelerators allow to examine the elements created by the collision of streams of accelerated elementary particles. Accelerator with a larger size and greater power may allow us to discover yet unknown forms of matter and to investigate more thoroughly the already known ones.
Scientists from the University of Oxford and IBM Research in Zurich, in a publication in “Science” magazine, presented how to produce a ring made of 18 carbon atoms. This relationship was created by an innovative method of manipulating single atoms. One of the discoverers of cyclocarbon was a Pole Dr Przemysław Gaweł from the University of Oxford.
Scientists from the Vienna University of Technology discovered that the previously observed effect of destroying cancer cells using slow electrons is possible. By using the Coulomb’s interatomic decomposition, the ion can transfer additional energy to the surrounding atoms. As a result, a huge number of electrons are released, with enough energy to cause DNA damage to cancer cells.
A team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh performed computer simulations to further investigate the so-called “state of the molten chain“. The tests were carried out on 20 000 potassium atoms subjected to a pressure of 20 000 to 40 000 atmospheres and a temperature of 126 to 526 degrees Celsius. The results showed that the created structures represent a new state in which two interconnected lattice structures are formed. The observation is that chains dissolve into a liquid while at the same time the remaining potassium crystals are in a solid form.
Scientists from the CENTERA research agenda, together with research teams from France, Germany and Russia, have made a discovery that may lead to the construction of new sources of forgotten terahertz radiation. It would be tunable with a magnetic field. The results of these studies are described in Nature Photonics.
John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino were awarded for the development of light and capacious lithium-ion batteries. This invention is commonly known as lithium-ion batteries. Their creation revolutionized the world and, as the members of the Nobel Committee pointed out, “they laid the foundations of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society“. 
The winner of the Foundation for Polish Science Award (the so-called Polish Nobel Prize) is Professor Marcin Drąg from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Wrocław University of Technology. Professor was appreciated “for developing a new technological platform for obtaining biologically active compounds, especially proteolytic enzyme inhibitors.”
Scientists from the University of Copenhagen report in “Nature Communications” about finding a DNA fragment of a prehistoric inhabitant of Scandinavia in a piece of birch tar she chewed. Based on this discovery, the complete female genome was reconstructed. The artefact dates back to 5700 years.
Researchers at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (NTU Singapore) have discovered a method that can transform plastic waste into chemicals by using sunlight. A team of scientists conducted research on a mixture of plastics with their catalyst in a solvent, which allows the use of light energy. As a result, dissolved plastics were transformed into formic acid. This acid is used in fuel cells to produce electricity. This discovery is aimed at developing sustainable methods of using sunlight to produce fuels and other chemical products. 
Aleksandra Fliszkiewicz, a student of the Warsaw University of Technology, developed a light swordas part of her engineering work, inspired by the 8th part of “Star Wars”. It was created using a green laser and a lens developed by Polish scientists, the so-called “light sword”, which focuses the light into a section. The lens, the geometry of which was developed in 1990 at the Warsaw University of Technology, is now also supposed to bring new solutions in ophthalmology, such as the creation of intraocular implants for people after cataract surgery, which are being clinically tested.