10 | Chemistry: Perfumes, poteen, petroleum, and world’s first nicotine patch
Arab alchemists discovered how to separate liquids by distilling them, in the 8th century AD.The innovative Irish soon discovered how to distill whiskey.In the early 1900s, Sydney Young, professor of chemistry at TCD 1903-28, invented a new way of 'drying' alcohol: adding benzene to the distillation mix yielded alcohol that was almost 100% pure. Young was a world authority on distillation, who had a major impact on industrial chemistry.
In the 1980s, TCD chemists and pharmaceutical scientists developed the world's first commercial nicotine patch, in association with Elan Pharmaceuticals, and patented around the world in 1990.
Today, scientists at the Chemistry Department continue to design new drug compounds, and to research a wide range of projects including the chemistry of crystals and magnets.