March 25th, 2015
Episode 197 of 645 episodes
In our latest look at the role of the chemical elements in the global economy, we focus on the two key ingredients that enabled the mass production of steel. Justin Rowlatt chews on salad leaves with Andrea Sella of University College London. He travels to Sheffield - the birthplace of modern steelmaking - to get up close to the technological mid-wife of that birth, a Bessemer converter. And he visits the modern Forgemasters steelworks, to get a taste of just how hard it is to produce unbreakable parts for nuclear power stations and oil rigs.