Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Recent Chemistry Labs

Those pictures won't make sense without some captions.
I made so many stupid mistakes during those labs.*sobs*
Such as getting unknown acid on my hand, inhaling some diethyl ether, and spilling some of the solution on the floor. Also, I completely lost the amine during the separation process.
Organic chemistry labs are so hard to do!

Extraction Lab

This was the mysterious mixture of 3 compounds (one acidic, one basic, one neutral) I was going to isolate and identify.

The trick is to protonate the base and deprotonate the acid to increase their solubility in water. The new ions will dissolve in water and become the aqueous layer, while other molecules stay in diethyl ether, the organic layer. A separatory funnel was used for separating the two layers.

This was my unknown carboxylic acid crude product after adding dilute strong base to get it back by protonation.

Crude carboxylic acid crystals.

 Recrystalization - adding solvent, boiling, and cooling

 The sparkling carboxylic acid crystals after recrystalization (purified). So cute!

The crystals of my neutral compound?

Distillation Lab

This equipments of this lab looked so cool! Looked like what a mad scientist would use!
It was actually pretty simple - just boiling a mixture and isolating the compound with lower boiling point by collecting its vapour. Cold water went though the outter later of the tube to cool the vapour down.

Mixture went into the left flask. Product went into the right flask.

The mixture was para-xylene with 1-bromopropane. It was boiling around 80 degree C in this picture.

The condensed 1-bromopropane dripped into the flask.
In the end I was able to purify para-xylene to 98% and got a beautiful GC-MS.

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