Jan 5, 2010

Welcome 2010

Well it is definitely the new year, I know this because the boss is back and everything is in full flow again. The lab is humming with the dulcet sounds of high-vac pumps and the clink of clean glassware. Yesterday P, MSG and I (I mostly watched) decided that the THF still had looked like s#!t long enough and we should give it a clean.

What a mission that whole ordeal was, so much benzophenone and sodium crud settled at the bottom. We didn't know whether it would all react when we were adding some EtOH to quench it. We added it slowly but we weren't sure whether after adding small bits at a time, if there was a layer of crud covering a chunk of sodium, we would end up with a lot of EtOH and the sodium finally being exposed to the crud and the whole still going up in a giant bubbling ball of crud. We got lucky I spose but after we decided it was all quenched the crud was all clumped together making it nigh on impossible to simply tip it out into a waste bottle. After a lot of poking (with our patented lab-chopstick) P finally got the crud out and we could wash out the rest.

So that was fun, but now I find that to start up my reactions again I need to distill all my solvents (I say found out but deep down I knew). If there is one thing that makes me reluctant to get in the lab its the fact that I have to take around 2 hours just to set up for the reaction. Mind you this is large scale here and the solvents are definitely not the nicest. I have to distill t-butyl thiol and benzene and if they don't kill me then the rest of the guys in the lab will for the smell that always comes from it regardless of how careful I am. The tiniest drop inadvertently spilt anywhere causes an immediate reaction with someone else in the lab.

So here I go back to the lab, hope that my liver, which took a beating over the holidays, doesn't give up the ghost.

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