#Realtimechem Carnival

#Realtimechem week is only 8 days away! As @realtimechem/@doctor_galactic has mentioned, it is hoped that people will blog as much as possible during #realtimechem week. Each evening, or as often as I can, I will collate all the posts here. It would be great if you could either tweet me (@jessthechemist), email me (theorganicsolutionblog at gmail dot com) or simply tweet the link but remember to use the hashtag #realtimechemcarnival so that I can find it easily.

As an indicator, I thought I would show you what I plan on sharing during #realtimechemcarnival. These photos are from an afternoon I spent in the lab last week and demonstrate a typical afternoon in my lab.

We are lucky enough to have an automated column in my lab which makes my life so much easier as I don’t have to column by hand. Firstly I TLC to see what solvent conditions are best and then I get started with the column. Automated columns are great as you can change the solvent gradient with a click of a button.  In this particular case, my product was a very polar, “sticky” amine (the spot pretty much on the baseline) which meant that once the small by-products came off the column, I could increase the polarity of the solvents to get the awkward product off.


As you can see, the column resulted in me having a lot of test tubes to deal with. The column gives me a UV trace which tells me which test tubes have my product in but I am a little anal so I still TLC the test tubes.


After I have confirmed where my product is by TLC, I pour all the solvent from the relevant test tubes into a round bottomed flask and get vacc’ing off the solvent on the rotary evaporator.


After all that work, I end up with a product which I can analyse by NMR and mass spectroscopy (GC-MS in this case). As you can see, the GC trace shows only one product which was confirmed as my desired compound by mass spec.


After all of this, it is time for washing up.


12 thoughts on “#Realtimechem Carnival

  1. Pingback: Real Time Chem Week: The FAQ (updated!) | Doctor Galactic & The Lab Coat Cowboy

  2. We chemist should start using analytic or analytical… Anal sound just weird, too weird (coff coff Sigma-Aldrich FixAnal)
    from your post: “but I am a little anal so I still TLC the test tubes.” 🙂

  3. Automatic column chromatography machine?!?! WOW! I would like me one of those, please! I also wish we had easy access to GC-MS in the lab that I’m in. Sigh.

    What are the things in the water bath of the rotavap?

    While every week is pretty much #realtimechem week for me, I’ll be sure to put some extra effort into #realtimechemcarnival. I’ll also make sure I’ve got my blog-head-on for next week! I have been somewhat slack lately.

    • Yes, we are very lucky in my lab, we have 2 x GC, one GCMS, on DSC, auto column and a HPLC. Other people can use our equipment too but it is nice having quick access.

      The balls keep the heat in the water bath so it doesn’t evaporate as quickly. A lot of people have asked that question, are they not common in the rest of the world?

      • Never seen the balls before… But my lab experience is limited to the School of Chemistry at Sydney University. The big organic lab (that I’m in) has a few of LCMSs and HPLCs. I guess we’re very lucky in that sense as well, except I don’t really use that equipment.

        Unfortunate that we don’t have a decent GC. They’re so much faster! Great for small molecules. I really miss the nice one that I used when I was working in the inorganic lab.

  4. Nice blog! I will surely visit again! btw -mass spectrometry- is the correct name, but surely you already knew that as you link to the right name/page on wikipedia =D

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