Monday, 28 March 2011

Lab Mishaps #5: The Duel Threat

            I can only apologise once again for the lack of posting on my part, but I’m having one of those periods which I am sure happens to every grad student where very little works and I’m finding it exceptionally difficult to be too bothered about it for fear of a complete meltdown.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Sorry about the lack of posts...

I can only apologise for the recent lack of posts here, but things keep coming up just as I think to myself that writing something is a good idea. I have in fact written something for the awesome which should be up there in the next few days so all is not lost on that front.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Another weekend in the lab...

            A busy yet fairly disappointing week in the lab was finished yesterday night the way it normally is, with several pints of Guinness and a bag of cheese and onion McCoy’s in the union bar. I got in from this all too often Friday night excursion, made some food and fell asleep around 11:30.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Writer's Block...

            I’ve been suffering from pretty intense writer’s block for the last few days and as such I haven’t posted anything. Apologies for that, but life has been pretty hectic. I had a meeting with my two supervisors last week and was informed I am not a complete idiot, which was nice. My ideas were deemed to not be ridiculous and I was provided with a nice long list of others to be getting on with as well. While this is excellent for the project, it has meant a few long days in the lab since and will probably mean a day (albeit a leisurely one) in the lab on Saturday. Oh well, such is life.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

The Triumphant Return from Man-Flu

Following the aformentioned bout of man-flu, I have in fact had an exceptionally productive week this week. My lab book informs me that I finished 14 reactions, 13 of which worked (the starting material was at fault for the one that didn’t work, I left an acid chloride in the fridge for too long and it hydrolysed). Exceptionally, not one of these reactions required purification by the dreaded column chromatography either, which is possibly why I got so much done. Nothing makes a coffee break sound so appealing as the prospect of a column at 4pm on a Thursday afternoon. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

A bit of chemistry for a change...

After what can only be described as a rant post yesterday I thought I would actually talk about chemistry today. Everything worked today, I ran an excellent old-school esterification. Bubbling HCl gas (made by adding conc. sulfuric acid to sodium chloride) through a methanol solution of a carboxylic acid for 10 minutes gave 100% yield of the methyl ester I was after. I love chemistry like this.