Join 75,817 users and earn money for participation
read.cash is a platform where you could earn money (total earned by users so far: $ 534,587.72).
You could get tips for writing articles and comments, which are paid in Bitcoin Cash (BCH) cryptocurrency,
which can be spent on the Internet or converted to your local money.
I got too busy these past few days to put up the continuation of my virtual laboratory tour. Since I showed you guys how chemists have some fun in the lab; this time, I’m going for the serious parts. That starts with the amount of research work we have every single semester. I never understood why my professors asked us for a mini-research every semester so yeah, it came with the paper, the experiments, and the formal defense. It wasn’t until we reached the graduating thesis part that I really understood what those were for. And I gotta say, as much as I hated those research works, they really gave us an edge when it came to presentations and in hosting our own seminars (yes, we held seminars for the school on a weekly basis too and god, it was hell).
Anyways, to start off this virtual tour, I’d like to show you the research room. That room was exclusive for us chemists who were already in the graduating thesis phase.
So just a few paces away from the research room, we have something called the instrumentation room. It’s basically a specified room designed for instruments that have a maintaining temperature. Since it gets too humid here in my country, the air in that room all need to be dry air but cold air with a temperature range of 10-25 degrees celsius. But for the sake of the operators’ cold tolerance, we all set the air conditioning at only 15 degrees celsius.
In the instrumentation room, we have the ever-reliable Uv-Visible spectrophotometer. This is good for identifying liquid sample concentrations and if the sample identity is unknown, it can be used to identify the sample. Sometimes we use it to identify purity and yield from our extraction experiments but most of the time, it’s for identification and supplementary characterization for our chemicals.
Then we have the FT-IR which basically functions the same way but this is more specific since we get to see if the compound we’ve made is similar to the actual pure compound in its database.
We also have pH meters which are used to check for the pH of solutions we have. It’s the most used instrument in the lab too and whether you’re doing thesis or not, you still need to use them since pH is very vital for most experiments, especially when you reach the biochemistry subject. Analytical chemistry is also pH dependant but not as much as Biochemistry.
We also have tons of analytical balances since a laboratory can never be complete without one. These balances weigh up to the milligram, which is very small weights and it always needs to be calibrated because if we mess up the weight of the sample or the container, the entire analysis will be just as messed up. that's why these balances are the ones taken care of the most since they're so fundamental for basically all our analyses
We also have something called sohxlet, which is basically a multiple distillation apparatus but in practice and in research, we mostly use it to remove wax from leaves since you need really high pressure and temperature to melt off wax from leaves.
Lastly, I think I can show off the rotary vaporator which we mostly use for extraction experiments. It’s constantly rotating equipment that maintains a constant temperature. IT’s great for plant product and vitamin extraction since you can easily set its temperature to the temperature at which the solvent evaporates. And since we mostly use organic solvents for this, the temp setting rarely crosses over 40-60 degrees celsius.
And this is it for one part of the instruments I’ve encountered at school. There was more that they added before I graduated but I’ll save that for another article to come when I’m not so busy to sit down and write again.
The very last is a sleeping me and this is basically me after every experiment because it's so physically draining to complete the undergrad experiments while you're computing for the volumes and weights of everything you'll be using fo the experiment.