PFCs in the Antarctic


If I had to use a single word to describe aquariums, it would be “magical.” Whether you’re a child or a child at heart (like me!), it is easy to get lost with the turtles, sea lions, eels, sharks and any other aquatic life you can imagine. The exhibits closely mimic the sights, sounds and smells of each aquatic environment – so closely, that you might think you’re out in the ocean or in the middle of the Antarctic.

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Fats, Oils and Grease, Oh My!

If you are unfamiliar with terms like “fatberg” and “FOG,” you might not realize the significance and environmental ramifications of this phenomenon. Your perspective will change if you look through recent news articles where fatbergs have blocked and damaged sewer systems in major cities.

Photo credit: Thames Water

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Solid Phase Extraction – Perceptions and Misconceptions

I was at a tradeshow the other day and overheard a conversation that stayed with me. The conversation was taking place between two colleagues who were reminiscing about their days in the college chemistry lab.

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Tuesday Trivia – July 31, 2018

It’s Tuesday again – ready to Expand Your Horizon?  For those who are joining us for the first time, every Tuesday is Trivia Tuesday where we test our wits on various topics.  We welcome all reasonable – as well as creative – guesses!

The Tuesday Trivia question for this week:

Imagine shrinking the Earth’s water supply down to 100 liters.  The volume of fresh, usable water would be roughly  _____(fill in the blank)_____ liters.

Keep an eye out for the answer next Tuesday …


Disks or Cartridges – Which Should I Use?

Has anyone been setting up their lab to prepare their samples via solid phase extraction and paused to consider whether you should be using SPE disks or SPE cartridges? Don’t be shy – I’ve asked this question on more than one occasion and it is a valid inquiry.  If you are familiar with SPE (check out one of my recent blogs if you need a refresher), you know that the chemistry involved in your application will be the same, as long as you are using the same media (or stationary phase).

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Perfluorinated Compounds – Awesome or Awful?

I remember the event like it was yesterday. I was in the lab, rushing to complete my last experiment before the end of the day.  All of a sudden I smelled smoke and a small flame erupted on the bench.

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Tuesday Trivia – July 17, 2018

Globe and Jerusalem are types of what?  What movie is also a holiday that is celebrated in the United States?

If you’re like me, you’ll hear those questions and spend the next several hours trying to come up with the correct answers:  artichokes and Groundhog Day.

In addition to creating a bit of healthy debate and competition among coworkers, friends and family, trivia allows us to expand our knowledge – often without even realizing it.

Join me every Tuesday where we can test our wits and expand our horizons. Each question will have an answer posted the following Tuesday-all reasonable guesses are welcome!

The Tuesday Trivia question for this week:

Cucumbers and (fill in the blank) both consist of 95% water.

Stay tuned for the answer…

Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) – What is That?

“Good data out requires good data in”.

I have heard many versions of that phrase over the course of my career. The statement could apply to a wide range of topics; however, as a chemist, the basic premise highlights to me the importance of proper sample preparation before analysis.

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