If you’ve ever taken on a home renovation project and needed to purchase wall paint, you may have looked at “low VOC” or “no VOC” paint. Even if you don’t know what VOCs are, you are likely familiar with the terrible, headache-inducing smell that greets you when you pry the lid off a new can. Not only is the odor unpleasant, but the fumes are harmful when you breathe them in over a prolonged period of time.
Solvent drying is a key step in many laboratories that are using organic solvents for syntheses and extractions. In the case of hexane extractions during oil and grease measurements, this step is necessary to ensure that the extracts are accurately dried, concentrated and weighed.
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
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.
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.
“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.
News stories involving perfluorinated compounds have become more dominant over the past several years. They certainly seem to be noteworthy articles; however, if you’re like me, you feel like they’re drinking from a metaphorical firehose when trying to learn the relevant terminology.