“I love doing maintenance. It’s the best part of my week” – said nobody ever.
Let’s be honest. We all dread performing maintenance. Why?
- It’s boring. I’m a chemist and I’d rather spend my time using my instrument than maintaining it.
- It seems unnecessary. I’m a fan of what I call “sensory maintenance” – that water looks pretty clean, that pump sounds pretty good.
- I don’t always know what I should be doing for preventative maintenance.
Continue reading Your Sample Prep is Only as Good as Your Evaporator
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
As the seasons change, I’m reminded of this quote and its significance to the air, land and water that sustain us. As the weather gets warmer and winter transitions into spring, I love listening to the sound of birds chirping in the morning and watching new flowers blossom. I look forward to the coming weeks and months of picking strawberries, raspberries, cucumbers and a myriad of other fresh fruits and vegetables. There’s nothing like the feel of the warm sun and a gentle breeze as you pluck a fresh apple from a tree and bite into it.
Continue reading Better Water Testing for Safer Produce
It’s one of my favorite times of the year – that time between Christmas and New Year’s Even when you can reflect back on the year to prepare for celebrating the start of a new one.
Continue reading 2018 – A Year in Review
Are whales such as our beloved SeaWorld friend, Shamu, soon to be a distant memory? A recent study published by Science predicts a significant decline – possibly a complete population collapse – in killer whales, stemming from PCB pollution.
Continue reading Water Pollution – Are Killer Whales the Next Victims of PCB Contamination?
Happy Tuesday! This week’s question will focus on one of the EPA methods used for extracting semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) prior to analysis by GC/MS. Are you ready to Expand Your Horizon?
Continue reading Tuesday Trivia – October 2, 2018
If you were ever a fan of the show MythBusters, you can appreciate the hours I spent watching myths being confirmed or busted in the most entertaining ways. For me, this show was appealing because the scientific theory was used to design and test experiments to produce facts about interesting phenomena such as: humans use only 10% of their brains, a household vacuum cleaner can generate enough suction to lift a car into the air, or a goldfish’s memory is only 3 seconds long.
Continue reading 5 Myths About Oil & Grease
It’s now 1 week past World Water Monitoring Day – tell us what you did to celebrate in the comments below:
For those who took last week’s quiz to measure their water quality knowledge, read on. The questions and answers are below:
Continue reading Tuesday Trivia – Answer for September 18
If you are performing oil & grease analyses according to EPA Method 1664, you are familiar with the requirement to dry your extract prior to evaporation. There are those who might perform this step for reasons such as “this is the way we’ve always performed our extractions” or “the government-regulated method told me so” or “we have a giant container of sodium sulfate in the lab, so we might as well use it”; however, there is sound logic in removing water from your organic solvent prior to evaporating it.
Continue reading Alternative to Sodium Sulfate Drying
As today is World Water Monitoring Day, I assume you are wearing your “I Water” t-shirt – or perhaps you are secretly wearing it to work, under your formal business attire? If so, you are probably in good company.
Continue reading Monitoring Our Water Resources for a Sustainable Future
On the eve of World Water Monitoring Day, we thought we would post last Tuesday’s response a day earlier! Celebrations for tomorrow’s epic event might otherwise interfere.
Just a reminder of last week’s post:
According to EPA Method 1664 A/B, n-hexane is used as an extraction solvent and must have a minimum purity level of…
EPA Method 1664 B outlines the use of n-hexane as an extraction solvent and Section 1.7.2 specifies a minimum purity level of 85% (Method 1664 A has the same requirement).
Believe it or not, hexane solutions typically contain a mixture of 5 structural isomers (i.e. same molecular formula, different arrangement of atoms). N-hexane is the longest (least branched) of the 5 isomers, which gives it the highest boiling point and lowest vapor pressure. Therefore, specifying a minimum purity level of 85% means you’re dictating that at least 85% of the solution must contain the x-hexane isomer.
Join us next week to Expand Your Horizon!