Week 7: New coworkers, New substance, New experiences

This week has been filled to the brim with new events happening in the lab. We have gotten our two new workers, and they are research technicians that will most likely be staying here longer than I do. However, since they are new to this lab, they have gotten a similar tour of the lab as I did and they have begun to learn how to work the instruments here. The first day they were working on the HPLC instrument as I had done in my beginning week. I was not able to accompany them for that training because I was working on a new surfactant with a fancy name, Glc-C3-N-C10. Poetic, isn’t it? Anyways, I have ran only one experiment so far on this substance, and the resulting graph and maximum surface tension that I obtained were good, but the CMC value I had gotten had deviated from past experiments, but my sample had been purified significantly more than those before me, so only more experiments will tell. One of the technicians has shadowed me as I run a couple more tests on the mRL.

I have also learned more this week as well. I am learning a new purification process known as re-crystallization, which is partially shown below.

To elaborate, we take the SDS in a solution of approximately 95% ethanol and 5% water and force the SDS to dissolve by applying heat. We then let it adjust to room temperature to prevent any impurity from crystallizing and then put it in and ice bath to form the crystals of the SDS. Then we vacuum pump the crystals and then lypholize it overnight. I also recently found out where we keep most of our bottles of chemicals, like methanol and acetonitrile, for example. That was more for my convenience and not a necessity. I also painstakingly found out that if you create a 600mL solution of acid, its going to take a generous amount of base to get to pH7. I know this is basic chemistry, but going through the process of having to do so while trying to prevent an overshoot can be quite tedious. I am very excited to start diving deep into my work with Glc-C3-N-C10, and I will keep you guys updated on how it goes!

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