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Author: Subject: Bad days in the lab or with glassware?
ave369
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[*] posted on 12-11-2015 at 01:51


Quote: Originally posted by TheAlchemistPirate  
I now have a problem of finding an outdoor lab in the land of the eternal night, however...


This is a minor problem compared to what I have. I live in a country known for high latitudes, and this means both short day and cold climate. Right now, any outdoor lab for me means bitter cold, not just darkness.




Smells like ammonia....
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[*] posted on 19-11-2015 at 10:10


Ouch. Our humidity is bad here in the summer, though not half as bad as south of here. Very wet, nothing evaporates on its own accord...except the things you don't want to evaporate.



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[*] posted on 17-12-2015 at 15:49


I made a batch of trisodium phosphate a few days ago from phosphoric acid and sodium hydroxide. I let the reaction mixture cool overnight, and found some very lovely crystals in the bottom of the beaker.

Here began the comedy of errors. I poured off the supernatant into a funnel with filter paper, then broke up the crystals in the beaker. When I turned back to the funnel, I learned that the mother liquor had been supersaturated, and had solidifed halfway through the filtration!

To wash the solids of excess sodium hydroxide, I added some dry ethanol and stirred the slurry. Sadly, I did not use a proper stirring rod, and instead picked up a piece of glass tubing. It promptly snapped and I got a puncture/slice in my finger! (However, the blood dripping in the water of the wash basin made some very pretty patterns!)

I also managed to splatter silver nitrate solution all over myself in an unrelated incident and now have purple splash marks all over me. I didn't realize I had one on my forehead, though, until I'd been walking around with it for a day!





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[*] posted on 30-12-2015 at 14:35


Haha, not fun...glad we have a place to joke about it, as I've found not many other people find the mistakes funny or are sympathetic.



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[*] posted on 31-12-2015 at 09:32


Was running out of sulphuric acid so went looking for some today.

25 litres of 36% for 16 euros, and i get to keep the container !
Very clear as well, unlike the drain cleaner stuff.

So, boiling some down is the obvious thing to do.

Add a Fan to speed things up ! Why not ?

BECAUSE THE BEAKER WAS TOO FULL YOU IMPATIENT CRETIN !

Quite a bit of acid got dumped straight onto the hotplate.

Never reached 98% conc so fast !

Sadly it rapidly decomposed, overwhelming the fume hood fan with choking thick white vapour.

First time i've had to clean up the hotplate whilst still very hot, and wearing a gas mask.

If it were not for the fume hood and gas mask, the best i could have done would be to pull the mains fuse out of the electricity meter 100m from the shed and wait for the choking SO2 to dissipate.

[Edited on 31-12-2015 by aga]




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[*] posted on 31-12-2015 at 11:17


Ouch...
I've been hating the rate at which things evaporate here. 50 mLs of Zinc Acetate evaporating for 3 weeks, down to a little under 40 mLs...
I don't want to waste my NaOH or CaCl2, so I dessicated it in some anhydrous Copper(II) Sulfate. Turns out anhydrous copper(II) Sulfate is a terrible desiccant... going to do desiccant research as soon as the dumb stuff crystallizes...




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[*] posted on 31-12-2015 at 11:22


CaCl2 is wonderful stuff.

Make a LOT of it and keep it dry.




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[*] posted on 31-12-2015 at 15:45


Tis a good plan, I should buy a bunch of CaO.



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ave369
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[*] posted on 3-1-2016 at 06:51


Quote: Originally posted by aga  


[Edited on 31-12-2015 by aga]


Boiling the Bat requires sobriety.




Smells like ammonia....
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[*] posted on 15-1-2016 at 16:48


Towards the end of selling my house, with an offer on the table, I got the itch to test an extraction in my office. A Soxhlet would have been awesome for the task, but I didn't have one and settled for a 250 mL flask on a hot plate with the window open. After heating slowly for maybe 15 minutes, I noticed there was no boiling chip in the flask. I grabbed a couple boiling chips, tossed them in, and WHOOSH--a jet of hot acetone that must have been 5 feet tall (hit the ceiling). If I'd had an open flame, it would have caught fire.

Lesson learned. I've never forgot the boiling chips since.

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[*] posted on 15-1-2016 at 17:06


Quote: Originally posted by kt5000  
Towards the end of selling my house, with an offer on the table, I got the itch to test an extraction in my office. A Soxhlet would have been awesome for the task, but I didn't have one and settled for a 250 mL flask on a hot plate with the window open. After heating slowly for maybe 15 minutes, I noticed there was no boiling chip in the flask. I grabbed a couple boiling chips, tossed them in, and WHOOSH--a jet of hot acetone that must have been 5 feet tall (hit the ceiling). If I'd had an open flame, it would have caught fire.

Lesson learned. I've never forgot the boiling chips since.



That is certainly one way to learn to always use boiling chips. Glad nothing serious came from that incident.




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[*] posted on 15-1-2016 at 17:08


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
CaCl2 is wonderful stuff.

Make a LOT of it and keep it dry.


Keeping it dry is the easy part. It is drying it in the first place that always makes me bang my head on a desk.

First time I prepared that stuff it turned into a solid brick. Then by the time I got it crushed up again, it had already become soggy.




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[*] posted on 20-1-2016 at 17:31


Quote: Originally posted by Atrum  
Quote: Originally posted by aga  
CaCl2 is wonderful stuff.

Make a LOT of it and keep it dry.


Keeping it dry is the easy part. It is drying it in the first place that always makes me bang my head on a desk.

First time I prepared that stuff it turned into a solid brick. Then by the time I got it crushed up again, it had already become soggy.

Hammer time? :)

In regards to boiling chips, I've found that adding some of the solid reagent being used to the solution works to start up boiling as long as it is added before starting.




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[*] posted on 12-4-2016 at 21:09


I think this qualifies for this thread.

Today I learned yet again that glass at 300C looks exactly the same as cold glassware.
I picked up a flask and have some decent blisters on finger and thumb. (Typing is interesting.) happened at work so all costs are covered. It could be a bit painful and annoying for a few days.



2016-04-13 15.05.10.jpg - 1.1MB




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[*] posted on 12-4-2016 at 21:25


It doesn't look that much different at 800C either... I've picked up red-hot glass with only minimal hardening of the skin on my fingertips. How did you get such serious burns?
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[*] posted on 12-4-2016 at 22:48


A bit of pressure nakes a difference as well as a decent contact area. 300C is just a guess. It had been in a Bunsen flame.

First aid office was rather thorough and enthusiastic. There are blisters but I think it will amount to nothing after a couple of days. The dressing means I can't bend my fingers though.




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[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 00:16


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  

Today I learned yet again that glass at 300C looks exactly the same as cold glassware.


I don't know about 300C, but as glass gets towards the top end of my hot plate it has a different sheen to it, almost like a flame polish effect.
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[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 00:31


Yeah. but my problem was that I was distracted talking with someone and not thinking about what I was doing. It could have been purole and I wouldn"t have boticed.
:)




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[*] posted on 11-7-2016 at 08:51


It's not good to leave your radio on top of your muffle furnace when using the furnace. The radio became a puddle of melted plastic. :( This was removed using acetone and a chisel.



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[*] posted on 14-7-2016 at 16:15


About a week ago I broke my only Erlenmeyer. Granted I set it in a dumb spot and it will be easy to replace but it still sucks to break one of your only pieces of something and have to wait for backups.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2016 at 17:05


Yes, I had just finished cleaning my largest and only 2L beaker when I dropped it in the sink. It only fell about 10 cm but it didn't survive and broke into many pieces. Very fun! The bigger they are the harder they fall...
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[*] posted on 20-7-2016 at 09:10


Just yesterday broke 2 test tubes by knocking over the rack, then 5 minutes later broke the stem off of a 1000ml seperatory funnel.
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[*] posted on 20-7-2016 at 09:38


The nice thing about gravity funnels is that if you drop one, you get a stemless funnel for crystallization and a few inches of glass tubing!

ps guess what i did yesterday

[Edited on 20-7-2016 by mayko]




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[*] posted on 20-7-2016 at 09:53


A few days ago I was the victim of a comical series of events that led to some broken glass. I was carrying a crystallization dish and a beaker back inside after washing them down outside, when I fumbled the wet glass and clanged the two together. Everything seemed fine, so I breathed a sigh of relief and put the beaker down so as to only carry one thing at a time. I took a few steps and fumbled the wet crystallization dish a second time, but caught it right away. Breathing another sigh of relief, I took a few more steps then fumbled it a THIRD time, this time dropping it on the concrete and shattering it into a million pieces.

After cleaning this up and carrying the beaker inside, I discovered that I had also put a huge crack in it from the first fumbling. I need to reevaluate my "one-trip" mentality.
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[*] posted on 30-7-2016 at 09:04


This has been a bad *summer* in the lab, or rather out of it b/c it's so hot in the shed that the hot surface warning sensor on the hot plate trips :(



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