Synthesis of Ethyl Acetate

Introduction

Ethyl Acetate is a broadly used solvent. It has a sweet smell similar to pear drops (according to Wikipedia). I’m going to be making it using the classical Fischer Esterification reaction. This is an excellent synthesis to carry out when studying Organic Chemistry.

Ethyl Acetate has many uses, both as a solvent and as a reagent. It can be used to make Acetamide or Ethyl Acetoacetate, for instance. It has also gained some use as a Nail Polish Remover.

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Pure Silicon Dioxide from Sand

Introduction

Quartz is the second most common mineral in the surface of our planet. It also happens to be a crystalline form of Silicon Dioxide. The most common component of sand happens to be quartz. In this experiment we’re going to take sand, something everyone can get their hands on, and turn it into pure Silicon Dioxide that can be used in future chemical experiments.

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Lab Safety: General Equipment

Introduction

This post is part of a series of posts I’m writing about Lab Safety. Throughout my time as an Amateur Chemist I’ve come to the opinion that Lab Safety is greatly exaggerated and many times misunderstood. With this series of posts I hope to put an end to this sort of sensationalist propaganda that chemistry is dangerous and that chemicals try to kill you every time you turn your back on them.

On this particular post I am going to address common safety gear.

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Types of Condensers

Introduction

In this post I’m going to discuss condensers. There is a wide variety of condensers out there, each one with specific qualities.¬†For the Amateur Chemist it is important to own at least one, for general distillations and refluxes. However, funds to buy one may be low, so it’s also important to choose wisely.

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Synthesis of Nitrocellulose

Introduction

Nitrocellulose is a highly flammable polymer made from Cellulose. Burning small quantities of it makes a very entertaining flash. It is also relatively safe to burn, as you will see, making it a great compound for demonstrations or just to amaze someone. It is also known as Flash Paper, Flash Cotton or Guncotton.

Follow this link to see the remarkable burning of Nitrocellulose!

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