Trimethyl Borate

Introduction

Trimethyl Borate is the ester of Methanol and Boric Acid and can easily be made by reacting them both in an esterification reaction. It is widely known due to its beautiful green flame which will be demonstrated in this post.

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Production of Fuming Nitric Acid

Introduction

Nitric Acid is an extremely useful chemical and one of the three most used mineral acids in any common lab (the others being Sulfuric Acid and Hydrochloric Acid). It can be used to produce nitrate salts and to nitrate organic compounds. It has some nice properties which are illustrated in another post.

It is usually available as a 68% solution (azeotropic concentration). Such solutions are usually referred to as Azeotropic Nitric Acid. Solutions of Nitric Acid with concentrations greater than 86% are referred to as Fuming Nitric Acid. The name comes from the fact that said solutions fumigate when an air stream is applied.

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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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