Dr David Palomas

First day in the labs with our 1st year students. Today we will be doing acid-base titrations to determine the amount of citric acid in a sample of a powdered fruit drink. Students will use a standard solution of NaOH as a titrating agent and Phenolphthalein as indicator.

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Organic Synthesis Under Inert Atmosphere

Dr David Palomas

It is September again and as usual, we start the semester with the advanced practicals in chemistry with our Master students. It seems that after the summer break our students are in a very good mood and organic synthesis under nitrogen atmosphere becomes a balloon party!!!

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The Making of #ChemisTree 2016

It is again this time of the year, the semester has been very long. One more week of practicals and we are all ready for the Christmas break!!!

This year to honour the tradition we have our ChemisTree in the teaching labs. In this post I’m unveiling the secrets behind the colours of our 2016 ChemisTree.

Blue: A pinch of Copper (II) sulfate pentahydrate in water

Red: a few drops of Ferroin indicator in water

Green:  A pinch of Nickel(II) nitrate hexahydrate in water

Deep purple: A pinch of potassium Permanganate in water

Violet: Literally 1 mg of Crystal Violet per Liter of water. Crystal Violet is a very strong dye.

Pink: A few drops of Phenolphthalein in a slightly basidified solution of NaOH in water. The colour fades away after a few minutes, long enough for a nice picture.

Many thanks to Indigo and Fosca for their help and creativity.

Video games to Promote Science

If this is not an amazing way to promote science I don’t know what it is. The Brazilian science magazine Superinteressante is developing a fighting video game using prominent scientists as the characters. Their abilities and fight skills are based in their scientific discoveries. You can take a look to the description of the characters in the website of his creator Diego Sanches. Imagine a fight between Tesla and and Stephen Hawking, I’m still in shock.

Take a look to this youtube demo:


AD Schools’ Analyst Competition

The last 26th of February we had the pleasure to host the National Schools’ Analyst Competition Regional Heat at our Chemistry Teaching Labs at the School of Chemical and Biological Sciences. 13 teams were competing for a place in the final.

This national competition is for students studying AS level Chemistry or equivalent (ie Year 12). Teams comprise three students (with an accompanying teacher).

Regional heats are administered by the Analytical Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and take place in early spring each year. A National Final consisting of 18 to 20 teams takes place in June each year.

First, Second and Third placed teams in the National Final receive prizes of £1000, £600 and £300 plus individual prizes for students taking part.

Find out more and apply at Analytical division schools’ competition.

Chemistry for NO-MADs

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