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Week 10

Last blog. Sad! This has been extremely busy week. On Monday I found out two things about aniline. One, it is light sensitive so my stock that I had made up has been degraded into something else. Two, the new column that was put on last week does not elute aniline well and as a result it smears the peak so it is difficult to see. Despite this, we continued on with HPLC analysis and were able to obtain data for most of the reactions. At the same time I was doing HPLC analysis, the Johnson lab did GC headspace analysis on my samples to assess concentration of nitrobenzene and aniline.

Week 9

I can’t believe I only have one week left! This summer has flown by. This week I stated characterizing my reactions on HPLC, which is an awesome instrument to use (I’m probably going to be called a nerd for saying this). Monday and Tuesday were spent developing the protocol for running reactions on HPLC. Running an experiment on HPLC pretty much starts off flying blind. There are multiple variables to adjust and you start off by guessing what the right numbers are.

Week 8

There is an ongoing joke this summer of me switching projects every 2 weeks. Well guess what…it has been two weeks since I made the last switch so in keeping with tradition of the summer I have a new project! Well sort of. After two weeks of trying to get the uv/vis to monitor my samples accurately I have found that the uv/vis is terrible at monitoring solutions containing anything other that de-ionized water (and sometimes not even that). Samples containing NOM or any sort of stabilizer had too much interference to be able to observe the reaction accurately.

Week 7

Sorry Vanessa, I should really start doing these on Friday. No new project this week. I’ve actually managed to stay on the same project for more than a week. Haha! I’ve continued characterizing the reduction of nitrobenzene by nano iron. After much experimenting I have settled on an optimal pre-exposure time. Now I have to make up multiple different samples varying concentrations of either nom, xanthan gum, guar, or other real world materials. So far I have characterized nom, with some interesting results.

Week 6

New project! Woo! With only 4 weeks left I’ve again started a new project. After numerous experimental setups, each more extravagant than the last we discovered that indigo carmine is extremely sensitive to oxygen and it is impossible to keep it in an entirely anoxic environment while still monitoring the reaction. Short of running the entire experiment in the glove box, there was no way to stop oxygen from entering my cuvette and reacting. After seeing this, we decided to switch to nitrobenzene as our model compound.

Week 5

I can’t believe I’m already halfway through. When I started this week Jim had a side project for me to do while we were waiting for the supplies for the electrode to arrive. My project was to determine if various forms of nano-iron were reactive with the probe compound and if so to determine the kinetics of each reaction.

Week 4

Week 4

Week 3

Week 3! Time is flying by. I can’t believe that I’ve already been here for 3 weeks! I spent a lot of time this week behind the computer doing literature searches. It turns out that there is a much better way to make the electrode than the current PDE we have been using to study manganese dioxide. The materials should be here next week and I should get more comparable results for electrochemical characterization using the new electrode.

Week 2

     It has been busy week! I spent a lot of time out of the lab this week. Monday we had the NSF site visit, Wednesday we started our class, and Thursday we went downtown for a tour of OHSU along with attending a forum

Week 1

Wow! What a week. The first five days have been extremely busy and packed with a great deal of material. I started off the week conducting literature searches on the compound I’m going be studying this summer, manganese dioxide. It turns out that it has some pretty interesting properties that have not been examined in the context that CMOP is focused on. Over the next nine weeks I’m going be studying the reactivity of both synthetic and biogenic nano-sized MnO2.

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