Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What would you do?

What would you do if you (or a student in your Organic lab) spilled about 150 mL of solution containing DMSO, DME, water, ~6 M HCl, iron (II) chloride and ferrocene all over your lab notebook?

I dunked it in a tub of water with sodium bicarbonate followed by a dunk in clean water. I'll let you know how it turns out. Wrinkly, I'm sure.

UPDATE: Yup, it's wrinkly. Crunchy too, but legible and perhaps usable. The pages are a little brown from the residual iron which I'm sure has settled into a +3 oxidation state.


SavageSteve said...

I thought that was a trick question! Like it turns out it was just Coke or something... but I'm not a chemist, and you are, so the joke's on me!

Hope it turns out well.

Liberal Arts Chemist said...

I think your title should be WWVD (What Would Vogel Do) but since you have ferrocene in the mix WWJD (What Would Jolly Do).

I would have followed the bicarb with a dip in dilute bleach and then clean water and interleaf the pages with paper towel to dry. Sound like you have the makings of a good forensics lab.

Chemgeek said...

Steve- Sadly, it wasn't a trick question. Just a real mess.

Liberal Arts- I didn't think of the about the dilute bleach. My main goal was to neutralize the book. I've never taken the pH of a lab notebook before. It was around 1.

Dr. Kev said...

That's why I use an electronic lab notebook. But if you spill on it...nevermind.

Chemgeek said...

Ya know, Dr. Kev, I have in my office (somewhere) a few notebooks from 1988-1990 that were left behind by my predecessor. They make for good reading. Hopefully, our electronic data will be as readily available in 20 years.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

This is why my notebooks stay on my desk.

And, if that happened to my notebook, I'd just call Jeff down to dispose of it. And then write up a minor incident report. And then play Sporcle for the rest of the afternoon.

Lisa-tastrophies said...

If that happened with my students, I would first congratulate them for having the ability to make a chemical compound that did not involve rock cocaine and baking soda.
Then, I would totally freak out!!! I'm old school. Lesson plans and notes are all hand written in my note books ~ school districts do not give technology to the programs that teach/babysit juvenile delinquents.

Good to see that you were able to save the pages.

milkshake said...

1% hydrogen fluoride or 5% KHF2 or ammonium difluoride solution is great for removing rust stains. (But it is quite toxic on skin and corrosive on glass surfaces.) Alternatively you could use EDTA solution but difluoride is better. To remove ferrocene stains I would use hexane, it should not dissolve the ink. The best way to recover wet notebook (a typical problem when lab gets flooded), the best way is to freeze it immediately in freezer and then dry it by lyophilization, there are even companies that do this professionally as a book recovery service. Do not try to pry the wet pages apart, it will most likely tear and mush them