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Creating a Greener Organic Chemistry Lab

Faculty Supervisor:
Gary Histand
Year of Project Completion:
2012
Student:
Jose Rojas

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to develop a green lab that could be used for a lab period for students in Organic Chemistry. The goals were to find a catalyst that was less toxic than ones currently in use for the oxidations of alcohols to ketones and to complete the reaction and procedures needed for separation and purification within a three hour lab period. The lab developed is based on the oxidation of the alcohol 9-flurenol into the ketone form 9-flurenone. The catalyst originally used was a polymer-supported, and the time for the completion of the reaction was an hour plus the time needed for all the other procedures needed to isolate the ketone. Octahedral molecular sieves (OMS) have shown a great potential for the oxidative catalysis of alcohols. These kinds of catalysts were investigated earlier by the Bethel graduate Omar Hasan in his seminar project last year. He studied a number of different OMS-2 type catalysts. However, in order to reach the goals of a green lab catalyst K-OMS-2 and H-K-OMS-2 were used because of their low toxicity levels. The results of this study indicated that the H-K-OMS-2 catalyst was able to complete the oxidation reaction within 20 minutes, while the K-OMS-2 catalyst did not work favorably toward goals. The lab developed in this project proved to be successful as demonstrated by the very good results obtained by the Organic Chemistry II class which recently tested the laboratory procedure.

Related file

Creating_a_Greener_Chemistry_Lab,_Jose_A_Rojas.doc

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.