McMaster University - Chem2O06 Lab Manual 1997/98

Chem2O06 Labs - General Remarks


The purpose of the Chemistry 2O06 laboratory experiments is to illustrate and reinforce some of the lecture material in the course, as well as to teach you some of the techniques employed in the organic chemistry laboratory.


Do not come into a laboratory unprepared. Read and understand the experiments ahead of time. If you do not do this you will be unable to plan and use your time efficiently. The demonstrators have the authority to require any student who is not prepared to leave the laboratory. Occasionally, special techniques will be demonstrated during regular class and pre-lab lectures.

Some experiments (e.g. Grignards) require scrupulously dry conditions. Glassware for these experiments must be cleaned the week before, so that they are ready to assemble at the very beginning of the lab period in which they are to be used.

Safety and Cleanliness

Many of the compounds and solvents that you will be handling are highly flammable and highly toxic . Stay alert to these hazards by checking for flames before pouring volatile solvents and, conversely, by checking for fumes before lighting a burner. In case of a fire, DO NOT PANIC - retreat to safety and call a demonstrator. Avoid inhalation of concentrated vapours; sniff lightly to become familiar with the odours of your reagents and products. Wash quickly and thoroughly if you get chemicals in contact with the skin.

Wear glasses, either prescription or safety, throughout the laboratory period. Contact lenses are strictly forbidden.

Because of the size of the class, fume hoods are at a premium. They will be used in particular experiments, generally by 2-3 people at the same time. You are responsible for cleaning up after yourself.

Glassware can generally be cleaned with brush, soap and water. Stubborn gums and tars may respond to acetone or other solvents. Use these solvents sparingly, washing several times with a small volume rather than once with a large amount. Keep your apparatus and your working area clean. In general, the longer you leave apparatus dirty, the harder it is to clean! Do your share of the tidying up of communal areas like reagent shelves, hoods and weighing stations.

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04sep97; wjl