Practical Techniques

Practical Techniques in Chemistry

Part 1: Laboratory Safety:

  • Always be aware of basic laboratory rules.
  • Be aware of how to correctly use personal protective equipment, such as lab coats, gloves and goggles.
  • Know emergency procedures and locations of safety equipment, including eyewash stations and fire extinguishers.
  • Understand the risks associated with different chemicals and substances, always refer to the proper Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

Part 2: Making Solutions:

  • Know the procedures for diluting a solution correctly.
  • Understand how to calculate the molarity (M) of a solution.
  • Be able to carry out titrations, including use of a burette and indicator.
  • Understand the importance of accuracy and precision in measuring.

Part 3: Separation Techniques:

  • Understand and be able to perform the processes of filtration and crystallization.
  • Know how to use a separatory funnel to separate immiscible liquids.
  • Understand the process of distillation including its use in purifying liquids and separating mixtures.
  • Be familiar with both paper and thin-layer chromatography techniques and their uses.

Part 4: Spectroscopy and Chromatography:

  • Understand the principles of spectrophotometry and mass spectrometry.
  • Recognize the purpose and principles of different forms of chromatography, including gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
  • Be able to read and interpret spectroscopic data, including NMR spectra and IR spectra.

Part 5: Heats of Reactions:

  • Understand the principles of enthalpy changes and how to measure them.
  • Be familiar with calorimetry, including how to use a calorimeter.
  • Know how to determine the enthalpy of formation and the enthalpy of combustion.

Part 6: Synthesis Reactions:

  • Be familiar with common organic synthesis techniques.
  • Understand the using a natural product as a starting material.
  • Know how to interpret a reaction scheme and carry out the necessary steps.
  • Understand the purpose and techniques of simple crystallisation, distillation, and chromatography in isolating and purifying products.

Part 7: Evaluating Results:

  • Know how to calculate percentage yield and understand factors which might decrease it.
  • Be able to calculate the percentage error in a measurement.
  • Understand how to determine the level of uncertainty in a set of data.
  • Be able to present results in a clear and logical manner.