The experiments described in these materials are potentially hazardous and require a high level of safety training, special facilities and equipment, and supervision by appropriate individuals. You bear the sole responsibility, liability, and risk for the implementation of such safety procedures and measures. MIT shall have no responsibility, liability, or risk for the content or implementation of any of the material presented.

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This section lists the course's experiment assignments and accompanying materials.

Laboratory policies and Organization (PDF)

Lab Notebooks (PDF)

Report Format (PDF)

1 Ferrocene Lab In the course of this synthetic sequence, the student will encounter operations such as sublimation, distillation, and execution of reaction under an inert atmosphere, all common techniques in synthetic chemistry. The principal aims of this experiment are to provide experience in the synthesis of ferrocene; to become familiar with inert atmosphere techniques; and to introduce the use of thin-layer chromatography as an analytical tool and column-chromatography as a means of purification. 4 (PDF)
2 Charles River Lab This is an integrated experiment which combines techniques from organic, biological, physical, and analytical chemistry. Its purpose is to introduce students to the colorimetric method as an analytical technique, spectrophotometric analysis, water sample analysis, and quantitative techniques in volumetric analysis. In this experiment students will work with water samples, which they will obtain directly from the Charles river. 4 (PDF)
3 Essential Oils Lab

In this experiment, students will be working with oils prepared from caraway seeds and spearmint leaves. Each oil has a distinct and characteristic odor, yet carvone is the major component in both oils! Students will be given a sample of either caraway oil or spearmint oil, and will separate the carvone from the higher-boiling and lower-boiling impurities (such as limonene), via vacuum distillation.

Next, students will use gas chromatography and refractometry to check the purity of the distillate and to estimate the relative concentrations of limonene and carvone in the oil, and then convert the carvone to its semicarbazone for use in a polarimetric analysis. After obtaining infrared spectra of the carvone and limonene fractions and interpreting the results, students will characterize the semicarbazone by melting point determination. Finally, students will visit the X-Ray Crystallography laboratory where spectra of selected crystals will be determined.

4 (PDF)
4 Esterification Lab This is an integrated experiment, which combines techniques from organic, thermodynamics, physical, and analytical chemistry. It has been designed to introduce the student to: organic synthesis, fundamental chemical engineering separation process principles on refluxing, two phase solvent extraction using a Separatory Funnel, distillation at atmospheric pressure, precise handling and measurement techniques for volatile organic liquids, correct handling and operation of a Mass Spectrometer & NMR Spectrometer, thermodynamics, solution chemistry, intermolecular bonding, and organic nomenclature. 4 (PDF - 1.8MB)
5 Catalase Kinetics Lab In this experiment, the student will investigate the enzyme activity of catalase by studying the decomposition of H2O2 to form water and oxygen. Using an oxygen based pressure sensor the student measures the amount of oxygen produced and then calculates the rate of the enzyme catalyzed reaction under various conditions. The student also completes a protein assay on an unknown sample of catalase using the Coomassie® Plus Protein Assay from Pierce to determine the protein concentration of the sample. The correlation between the actual and calculated concentration gives an indication of the experimental skills used in carrying out the experiment. 4 (PDF)

Required Videos from the MIT Digital Laboratory Techniques Manual

In addition to the reading and written preparation for each experiment, students are also assigned to view selected videos from the MIT Digital Laboratory Techniques Manual, a series of videos designed to help students prepare for chemistry laboratory class.

VIDEOS related labs
Volumetric Techniques Charles River, Catalase, Esterification Synthesis
Titration Charles River
TLC Basics Ferrocene, Esterification Synthesis
TLC Advanced Esterification Synthesis
Reaction Work-up I: Extracting, Washing and Drying Esterification Synthesis
Filtration Charles River, Ferrocene, Essential Oils
Sublimation Ferrocene
Column Chromatography Ferrocene
Using a Balance Charles River, Ferrocene, Essential Oils, Catalase, Esterification Synthesis
Melting Point Determination Ferrocene, Essential Oils
Using an Automatic Pipet Catalase
Making Buffers and Using a pH Meter Catalase
Distillation I Essential Oils, Esterification Synthesis
Distillation II Essential Oils
Reflux Esterification Synthesis