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Offline svncehm

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Research work
« on: November 29, 2016, 10:32:35 AM »
Hi to everyone.
In the beginning I want to apologise for my bad English, if there will be any mistakes.
So I'm a student of chemistry highscool in Slovenia, student of third year and I want to make a research work. It can be based on both types of chemistry (inorganic and organic), but the only bad thing is that I don't know what I would do.
So I decided to ask on this forum, if you guys have any idea what I should do.
 
I was already thinking about caffeine extraction from green, black, yellow and black tea, but it has already been done so I can't do it again. My second thought was that I would analyse the quality of bottled water: the one in plastic and in glass bottle, but it would be a very expensive analyse because we don't have the right equipment in school so I would need to take it to the national institute of public health care and pay for it.
 
So if you have any suggestion I'm open for suggestions.
Thanks for your time.

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Research work
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 06:57:49 PM »
I'd suggest that your examples are too difficult for a high school student, and too technically demanding for a high school laboratory.

Look at the laboratory exercises that you have performed, or are available to be done in your laboratory textbook.  These are ideas to start with.

Maybe there's something that you did, just once, on one sample type.  You can do that one multiple different ways, or multiple times, and see what you can discover.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Borek

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Re: Research work
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2016, 02:54:21 AM »
High School can mean undergraduate level, that would be a common mistranslation.
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Offline Arkcon

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Re: Research work
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2016, 06:39:12 AM »
Ah. Sorry.  Well, starting with what you've done in class, can the O.P. tell us what they can do?

Quote
I was already thinking about caffeine extraction from green, black, yellow and black tea, but it has already been done so I can't do it again.

I don't see why, unless you do it exactly the same.  I extract some every morning, before I drink it, and no one tells me to stop.  Perhaps this is a quantitative extraction, trying to determine how much is extractable from each.  But the posting doesn't say so.  Nor does it address that you can determine quantitatively without extraction.

Quote
My second thought was that I would analyse the quality of bottled water: the one in plastic and in glass bottle,

Analyze for what?  What is expected in water, what is expected in glass vs plastic?  How does the O.P. know that there is a difference, and what difference are they expecting?  You can't plan an experiment where you show up, with two bottles, and look for ... stuff ... different.  There is no way you can go to a national institute with such a poorly planned experiment.

These are cute ideas, but more, real, work is needed.  The O.P. can tell us what their last laboratory experiment involved so we can gauge their resources.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 09:17:47 AM by Arkcon »
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline svncehm

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Re: Research work
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2016, 08:38:00 AM »
Thanks for answer.
In our school we have several subjects based on chemistry (local chemical industry, materials, organic chemistry, chemical technology etc.). So it's quite demanding knowledge standard here.
But let's bring it to research works. Research works are supported by Slovenian union of technical culture, and me and my friend were thinking of extraction of caffeine, but as we looked on union site it has already been done. It also recieved price from pharmaceutical company Krka. So we actually can't do it because union keeps records of all research works.
But for water we meant to analyse if there's any chance that chemicals such as polymers could be present in water that is filled in plastic. In water that is filled in glass we would search for fluorine ions and if they would be present we would continue our search for SiO2, because fluorine should form weak HF and corrode the glass. But hypothesis can be confirmed or refuted.
 

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Research work
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2016, 03:59:25 PM »
Not very clear to me: are you studying at 3 years after A-level? How many years of chemistry already? So maybe I don't target properly these suggestions.

If you can measure a heat of formation (through a heat of combustion usually), geminal amines are worth a try.
- Measure CN(C)CN(C)C, CN(C)CC(C)C and CC(C)CC(C)C. Compare.
- Or measure adamantane (not cheap) and hexamethylene tetramine. Compare.
- Deduce if geminal amine positions stabilize them as existing data suggests, which goes against common conceptions
http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=46407.msg302977#msg302977

Get a bunch of UV light-emitting diodes at 465, 485 and 495nm (bought or offered by the manufacturer). Let them shine and use them as a replacement for Hg lamps in known simple reactions. Observe how well this works.
http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=79940.msg291270#msg291270

Measure precisely the density of solid n-alkanes at identical low temperature like 77K, check if there is some correlation with the melting point, especially the odd-even effect
http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=75605.0

Synthesize CCN(C)CCCN(C)CCCN(C)CC, observe its melting point around -100°C (I hope it's a fuel candidate to bring samples or astronauts back from Mars)
http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=56069.msg272080#msg272080
the flash point, stability at heat, heat of formation, density, viscosity, odour would be interesting too.

Would these be too simple? Most ideas are more difficult.

Offline svncehm

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Re: Research work
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2016, 05:13:47 PM »
Not very clear to me: are you studying at 3 years after A-level? How many years of chemistry already? So maybe I don't target properly these suggestions.

I'm a 3rd year of high school for chemistry, so in first and second year we learned pretty much inorganic chemistry and basic extractions, titrations, spectrophotometry, flame-photometry etc. As I said it was quite easy but the hard part comes in second half of this year so maybe the amines would be pretty hard, but thanks for idea. I will try to think some more and try to rearrange some things so it would be cheaper and discuss it with my mentor. Thanks again.

Offline Borek

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Re: Research work
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2016, 06:30:57 PM »
I'm a 3rd year of high school

Beware: as it was already said in the thread, "High School" is ambiguous. It is most often understood in terms of US system, in which HS students are up to about 18 yo. What you mean by HS most likely translates to the undergraduate level (more or less first three years after finishing the HS, ending with a BSc degree).
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Offline Arkcon

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Re: Research work
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2016, 06:59:08 PM »
I've moved this thread again to Chemical Education, and I'm glad the O.P asked this question, because its now an useful thread.  First of all, we've all learned something about what high school means world wide.  Also, the O.P. gradually fleshed out a better and better project, and a clearer and cleared way of describing their resources and limitations.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Research work
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2016, 01:50:04 PM »
Mankind still is in need of many melting points, properly measured by authentic experiment. It's incredible how few we have below -5°C: for alkanes there are 50-100, nearly all coming from 1 (one) Naca project around 1950.

All the rest is estimated by software and is very wrong, like 50K too warm or too cold. Worse: some thinking and software training runs on wrong data. Theories work badly up to now and have a too small experimental set to make progress.

For rocket fuels, I need branched alkanes and a few strained ones, plus saturated tertiary amines. Other people have other needs.

So a project could be: take 100 branched alkanes, still unmeasured (the Naca project separated them from oil distillates), around C10 to C20. Take liquid nitrogen and a thermometer. Purify, freeze, measure, publish.

Or do it for amines. Get a bunch from Huntsman, Koei or an other. Put methyl groups everywhere, separate, measure. Permethylated propylamines look interesting and their melting point isn't in the datasheets.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Research work
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2016, 10:55:05 AM »
The most interesting melting points would be for alkanes with a very wide liquid range. That is, a flash point above +55°C (corresponds to a boiling point over +170°C more or less), and a melting point like -100°C for Mars return missions. Other uses like computer cooling fluids, transformer oil, airliner hydraulic fluid... would also benefit from such alkanes, with a somewhat different but wide liquid range
http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=56069 (uses spread over the topic)

As no theory nor heuristic tells which molecule is good, one approach would be to take a mixture of existing candidates (like a canister of Diesel oil, kerosene or liquid paraffin), chill it stepwise and filter away the solids, distil away the volatiles, repeat as needed. At the end, separate and identify the compounds in the small remaining fraction, either:
  • for direct use if they're abundant enough for some markets;
  • or as a target for compound synthesis;
  • or as raw data for subsequent understanding and design of good compounds.
No synthesis needed here, only separation and analysis.

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