Thursday, 19 December 2013

07:54 – We’re in good shape again on biology and chemistry kits, so today I’ll focus on forensic kits. We have everything we need to put together another 30 forensic kits, except half a dozen or so chemicals that we need to make up and bottle before we can assemble the chemical bags.

11:48 – I just finished making up the last two solutions I need to make up more forensic science kits: one liter each of phosphate extraction reagent and molybdate reagent. The first is ammonium sulfate in a solution that’s about 33% sulfuric acid, about the same concentration as battery acid. The second is ammonium molybdate, also in 33% sulfuric acid.

The phosphate extraction reagent made up with no problems, yielding a nice clear pinkish-tan solution. The molybdate reagent was obnoxious, as always. Even with reagent grade chemicals, a scum forms on the top of the solution. Oh, well. At least it’s reagent-grade scum.

I was about to filter the solution when I came to my senses. Pouring 6 molar sulfuric acid into a filter paper cone would char the paper very quickly, so filter paper is a no-go. The first time I made this stuff up, several years ago, I ended up building a sand filter. That worked, at the expense of considerable time and effort, not to mention losing a fair amount of the solution to the filter itself. Subsequently, I’ve always done what I eventually did today; carefully decanted off the clear solution, trying to keep as much of the scum as possible in the beaker. Good enough.

12 thoughts on “Thursday, 19 December 2013”

  1. Maybe this should be Ray’s next Lego project…

  2. Hi Bob,

    I used Whatman glass fiber disks in a Buchner for such things. You could also try some glass wool in a regular funnel..

    Cheers, Rod Schaffter

  3. Thanks for the suggestions. The Buchner I have, but I don’t have any glass-fiber discs for it. I should probably order some.

  4. There are all sorts of things wrong with the treatment of the Indian diplomat. Yes, she may have been paying her household help slave wages. That’s not the sort of crime they normally strip-search and jail you for, just for starters. However, subjecting a credentialed diplomat to this sort of treatment – this was clearly a power play by someone.

  5. The State dept is saying she doesn’t have full diplomatic immunity, just consular immunity, which isn’t as extensive. So what if she underpaid her slave? They had an agreement, which the “slave” was happy to accept. Now the slave and her husband are trying to get a better visa. (From the Wikipedia article.)

  6. Greg, the issue isn’t how much she paid her staff, it was lying about it on her visa application. However, that does not excuse her treatment at the hands of the official thugs, which was completely inappropriate.

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