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Recreational Drugs - Professor Buzz

Recreational Drugs - Professor Buzz

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EQUIPMENT, TECHNIQUE,

AND REAGENTS

Glassware. A typical set of glassware with standard taper ground joints like those shown in
Figure 1.1 would be employed in an undergrad course. The joints permit you to assemble
apparatus quickly and securely, but they must also be greased carefully (do not let the vaseline
squeeze down into reaction vessel), and they are acceptable only with joints that have the same
exact taper. Never use 24/40 joints with 19/22 or 14/20 or vice versa. Never use ground glass
joints with formulas requiring diazomethane; clear seal joints are available at a small extra charge.
Never perform a reaction without greasing glass ground joints.

Rubber stoppers may be used if you cannot afford ground glass jointed glassware. Rubber
stoppers may be used in conjunction with ground glass joints. Make sure your rubber stoppers
fit properly and lightly grease inside and outside with vaseline. Bore holes in stoppers carefully
and size them to fit apparatus snug.

Cork stoppers can react with or contaminate certain chemicals and should not be used.

Other glassware necessary are as follows:

Erlenmeyer flasks and beakers. These are fairly expensive and may be replaced with heat proof
pitchers found on coffee makers. Corning and several other companies make many different types
of heat proof glassware that can be picked up at yard sales dirt cheap and used effectively in the
laboratory. Remember, even the best glass can be broken by a rapid change in temperature. Sep-
aratory and addition (dropping) funnels are sometimes the same piece used in either role. In some
reactions they are a must. They have a valve at one end and can be stoppered at the other end
and the entire funnel, even the valve, is made of glass.

Filtration and pouring funnels. These should be glass or stainless steel unless working with very
"mild" compounds, e.g., H20; then plastic and aluminum are acceptable. Buchner funnels and their
substitute will be discussed under filtration in the methods chapter.

Graduated cylinders. These are necessary and inexpensive. You should have a small size for
measuring small amounts accurately (25 ml) and a large size for measuring large quantities rapidly

(250 ml).

Capillary tubes. These are made from glass pipets by heating a pipet or glass tubing and pulling
them in two when the glass has reached a workable temperature. These items are inexpensive
and practice makes perfect.

Thermometers. A high quality thermometer is only about $8. It is best to purchase two — one

for high temps and the other for low temps. Make certain it is for measuring degrees in centigrade

as this is what all formulas require, unless specified differently. Candy, meat and other types of
thermometers will not fit your apparatus, are not accurate enough for most reactions and are
unacceptable.

8 RECREA TIONAL DRUGS

Stirring. Stirring is usually unnecessary in reactions that require boiling as the turbulence of
boiling is sufficient. In other reactions a stirring device shown in Figure 1.1 cannot be beat. If
the reaction can be carried out in a beaker, then an eggbeater can be used if set up exactly as
shown on the work bench diagram. Variable speed eggbeater type mixers are powerful, fast,
cheap, plentiful and with a little ingenuity can easily be adapted to any stirring device, but they
must be housed in a vapor proof box and must be mounted securely. Low amperage, sparkless,
stirring motors can be bought from an electrical repair shop dirt cheap. Make sure they are
sparkless or mount them inside a vapor box, like the eggbeater. Every lab should have at least
two mixing devices, in case one mixer breaks or in case two different compounds need to be stirred
at the same time. Low amperage motors should be available for those formulas that require long
periods of stirring. Magnetic stirring devices can be bought or built, but I feel they are weak,
troublesome, expensive and inferior to a good mechanical setup.

Heating. There are three different sources for heating and your lab should have all three.
Bunsen burners. These are of very limited use, as most reactions require flammable substances.
Their purpose is mainly for gkss work, generating and super heating steam (see work bench
diagram for safe usage).

Steam heat. It is very easy to produce and can be used safely for so many things: steam
distillations, steam cleaning, creating a vacuum, etc. No lab should be without it. Make sure that
steam does not get into anhydrous or dry reactions.
Electric heating elements. These should also be available in your lab. They are sometimes the
only heating device capable of producing higher temperatures.
Heating mantles. These are state of the art devices and are worth the cost. Show the plans from
the work bench diagrams to someone electrically inclined. A good electrician can make you one
of these in a matter of minutes and he should have all the parts laying around his shop. He should
charge just a fraction of the price of a heating mantle. (Note: Make sure he knows that the element
he made will be exposed to flammable vapors.)
Heating plates. Even if you have a good heating mantle you should get a heating plate. These
are made from electric fry pans if done as shown. If you are unsure of what wire to use, ask

someone who knows. Fry pans are usually good for developing 400°F (205°C). This is sufficient

for most distillations, refluxing, and drying.

JOINTWARE

three way
adapter

water
condenser

claisen

adapter

Equipment, Technique and Reagents 9

separation

funnel

three neck

flask

stopper

JOINTWARE

(Continued)

stirring
device

inlet

adapter

capillary

with fine

outlet

distilling
column

NOTE:

These are not scale drawings.

flask

light film

of vaseline

drying tube

on inlet

adapter

another
style of
drying tube

10 RECREATIONAL DRUGS

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