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  • How Not to Do It: Ether Peroxides

    We’ve had a few incidents recently at the Wonder Drug Factory where people have been using some common solvents like ether or tetrahydrofuran (THF) and en… Read More
  • How Not to Do It: Bromine

    I wasn’t an eyewitness to this one, although I wish I had been. I pass it on secondhard from a former colleague of mine, on which it made an understandabl… Read More
  • How Not to Do It: Vacuum Pumps

    I wandered into the lab one Saturday morning while I was in graduate school – (OK, scratch that, I wandered into the lab most Saturday mornings while I wa… Read More
  • How Not to Do It: Distilling Benzene

    Summer students are showing up at academic and industrial labs around the country right about now. A certain percent of them will blow something up within the n… Read More
  • Speak for Themselves, They Do

    I thought about writing a whole post welcoming back my fellow Arkansan, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, but decided that not many folks would sit still for that. I… Read More
  • Ping! Ping! Ping!

    I was using hydrogen chloride gas straight out of the cylinder today, first time I’ve done that in many years. That’s a very different substance fro… Read More
  • How Not to Do It: Sodium

    We have a lot of pyrophoric substances in an organic chemistry lab – things that burst into flame when they encounter normal air. Liquids are handled by s… Read More
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