Skip to main content
Menu

Posts tagged with "Things I Won’t Work With"

  • Things I Won't Work With

    Things I Won’t Work With: Selenophenol

    This fine reagent was mentioned here (disparagingly) in the comments the other day, and I knew that it was time to add it to the list. I’ve had some other selenium entries before, and they’re all here for the same reason: their unsupportable stenches. Everyone, even people who’ve never had a chemistry class in their… Read More
  • Things I Won't Work With

    Things I Won’t Work With: Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane

    Let’s start with the name. Quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Believe me, that one’s pretty chewy even for experienced organic chemists. We see lots of more complicated nomenclature, of course, but this one some features some speed bumps, that make you go back to make sure that you’re reading it correctly. I’ll take you throu… Read More
  • Things I Won't Work With

    Things I Won’t Work With: Chlorine Azide

    Well, it’s been a bit too serious around here this week. So I thought today I’d step back to a period when men were men and chlorine azide was a reactive, toxic, and unstable compound that was only good for finding out what sort of explosion it would set off next. What’s that? You say… Read More
  • Things I Won't Work With

    Things I Won’t Work With: Nitrotetrazole Oxides

    Tetrazole derivatives have featured several times here in “Things I Won’t Work With”, which might give you the impression that they’re invariably explosive. Not so – most of them are perfectly reasonable things. A tetrazole-for-carboxyl switch is one of the standard med-chem tricks, standard enough to have appeared in… Read More
  • Things I Won't Work With

  • Chemical News

    Max Gergel’s Memoirs

    For once, I’m going to farm out a “Things I Won’t Work With” post to someone else. For those who missed it in the comments, here’s the link to the PDF of Max Gergel’s extraordinary memoir “Excuse Me Sir, Would You Like to Buy a Kilo of Isopropyl Bromide?” Gergel founded Columbia Organic Chemicals, and… Read More
  • Things I Won't Work With

    Things I Won’t Work With: Small, Smelly Isocyanides

    Everyone’s heard of cyanide, whether they’ve spent any time in a chemistry classroom or not. And if you form a covalent bond to the carbon of that CN group, you’ve got a nitrile, and those are familiar compounds to any organic chemist. But what if you flip the group around and bond it via the… Read More
  • Things I Won't Work With

    Things I Won’t Work With: Dioxygen Difluoride

    The latest addition to the long list of chemicals that I never hope to encounter takes us back to the wonderful world of fluorine chemistry. I’m always struck by how much work has taken place in that field, how long ago some of it was first done, and how many violently hideous compounds have been… Read More
  • Things I Won't Work With

    Things I Won’t Work With: Straight Dimethyl Zinc

    Organometallic reagentss come from large tribes, and there are always wild cousins up in the hills. A good place to look for the livelier ones is in the simplest alkyl derivatives, and you should go all the way down to the methyls if you want to know their real character. Ignore the halides. Methylmagnesium bromide… Read More
  • Things I Won't Work With

    Things I Won’t Work WIth: Thioacetone

    My recent entries in this category have, for the most part, been hazardous in a direct (not to say crude, or even vulgar) manner. These are compounds that explode with bizarre violence even in laughably small amounts, leaving ruined equipment and shattered nerves in their wake. No, I will not work with such. But today’s… Read More
123...