lurkitty: (Default)
Just suspend your rational mind for a little while and come with me into chemistry land.

You make up a solution of Triethylamine in water good ole H20. Triethyamine has a pH of around 10.4 or so. Purified water is about 6.5. Mix those two and you get......drum roll please....11.7. That's right. For reasons I'm not going into here, you get a nice pH of 11.7. You add water and the pH goes up.

Finish the solution by adding Acetic Acid to buffer it down to pH 10 and make Triethylamine Acetate.

BUffa, buffa, buffa
lurkitty: (Default)
The international press has had a very hard time classifying the latest terror suspect in the London bombings. Half the stories call Mahmoud Mustafa el-Nashar a biochemist, and the other half call him a chemist. I was working up a really nice rant about this when I stumbled on the real story. I still think there is a substantive rant here, but some of the wind is knocked out of my sails by the fact that, yeah, he got a degree in chemistry from a biochem dept. and has been working as a biochemist.

My rant is that I think the media is looking for a mad scientist archetype to pin this on. OOOOOO! He studied chemistry! So did I! I have no clue how to make bombs! Most biochemists I know don't even know how a beaker from an erlenmeyer flask (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating). The point is, the worst explosions most biochemists make are when their beer batch over ferments and blows open the keg. Smelly, but hardly lethal. Why do they keep mentioning the fact that he's a (bio)chemist? They wouldn't mention it if he were a physicist. Physicists are twice as scary!!!


lurkitty: (Default)

August 2011

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