News - Keele University Visit

Keele Aspirin Trip

Aspirin pic 2We attended a chemistry trip at Keele University which included workshops on how to analyse Aspirin samples. Before we attended Keele, we prepared our samples of Aspirin at school using a variety of techniques such as filtration and crystallisation. Once we prepared our samples, we weighed them and calculated our percentage yields.

We arrived at Keele University at 9:30am and got straight down to work. Our first session was on NMR spectroscopy and we were given a short lecture explaining what NMR included and how we would be using it to analyse our aspirin samples. As soon as the mini lecture was finished we grabbed a lab coat and some goggles and began to prepare our samples in pairs before placing them in a glass tube ready to be analysed by the NMR machine. After this session we had a short break in our designated room.

Our next session was IR spectroscopy which we had a good general knowledge on already and the lecture given before this session helped to consolidate our previous knowledge and to briefly describe the preparation steps. We all began to prepare our aspirin IR samples using sodium chloride discs and Nujul solution. After the aspirin samples were prepared we were taken to the lab to use the IR machine in which we were given full reign on setting up a database to record our Aspirin samples (This is shown in the photograph above). Our results were more than successful with some samples coming out with a 98% match to actual Aspirin.

Keele Aspirin pic 1After this session we were given an hour to have our lunch and given full freedom around the campus to buy any food we had not brought with us, it was a great university experience!

The last session of the day was chromatography in which we did two mini sessions. Our first was TLC chromatography which we used our own Aspirin to compare to an aspirin tablet; again our samples came out a success with many of the coordinators complementing our excellent samples. The next chromatography sample was using GC which did not involve our aspirin samples but instead hydrocarbons such as decane. We worked in small groups to operate the machine and collect results in a graph which we later compared to different groups.

Overall it was a great experience and helped prepare me for what to expect when I go to university and also to consolidate and inform my knowledge of chemistry.

Article written by Chelsey Thorn Year 12

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