Practical Organic Synthesis
R. Keese, M. P. Brändle, T.P. Toube
Hardcover, 199 Pages
First Edition, 2006
Success in an experimental science such as chemistry depends on good laboratory practice, a knowledge of basic techniques, and the intelligent and careful handling of chemicals.
Practical Organic Synthesis is a concise, useful guide to good laboratory practice in the organic chemistry lab with hints and tips on successful organic synthesis. Topics covered include:
- safety in the laboratory
- environmentally responsible handling of chemicals and solvents
- chromatographic methods
- extraction and work-up
- structure determination by spectroscopic methods
- searching the chemical literature
- laboratory notebooks
- writing a report
- hints on the synthesis of organic compounds
- disposal and destruction of dangerous materials
- drying and purifying solvents
Practical Organic Synthesis is based on a successful course in basic organic chemistry laboratory practice which has run for several years at the ETH, Zurich and the University of Berne, and its course book Grundoperationen, now in its sixth edition.
Nothing is more important in the student laboratory than a knowledge of the ground rules that facilitate working together, but a close second is a familiarity with the standard operations of organic synthesis that helps students to bring their own projects more rapidly to fruition. In order to achieve this, laboratory rules must be established, and important tricks of the trade with regard to assembling apparatus and handling reagents must be demonstrated by an experienced assistant. In the end, it is the gathering of practical experiences by the students themselves that brings them closer to the goal of being able to carry out syntheses successfully. Anyone who has not mastered fundamental operations such as the proper handling of dangerous chemicals will become a safety problem. When too much time is spent on basic questions, such as literature search or the choice of a suitable drying agent, one is forced to cut corners on the more important operations such as work-ups.
"Practical Organic Synthesis" is relatively short, is a fast read, and contains many good hints on how to make things easier on oneself. Moreover, the book contains tables of waste disposal guidelines for specific chemicals that will be consulted frequently, and pointers on the purification and drying of solvents. In short, this work can be viewed as a textbook that provides a succinct collection of important advice, which might appear daunting to the more hesitant students, but it is also a reference work that will be used again and again. Such a book should not be expected to offer more than a simple introduction in some of the chapters, such as "Structure determination by spectroscopic methods" - more depth would be beyond the present scope. The value of this book lies in its brevity and its focus on the practical problems encountered in the lab on a daily basis.