Thursday, July 16, 2009

Projects are Finished!

Today was the last day to work on our final projects. Luckily, the only thing my group had to do was to run about three test on the final product to be able to determine it's purity. Gabe and I were actually in charge of the TLC testing for caffeine. So the purpose of this specific test was to use store bought pure caffeine, our crude solution, and the final caffeine product to compare the their appearances on the TLC paper and if our product appeared similar to the the pure caffeine spot then that would tell us that we did a great job in terText Colorms of the purity of the caffeine.

First thing was first, we had to dissolve a small portion of our crude product, the store bought pure caffeine, and our final product with a mixture of two chemicals into different test tubes. Then what we did was to use a capillary tube to leave a small spot of each dissolved solution onto the TLC paper and labeled each spot. Next, we poured some of the solution of mixed chemicals we used to to dissolve the caffeine into a beaker along with a filter paper. Then we placed the TLC paper with the different solution spots into the beaker and let it rest for ten minutes. Then when we placed the TLC paper into the beaker, the chemicals slowly rose but we had to take the TLC paper out before it reached the top otherwise we would have to restart the whole process. After we removed the paper from the beaker and drew a line where the solution of mixed chemicals had stopped we then used a UV light to determine where the spots managed to move and compared all three spots. It so happened to be that our final product clearly matched the spot of the pure caffeine which meant we did an excellent job of extracting pure caffeine from the Black Tea Leaves.

Once we collected our data and made our observations, we then went to meet the rest of our group members to inform them about our results and also help them work on the poster. It turned out that we didn't manage our time very well and ended up staying one hour and a half in the computer lab to finish organizing our poster for tomorrow's " Science Fair". However, we did do an awesome job and managed to get everything done today. So tomorrow, Professor Avila will have people come over to observe our posters and ask questions about our specific group projects.

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...


It has to feel good to have your final experiment come out a success.

Just think, you’ve attended a major university and learned to make your own aspirin and to extract the caffeine from tea. If you tried to explain the importance of learning how to do these things it might be tough to get some people to understand why you just didn’t go down to the local Walgreen’s and buy the stuff off of the shelf.

Having gone through all of this myself when I was even younger than you are, I understand what you did and why you did it. Now you can return home knowing that you have newfound skills that can lead you to even more exciting experiments. We learn how to walk, Sofia, before we learn how to run. It’s all a process and the journey starts with that first step.

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