Organic Chemistry Laboratory Techniques
Lisa Nichols, Butte Community College
Pub Date: 2016
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The organic lab manual provides detailed and comprehensive material of general organic laboratory techniques and instrumentation. It contains read more
The organic lab manual provides detailed and comprehensive material of general organic laboratory techniques and instrumentation. It contains information about most instruments, and provides detailed explanation of their use. Having pictures alongside the text is very helpful, and it could have been supplemented with links to videos if available. Safety is very important in the lab, and when working with students in organic labs, often they have very little information about safe techniques or disposal. Some lab manuals provide that info, which is also helpful for the instructor. I liked that this manual also provided details on safety. Also, each lab or topic ends with a short summary, which is very useful for students when they just need a quick refresher, especially for returning students. The lab manual also compares different techniques, and highlights their use in specific cases, which is great if the students are involved in independent work or research.
The lab manual accurately describes and explains the major laboratory techniques and instrumentation. There may be some differences on how certain procedures should be performed, but it is mostly a question of style and/or preference. Minor differences in techniques are expected even in different institutions and/or labs.
The organic lab techniques are not going to change drastically in the next 20-30 years. It is possible that the instruments will get a news and easy to use interface, but having an understanding of the scientific principles behind the techniques/instruments is essential for students’ learning. Also, if green solvents are introduced into the experiments, some techniques might change, but not to the extent that the entire textbook needs to be revised.
The writing style was very pleasant and easy to read. Having pictures certainly made it very enjoyable. The terminology was properly used as well.
The text was consistent, as you would expect from a single author work. The sections were arranged similarly throughout the manual making it easier to navigate and locate information.
The manual is well-organized. It is also easier to use when other textbooks, so it would be very useful for returning as well as new students- from introductory to advanced levels.
The organization follow from basic to advanced techniques. Some instructors might not follow the same order of experiments but that applies to basically any textbook.
This manual, like most OER textbooks I have looked at, was converted from a word document to pdf, and it would have been helpful to link the experiments in the Table of Contents to the page of the experiment. Otherwise, I had to scroll through many pages to go where I want. Jumping to the page did not always land where needed.
There might have been some grammatical mistakes, but I did not notice while reading it.
Not applicable since this is a technical document.
Excellent resource for introductory as well as advanced chemistry students.
This book does an excellent job of covering all of the basic techniques used in an organic chemistry lab. Each section is written so that it can read more
This book does an excellent job of covering all of the basic techniques used in an organic chemistry lab. Each section is written so that it can stand alone which I think makes it a great resource to add to an existing course.
I found this book to be an accurate guide on lab techniques. Because there is alot of variation in the field, there is not always one right way to do something, and this book covers multiple options that are commonly used in the field. It also makes a point to add in cases where students should seek clarification from the professor, which makes it very versatile.
This textbook includes both classic lab techniques and more modern variations. I don't think it will be an issue to update it over time. It does not always include options for an older lab space, but I only consider that a minor drawback.
This textbook is very well-written. It presents the material in a clear, easy to understand way. It reaches the necessary vocabulary for each technique. The pictures and summary charts after each technique are very valuable tools as well.
The book is consistent in content and layout. The way information is presented is the same throughout.
Each chapter stands alone, so it could easily be assigned in pieces without losing its message. The chapters are further divided into sections, so it is possible to assign only the specific sections relevant to your class.
The flow is very logical. It starts with material relevant to entering a lab and then moves on to progressively more difficult or involved techniques. Sometimes the fact that the chapters are so modular interrupts the flow a small amount, but I think it is worth it for the versatility it provides.
I had no issues navigating the book.
I found the textbook to be well-written and edited.
This is a standard laboratory textbook. It doesn't involve any potentially insensitive or offensive examples. It is written in a neutral way.
Overall, I found this book to be a very good resource for basic laboratory Techniques. It provides good explanations for those new to a technique as well as pictures and summary tables for those looking to use it as a quick resource to remind them how to do something in the lab.
This book provides a thorough coverage of standard techniques used in the organic laboratory. The table of contents on page 2 is very useful as it read more
This book provides a thorough coverage of standard techniques used in the organic laboratory. The table of contents on page 2 is very useful as it provides links to the different topics that one can click on to instantly go to the section of interest. A summary of techniques is also provided on page 336. It appears that there is supposed to be an index on page 365, but the pdf ends at page 364; clicking on the link "Complete Index" on page 336 does not work. However, this does not reflect negatively on the content, which is sufficiently comprehensive.
Only a couple of minor errors found: on page 35, Table 1.2, the boiling point of diethyl ether should be 35 oC (instead of 34 oC), and the autoignition temperature of methanol should be 385 oC (instead of 464 oC). These values were found on the sigma aldrich website (sigmaaldrich.com) and accompanying SDS forms. The boiling point of diethyl ether is listed correctly on page 145. Otherwise content appears accurate.
No issues here. The content should be relevant for many years to come.
Well-written, clear and straightforward to understand. The abundance of color pictures provides excellent visual illustration of the techniques described in the text.
No problems or concerns here.
Sections are easy to navigate to through the table of contents; assigning reading to a student should be straightforward.
As mentioned above, the book appeared to be missing page 365, which is supposed to contain a complete index. Otherwise, there were no navigation issues encountered. Images are clear, not distorted, and easy to read.
On page 22, first paragraph, second sentence, "...which indicates that no volume has been delivered with the pipette is still full." should read "which indicates that no volume has been delivered when the pipette is still full." Also on page 29, Figure 1.31, in the figure caption, item d) "Withdrawing inert gas in order to flushing the syringe." the word flushing should be replaced with "flush." Otherwise grammar is fine.
Not applicable in this case, as this is a technical writing document.
A wonderful, illustrative and well-written lab manual. I appreciate the vast abundance of color photographs and detailed descriptions of lab techniques. This is a much needed resource that should be required reading for all undergraduate organic chemistry lab students.
The book includes detailed descriptions of all relevant techniques used in intro organic chemistry lab as well as some more advanced techniques. read more
The book includes detailed descriptions of all relevant techniques used in intro organic chemistry lab as well as some more advanced techniques. Discussion of different types of distillations and extractions were thorough. Topics that are absent from the book but often covered in other textbooks are general lab safety (though specific safety concerns are addressed within each topic), notebook preparation, and spectroscopy.
I did not find any inaccuracies in the book.
Basic techniques in intro organic chemistry labs haven't changed in the last 20+ years. The information in the book will remain relevant for years to come. Instrument interfaces change, but since book doesn't cover spectroscopy, it is not an issue.
I found the book to be clear and easy to read. The abundance of pictures and drawings accompanying the text will make it easy to follow for students. The author did a great job staging the photographs. Organic compounds are often colorless, but colored compounds were used in many photographs to help students visualize what is happening. NMR spectra are used to illustrate some points about purity in the crystallization and extraction chapters. I will be assigning these chapters long before covering NMR, so references to it may be more confusing than enlightening for students.
I found no inconsistencies with terminology or tone in the textbook.
Sections of the book can be assigned in any order according to the needs of the course. Each technique is self-contained. I like that each chapter is broken down into sections and subsections. The book covers several techniques that I do not use in my course, so this makes it easy to specify which pieces of the chapter students are responsible for.
Each chapter provides an overview, covers the theory behind the technique, then discusses the practical aspects of carrying out the technique and its variations. I cover techniques in a different order than the book, but the book is designed to be used in any order. The last chapter, Technique Summaries, is an excellent resource for students and something I haven't encountered before in lab textbooks. The picture step-by-step technique summaries will be great for students who have performed techniques previously but need a reminder.
The hyperlinks in the TOC are wonderful for navigating the book. Each chapter has its own detailed TOC - I would have liked those to be compiled at the beginning of the book. WIthin the chapter, the subsections have numbers (ex. Ch III B.1), but those section numbers do not appear in the TOC. I think it would be helpful to have the subsection numbers in the TOC as well. I did not encounter any distortion of images.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
Cultural or historical context is not given, but that is typical in organic lab textbooks. Pictures are largely of equipment, so there is no bias showing people from one background verses others.
I really like this book. The number and use of pictures makes it superior to all traditional textbooks I have seen. I will assign this book the next time I teach organic lab. If the author expands on the book, I would love to see chapters on safety and spectroscopic techniques.
This laboratory technique manual is very detailed and extremely well-written. All the discussed techniques are very commonly used in undergraduate read more
This laboratory technique manual is very detailed and extremely well-written. All the discussed techniques are very commonly used in undergraduate research and teaching labs. The procedures and concepts are explained carefully in detail. The many accompanying pictures and sketches are incredibly useful visual aids. The text of each subchapter was well thought-out and warned of common mistakes for students to avoid, including pictures of correct and incorrect set-ups. I found the book very comprehensive as the concepts were described in careful detail.
The content of this laboratory technique manual was very accurate as far as I can tell. I did not detect any misinformation or falsehoods. Concepts and techniques were explained thoroughly and unbiasedly. Credible sources were cited where appropriate. I did not come across any typos in this book.
At the undergraduate level organic laboratory techniques and glassware have not changed dramatically over the past couple of decades and I do not foresee much of a change in the next decade and beyond. This manual thoroughly describes the most important techniques and equipment. These will be useful in many years to come. It takes into consideration the restrictions of equipment that may be available at different institutions and, when possible, gives different options to use when one procedure may not be possible due to lack of the required equipment or materials.
The text was extremely well-written, straightforward and easy to read and understand. The language was such that undergraduates, who may not know all the proper terms and lab jargon, would be able to easily follow. Procedures were written in a step-by-step manner with careful choice of words that didn't leave much room for ambiguity. These were accompanied by pictures of equipment and set-up etc that will immensely facilitate the students' ability to master these techniques. In fact, now that I am aware of this amazing book I will send an e-copy to all my research students and organic lab TAs because this will help them better understand these techniques they are performing on a daily basis. This will also be a formidable resource for students to learn about new techniques that they are about tot perform for the first time.
The book is consistent and structured. Chapters and subchapters are clearly defined. Terminology is not taken for granted but introduced when it first mentioned. There are hyperlinks within the text that link to other locations within the book where a certain concept or piece of equipment may be explained more thoroughly. Citations are used throughput the book where appropriate.
The text is a nice read - probably as much fun as it can be to read a lab manual. Sometimes, scientific texts can be very tedious to read. This book however is well-written and well-organized. Additionally, it offers plenty of visualizations (pictures, schematics), that it makes reading and understanding quite easy. There are no large blocks of text without sub-headers. All chapters are divided into appropriate sub-chapters and sub-sections that deal with a certain module. Sometimes the book used hyperlinked words to refer to other points in the text where a certain concept may be explained more thoroughly. I didn't find it overly self-referential however. Throughout the book there are citations to well-respected outside sources such as journal articles and other books (just below the text on a page where applicable).
I found the book was organized in a logical fashion. Simple concepts such as laboratory terminology for pieces of equipment and simple techniques are handled at the beginning. Then the manual moves to more advanced topics that may require understanding of the previously covered topics. Any time a new term is introduced it is defined and explained. Many visual aids such as pictures, figures, schematics and tables accompany the text. These items are appropriately enumerated and the text often refers back to these items so that its easy to visualize and follow what the text is describing.
I loved the books interface. The general text is written in a black font with appropriate spacing between lines. Figures and tables etc. are labeled with green font. Whenever something needs to be highlighted within the main text a black bolded or sometimes a red bolded font is used underlining its significance to the reader (red means more significant). Pictures, schematics, graphs, tables etc. are in color and make for a very pleasant reading experience.
I did not come across any grammatical errors in this text.
This is a scientific text and does not make mention to race, ethnicities or culture. The text was professionally written and I found no part of this text to be offensive or insensitive.
I loved this laboratory techniques manual ! The author did a great job accumulating all this information and organizing it in such a way that it is easily read and understood with plenty of visualizing aids. Ii highly recommended this book for undergraduates as well as beginning graduate students. In some cases students may be using a certain technique on a daily basis already but sadly, they may not be fully aware of the science behind it. I think this book helps close this knowledge gap. Information on certain laboratory techniques is usually available on the internet. However I had not yet come across such a comprehensive text. 5/5 stars ! In fact, now that I am aware of this amazing book I will send an e-copy to all my research students and organic lab TAs because this will help them better understand these techniques they are performing on a daily basis. This will also be a formidable resource for students to learn about new techniques that they are about to perform for the first time (e.g. column chromatography.)
The book covers all the areas relevant for the typical undergraduate science student. It is well indexed and the links to move around the text are excellent. read more
The book covers all the areas relevant for the typical undergraduate science student. It is well indexed and the links to move around the text are excellent.
With just a few exceptions the information provided is error-free.
The textbook is most appropriate as a supplement to the typical undergraduate lab manual. In the lab a reaction might be run that includes several techniques to isolate and purify a compound. This text is great for providing the nuts-and -bolts of how to perform these techniques. This book does not however go into any discussion on identifying what the compound might be and no instrumental techniques such as IR, NMR, UV-Vis, etc. are included.
Excellent photos, diagrams and charts are used throughout the book. The language is appropriate for a first semester organic student.
This is a well thought out textbook. It's aim is very specific, organic techniques for the purification of compounds. The pdf version of this book is wonderful and easy to navigate.
By the nature of organic reaction chemistry different tools are necessary for the task and complexity of the mixture. Sometimes a crystalline material is the product and the tools of recrystallization are required, sometimes a liquid is the result and distillation methods are the tool needed to generate the compound in high yield. The way the author structured the work makes finding what you need seamless.
The book does start with the more basic techniques such as TLC and progresses on to some of the more elaborate methods such as fractional vacuum distillation at the end. I like this approach from the methods requiring basic glassware and slowly introducing methods requiring elaborate setups in glassware, heating and vacuum.
This work (the pdf version) has everything crystal clear. The diagrams are not distorted, the charts do not flow over diagrams or photos and the photos are razor sharp.
This is a work of very high quality. No serious errors were noticed in the writing of this book.
Chemistry, by it's nature transcends all ages, genders, religions, and culture. The photos are nearly all close-ups of hands which are gloved and arms that are covered with a lab coat.
I love this book as an adjunct to the lab manual. The author has done a superb job in producing a work that is accurate, clear, well written and structurally easy to navigate.
All the relevant techniques required to complete the first two semesters of organic chemistry lab are covered in detail, read more
All the relevant techniques required to complete the first two semesters of organic chemistry lab are covered in detail,
A great deal of attention has been devoted to an accurate presentation of each technique and its variants.
The techniques presented have been around for years and will likely persist for years to come. The photography style, with tight close-ups and gloved hands makes the images as timeless as possible.
The book is well written, and the prose is very clear. The use of plenty of photographs and illustrations makes it unequivocal.
The prose and delivery is consistent, and it feels as if all subjects are being covered in depth.
The subject matter is modular by nature, since each technique can be presented individually and without much overlap with other sections. Individual sections could easily be assigned as readings or pre-lab work for a course. There is no excessive self-reference.
The book is well structured and flows nicely. I would have placed the crystallization section later in the text, but that is a very personal choice.
The interface on Dropbox is a bit inflexible, and it is not easy to navigate between sections of the book.
I didn't find any grammatical errors.
The subject matter is quite neutral, and the aesthetic choices (photographs and illustration) make it a non-issue. Since most of the photographs are tight close-ups of gloved hands, there is no discernible racial or ethnic background associated with the images.
The is a well written and richly illustrated resource that can be used by novice students in the organic chemistry labs, and it may also be useful to the students in upper-level labs that might need to review a particular technique. The technique summaries at the end of the book are very well done.
This laboratory manual is extremely comprehensive, introducing and explaining all of the major techniques that a student might encounter in an read more
This laboratory manual is extremely comprehensive, introducing and explaining all of the major techniques that a student might encounter in an introductory organic chemistry lab. Every procedure is explained in details and is complemented by a series of photos and pictures to show the students how everything should look. Even more important are the comparisons of related techniques, explaining to students why one method should be chosen over another. While there was no real discussion of IR or NMR, those can be highly instrument specific in terms of set up and interface and may need to be treated at a more local level. Many institutions are moving more in the direction of green chemistry in the organic lab, so the inclusion of greener solvents as examples and in discussions might be helpful in future iterations. All in all, this textbook provides an excellent overview of the techniques and procedures that a student will encounter in an organic lab.
This textbook is highly accurate. All of the information provided was correct and unbiased. There may be a few small procedural differences based on institutional resources, but they can be easily handled in class discussions.
The general techniques in organic labs have changed very little over the past several decades. However, new safety concerns and an increasing focus on more cost effective and green techniques may change some of the procedures. Based on the structure of the book, it should be really easy to revise or add specific techniques. In addition, many of the techniques are common to other fields of chemistry. This textbook would be a good resource for any course or lab that covers synthesis.
The terminology used is accessible for the intended audience. The accompanying images made the text easy to read and follow. The technical terms used are standard for the field and used appropriately.
The structure of the textbook was consistent from section to section and easy to follow. Each section was arranged in roughly the same order, making information easy to find within a section. The terminology was explained thoroughly and used appropriately.
Each unit is relatively self-contained, meaning that units can be treated independently in any order.
The information is presented in a reasonable order. Related information is presented together and there is a clear logic and theme within each section. While the specific order may not follow my classes perfectly, the sections are modular enough that it should not be a problem.
All of the images are clear. The layout of the pages make it easy to find the appropriate information on a given page. Section breaks and chapter breaks are clearly marked for easy navigation. As an electronic text, the clear headings for each section make finding the right information easy.
While any long published work likely has a few grammatical errors or typos, I did not notice any in my reading.
This textbook is appropriately focused on the science. The discussions are approachable for anyone in a chemistry course, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or background.
This book is an excellent resource for not only introductory organic students, but for upper level students as well. We will be using this text in the coming semesters as a resource for our courses. In addition, I have assigned this text to all of my research students as well.
The text covers the general techniques used in organic chemistry very well. The detail is consistent with a majors section course. All major types read more
The text covers the general techniques used in organic chemistry very well. The detail is consistent with a majors section course. All major types of equipment and there uses are covered in sufficient detail that a student should be able to understand the use prior to actual practice in lab. The pictures, which are required for a comprehensive understanding of the proper use of equipment and successful completion of techniques, are excellent. In fact, the pictures are one thing that sets this text apart from our current text. Students will be better able to complete tasks because the pictures provide a better view of the technique. Videos done as well as the pictures would be even better. The Chromatography chapter is particularly good and complete, and again, the pictures included provide an excellent view to go along with the chapter text. Coverage of NMR/ IR and Safety would add to the text. There are Safety Notes throughout the text. A general chapter on risk assessment is being recognized as an important part of a chemistry course. The table of contents as an index is easy to use and navigate. As terms are explained within the text, I don't know that a glossary is necessary.
I found no inaccuracies and no biases. The coverage of topics is at a level that allows the text to be used in multiple courses, from organic lab for health related majors to chemistry majors, advanced lab to new undergraduate researchers. The author cannot include every possible equipment type used in an undergraduate lab. We currently use elastomeric microscale equipment rather than the Williamson type. This is a minor issue.
As organic chemistry changes, we often incorporate current equipment for new reactions. That is our training. I see no reason this text will become outdated. The outline of the text should make any changes straightforward to incorporate. Our current texts have changed little in 20 years. A major advance of this text is the use of color pictures to enhance the text. One area to look to is Chromatography. Flash chromatography is typical for organic labs today, but we are moving from air pressure to solvent delivery pumps, which use different connections and columns.
I found the text easy to read. Jargon was minimal and explained with use.
The text is very consistent. I would expect this with a text written by one author.
Each chapter can easily be assigned as a self contained unit. As every organic laboratory course has a different flow of material, no text can follow exactly. I see no problem with assigning sections to students from this text.
The organization of the text is not in the order we currently cover material in our course. But that is not really a consideration as no text presents material in exactly the same order we cover in our course. Jumping around is normal for an organic laboratory course. This will not be a problem for us as we use this text. The topics are presented in a logical and clear manner within each chapter. That is the most important point.
I saw no distortion of images or text. I found nothing in the text that should distract the reader.
I found no grammatical errors.
Organic chemistry is focused on compounds, equipment, and techniques and as such there is less attention paid to cultural issues as is typical in other courses. The only place for inclusion would be in the pictures included in the text. The pictures focus on the equipment and techniques, and any people pictured in part usually have gloved hands. More inclusion of different peoples could be done in any updates to pictures, but I do not see it as currently detracting from the text.
I will be incorporating this text in my Organic Lab section next semester and will also use it as a text for my research students as they prepare for summer research.
The textbook provided a comprehensive and in depth coverage of the both laboratory technique and instrumentation used in an introductory organic read more
The textbook provided a comprehensive and in depth coverage of the both laboratory technique and instrumentation used in an introductory organic chemistry lab. The summaries at the end of each topic would be a wonderful quick reference and overview for a student. My only complaint would be that the coverage of chromatography did not include drip column chromatography. Column chromatography is not limited to flash column chromatography.
The only area I felt was biased was in the area of chromatography. Not all academic labs are set up to do flash columns.
Organic technique doesn't change. Instrumentation does change, but the instruments presently used in a teaching lab will probably not become outdated any time soon. Even the images used will probably still be relevant 10 to 20 years from now.
't The textbook was a pleasure to read. Although the topic was technical, it didn't feel like a heavy read. The writing style should be very accessible to a typical organic student. The use of images made the book not boring to read. The textbook i sm presently using is very dry. There is just too much text where an image would be much more informative. Another lab book I have used was funny to read but lack the completness of this textbook and the humor got in the way of clarity.
It was obvious that the textbook was written by a single person because it was very consistent in style and the use of terminology.
The textbook is well structured. As a reference guide, it would be easy for a student to locate the theory behind a technique, a detailed explanation of a technique, or a quick summary of a technique. It is much better than any other lab textbook I have read.
The topics are presented in a well organized fashion. The images used are well placed and add to the clarity of the text.
I did have difficulty with navigating in the book. Every time I opened it I had to scroll down to where I had left off rather than clicking on the topic I left off on in a table of contents. The book lacked a table of contents.
I did not notice any grammatical errors, but then again I was not looking for any.
I loved this book.I will definitely be adding it to my course books for the second quarter of organic chemistry this winter and it will completely replace my present lab textbook next fall.
Table of Contents
About the Author
Using this Resource
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- Chapter 1: General Techniques
- Chapter 2: Chromatography
- Chapter 3: Crystallization
- Chapter 4: Extraction
- Chapter 5: Distillation
- Chapter 6: Miscellaneous Techniques
- Chapter 7: Technique Summaries
About the Book
This resource was created by Lisa Nichols (chemistry faculty at Butte Community College in Northern California) as a result of an academic sabbatical leave in the Fall-2015 to Spring 2016 term. The target audience are undergraduate students in organic chemistry.
In this resource you will find theory and procedures on the main organic lab techniques (chromatography, crystallization, extraction, distillation) as well as general concepts on how to set up and heat apparatuses (see the Table of Contents tab for a more complete listing of topics).
All procedures are accompanied by step-by-step pictures, and graphics are heavily utilized throughout the resource.
About the Contributors
Lisa Nichols obtained a Bachelors of Science degree in chemistry from California State University, Chico in 2001 and a Master’s degree in organic chemistry from Stanford University in 2003. At the time of this project she had taught chemistry fulltime for 12 years at Butte Community College (in Oroville, northern California, near C.S.U. Chico), with an emphasis on teaching majors-level organic chemistry.