Sunday, June 3, 2007

Stinky friday

Last Friday was a big day for stink. It all started with a the smell of acrylonitrile. Napolean (because the guy talks like Napolean Dynamite) was doing a reaction in his hood with the stuff. He’s good chemist, so there wasn’t the faintest smell of the stuff in the lab. However, it was definitely in the main office. Turns out the exhaust pipe on his hood is shorter than the lip surrounding the roof. An the air intake for the office is, of course, also on that roof. When there’s no wind, the vapors go up the hood, across the roof and down the air intake into the office. Better yet, that hood is one of the few with over 150 cfm flow; so it is the designated toxic hood where the super nasty stuff is supposed to be done. Sweet.

Right about the time we figure this out, MC Hammer (because his ‘jeans’ are really denim-colored parachute pants) spills triphosgene all over himself. He’d been stinking up the lab with the stuff all day by stacking dirty glassware on his bench. He was complaining that his eyes were stinging and he didn’t feel so good. Then he spilled the reaction on his lab coat.

That might be enough to send some people home. Not him. Change the lab coat, and right back in the triphosgene scented lab. Only a couple more hours and…gurgle, gurgle, woosh. Somehow he managed to blow a Sonogashira reaction up. I have no idea how he did it, but he baptized himself in the name of palladium and copper and triethyl amine.

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