Weeks of 3/20-4/9

Spring break is still affecting schedules so I’ve combined a few weeks of updates into one post. An official email will be going out soon, but just a reminder that SEAL Con is a month away! Now is the time to start wrapping up and finish those last few experiments so you can put together posters and talks for May 13.

Starting with an update from Alverno, they are continuing our work on the Acid project and CO2 Reduction Project. The finished plates for the Acid Project are Iron Nitrate, Zinc Nitrate, Nickel Nitrate and Copper Nitrate. The CO2 Reduction project has finished researching what is needed for it, and completed tissue plates of copper and nickel nitrate, copper and iron nitrate, copper and chromium chloride, copper and zinc nitrate, copper and bismuth vanadate, and copper and manganese sulfate. The ratios of the spots are 10:10, 15:5, 12:8, 5:15, 8:12, 2:18, 18:2, 13:7. The long-term goal is to reduce CO2 into Methanol. The group also finally solved some issues with a malfunctioning SEAL kit so they will be able to get results from all these plates in the coming weeks.

Mayfield’s Team SEA has been focusing efforts on a combination of iron and tungsten that produced good results in one combination on a previous plate. 3 future attempts at various ratios of iron and tungsten showed now significant results. They decided to try one more plate of Fe, W adding in some Co as well as a plate of just Co & Ni. They also are going to test plates of Ti & Fe and Ti, Fe & Cu. Team RAM’s attempts to lower the ratio of Bi and W in their Bi, V, Ni, W combinations didn’t prove to have any positive effect on the results. The next attempt will be to add more Ni and also try Cu instead of Ni with ratios of 8:1:1:8, 8:1:1:13, 8:1:1:16 Bi:V:W:Ni/Cu. Team PEAK is remaking their successful FeZn material which has been less and less reproducible overtime with a new Fe solution to see if that will improve activity again. They also started work on a voluntary(!) research paper to practice their scientific writing skills. 

San Marino’s Wand Team made a new plate that consisted of sodium metavanadate base, cobalt chloride, cerium, and nickel solutions.  The first solution was 20:10:20:0, second was 20:10:40:0, third was 20:0:10:20, fourth was 20:0:20:10, fifth was 20:10:0:20, and sixth was 20:15:10:10. Solutions one and two had precipitate.  Solutions one, two, and six were orange; solutions three and four were yellow, and solution five was pink.  Each spot on the plate had a total of 50 microliters of solution, and five spots of each solution.  The plate was heated. Next week, they plan on testing this plate as well as the one made at the last meeting.

The Red Team drop-casted two plates: one with sodium vanadate, iron nitrate, copper sulfate and one with different ratios of just iron nitrate and sodium vanadate. The first plate has three sections with just sodium vanadate, iron nitrate, copper sulfate and three sections of (1) sodium vanadate and iron nitrate, (2) iron nitrate and copper sulfate, (3) sodium vanadate and copper sulfate. All of the solutions are 0.05 M and each space is 10 microliters total. The combinations have 5 microliters of each of the two included solutions. The second plate has groups of three dots, with each group of three having ratios of 10:0, 9:1, 8:2, 7:3, 6:4, and 5:5 microliters of sodium vanadate and iron nitrate. The last three ratios were in groups of two with 4:6, 3:7, 2:8, and 1:9 microliters of sodium vanadate and iron nitrate. All of the solutions are 0.05 M. Next week they plan to test these two plates and one made before spring break.

Finally Beckman HS has been busy. Last time, Group 1 decided that both Mn(NO3)2 and CuZn shared similar characteristics with effective photocatalysts and decided to make the solutions. As usual, the procedure consisted of the UV treatment prior to spotting, and they used the established 0.03M iron standard. They tested these two plates and made another plate to test next week. Group 2 made two plates last week: a plate of 0.03M Cu(NO3)2, 0.03M of Zn(NO3)2, and 0.03M Fe(NO3)3, in ratio of 1:1:3 respectively, and another plate of 0.03M of Cu(NO3)2, 0.03M Al(NO3)3 and, 0.03M Fe(NO3)3 in ratio of 1:1:3 respectively. Just like Group 1, these plates were UV treated before spotting, and were air-dryed and fired. They tested both plates and made an new plate with different ratios of 0.03M Copper (II) Nitrate, 0.03M Iron (III) Nitrate, and 0.03 Zinc Nitrate in a ratio of 1:3:1 respectively. When testing this plate they used a 1:1 ratio of 0.2M NaOH and 0.2M NaSO3 for the bath used in the SEAL kit. They plan on analyzing their numerical results next week. 

Group 3 decided to make a new plate by diluting the 0.04M Co(NO3)2 to 0.02M. This was used to make a plate of 0.03M Fe(NO3)2 and 0.02M Co(NO3)2 with a ratio of 3:1. The reasoning for this is because when they tested BHS-3-51 last week, they surmised that a plate with more iron and less of the other metals would yield better results. And because of cobalt’s red color and physical properties, they decided to continue testing with cobalt again.  The first plate tested was BHS-3-52, which was created by diluting 0.04M Cobalt Nitrate to 0.02M Cobalt Nitrate and and 0.04M Iron (II) Nitrate to 0.02M Iron (II) Nitrate and spotting the plate with different ratios. The second plate tested was BHS-3-53, which was created by diluting 0.04M Cobalt Nitrate to 0.02M Cobalt Nitrate and 0.04M Iron (II) Nitrate to 0.02M Iron (II) Nitrate, which was spotted on the plate with a 3:1 ratio respectively.

Last time, Group 4 began to prepare a 0.03 M Fe2(NO3) because the one that they did previously had an intense coffee ring effect. However, the spots were unfortunately not solid enough to test or even fire. They then spotted a multi-ratio plate with Iron (III) Nitrate and Copper (II) Nitrate in a ratio of 1 Fe: 1 Cu, 2 Fe: 1 Cu, 3 Fe: 1 Cu, 3 Fe: 2 Cu with a molarity of 0.05M. The plate was exposed to treated with UV light for five minutes. The plate will be air-dried and fired later; they plan on testing this plate next week. Aside from their respective labs, the 4 teams also were introduced to new lab techniques. They had a very brief introduction on how chromatography works and the need for almost needle-like, minuscule amounts of liquid, and proceeded to take turns making such micropipettes from ordinary capillary tubes.

1 Comment

  1. How was the bismuth vanadate synthesized? Did it require additional steps with HARPOON method?


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