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Negative results

The latest data fail to support the hypothesis that a dilute sodium alloy can be used for a Bouveault-Blanc reduction of fatty acid methyl esters (more specifically, methyl stearate) dissolved in toluene with anhydrous ethanol as a proton donor. Given … Continue reading

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Cooperative research agreement signed

Wildcat Metallurgy recently signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Dahlgren Division, to develop sodium alloys for the synthesis of fatty alcohols.

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1-dodecanol

1-dodecanol

Electrostatic potential field of 1-dodecanol (lauryl alcohol) molecule generated with Avogadro and edited with GIMP.

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Biodiesel is the first step

Last Friday I visited a biodiesel refinery in Belvidere, Illinois. Operated by BioVantage Fuels LLC, the plant takes waste vegetable oil from restaurants in the greater Chicago area and converts it to B95 and B100 fuel. The fuel must meet … Continue reading

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Jury-rigging a reflux condenser

Biodiesel is a blend of fatty acid methyl esters. For the initial test of the notional modified Bouveault-Blanc reduction, it would be better to use a pure reactant to simplify product analysis. Stearic acid can be converted to methyl stearate … Continue reading

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Catalysts in green chemistry

Catalysts are used to speed up the rate of a chemical reaction. For example, the catalytic converter in automobiles speeds up the breakdown of engine exhaust gases to harmless carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water. Catalysis is important in chemical production. … Continue reading

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Good news everyone!

“Nothing is impossible, not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.” – Prof. H. Farnsworth, Futurama C. P. Snow, in The Two Cultures, described a divide between the sciences and the humanities. Certainly, the … Continue reading

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