Sometimes I just get lucky. I can’t explain it, but sometimes, when my life seems to be at its lowest point yet, Lady Luck swoops down and picks me up again. Without luck on my side, I’d probably be dead by now. The crazy thing is, luck always seems to strike when I’m playing by the book.
Take today in organic lab, for example. I’m trying to synthesize a bicyclic diaminobenzene from o-phenylenediamine and glyoxal. My reference procedure uses 1,2-diaminopyridine (instead of o-phenylenediamine) and says that the resulting product should be a white solid. After my reaction ended and after following the workup procedure, I had a dark brown oil. Now if I were the adventurous type, I’d try various purification procedures on it to make my results fit the reference procedure. But since my reactants were slightly different from the reference, I decided to back off. Sure enough, after a GC-MS of my product, I discovered it was (more than likely) the product I wanted! There’s about a 90% chance the reaction worked. It’s just hard to believe that, by replacing one nitrogen atom with a carbon atom, the product changed from a white solid to a brown oil.
That’s chemistry for you.
The quest to move into my new apartment continues…I turned in my paperwork but haven’t heard back from the office.