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Chemistry students analyse aspirin

Date Posted: 09/01/2020 | Posted In: Latest news

A Level Chemistry students from QE have spent a day using the latest spectroscopy equipment to examine samples of aspirin. Working with Dr. Peter Hoare, STEM Outreach Officer from Newcastle University, the group were given the opportunity to get to grips with tools worth £75,000 and observe how they are applied in the chemical industry. James Garlick and Jake King used the apparatus to conduct an infrared spectrum on aspirin they had prepared in an earlier session to verify its purity and were delighted to discover that their sample was 99.2% aspirin. The students then practised with NMR spectroscopy to identify four different esters, important chemicals in the manufacturing of artificial flavours and essences. The NMR machine used to produce the spectra of the esters is a smaller version of the equipment used in hospital MRI scanners.

Janet McRae, Course Leader of A Level Chemistry at QE, comments: ‘Being able to see and sample applying the spectroscopy apparatus first hand, combined with the theory taught in lessons, allowed our students to obtain a much clearer understanding of the topic. We would like to thank Dr. Hoare for visiting the College and delivering a great workshop, spectroscopy is another fascinating career route Chemistry can lead to’.