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Students visit Bristol Chem Labs

The St Aloysius’ College students during the visit.

The St Aloysius’ College students during the visit.

St Aloysius’ College Sixth Form science students recently experienced the magic of the world-class chemistry laboratories at Bristol University, known as Bristol Chem Labs.

During the visit the students were able to apply concepts learnt in class and use chemicals utilised in industry all round the globe. They also used the same equipment that undergraduate chemists use, such as rotary evaporators, heater-stirrers, UV-visible and infra-red spectrometers. They conducted various experiments such as to extract caffeine from tea, quantifying the vanillin content of vanilla essence, and synthesising anaesthetic benzocaine and a cobalt complex.

The students also attended a series of lectures and demonstrations. One of the most interesting was that given by Tim Harrison, who at one point made the students put their hands in liquid nitrogen at -196 °C, but only for one second – anything more than five seconds would have caused their fingers to fall off!

During the trip the students also visited places of interest such as Bath.

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