Chemistry 316 Laboratory Reports


1. Distillation Report - Read these instructions carefully!

Each member of a team will write his or her own report. Your report must be presented to me in a hard-copy format. No electronic copies will be accepted. The report needs to be typed and double spaced. Tables and graphs must be done electronically with a program such as Excel. All chemical structures must be drawn with ChemDraw. Please obey all of the rules of English grammar. Run spell and grammar check. Try to be concise and exact.

Your lab report must include all of the following to be complete:

Your Name, your partner's name and the Date the report is submitted

The Title of the Experiment

Abstract (summary not to exceed three sentences) - An abstract is usually written after the report has been constructed, as it is a summary of the report, not a summary of the experiment.

Data in Tabular Form - Make tables of the following:

1. corrected nD20 which you observed (simple, fractional)

2. % ethanol (calculated from the formula and the refractive index measurements) versus volume of distillate (simple, fractional; 0ml -->10ml --> etc.)

3. % butanol (from refractive index calculation - use difference from 100%, e.g. 36% ethanol = 64% butanol) versus volume of distillate (simple, fractional; 0ml --> 10ml --> etc.)

4. boiling point versus volume of distillate (simple, fractional; from 2ml readings)

5. % butanol (from the gc traces - butanol is the second peak in the g.c.traces, therefore the area of the second peak over the sum of the area of both peaks times 100 equals the % butanol) versus volume of distillate (simple, fractional; 10ml --> 20ml --> 30ml --> 40ml)

Discussion Section (not to exceed 100 words)

In the discussion section, you should attempt to convince the reader that your data supports the contention that fractional gives superior results over simple distillation. Interpret your data and graphs to support your argument. Was the exercise a success? What are the implications of your data?

Attach your carefully labeled graphs to the back of your report with a staple. There should be TWO graphs. One of them is a plot of the temperature versus the volume of distillate, with the temperature on the y-axis and the volume on the x-axis (on this graph there will be two curves: one for simple and one for fractional distillation. The second graph is a plot of the % butanol versus the volume of distillate, with the % butanol on the y-axis and the volume on the x-axis. On this graph there will be four curves since you have calculated the % by both g.c. and refractive index, and again one set comes from simple and one from fractional distillation. Label these clearly so it is easy to see which data corresponds to which curve.

Note on Graphs - Make sure your graphs utilized the full extent of the page, and make sure that your x- and y-axes are appropriate for the data. For example if your temperature is from 70-120oC, make sure your y-axis has a range (top to bottom) that is close to that range. Don't show that data (70-120oC) on a graph with a y-axis that goes from 0-150oC. Make sure that all data points are visible on your graphs (I want to be able to see the points even though you may connect the points with a line) and that each curve is clearly labeled so one can tell at a glance if the data is for simple or fractional, and whether that data has been analyzed by gc or refractive index.

2. Extraction, Recrystallization, Melting Point, TLC, IR & CNMR

This is a single report - NOT TWO. In addition to this report make sure to complete your lab notebook conclusions. The report needs to be typed and double-spaced. Please obey all of the rules of English grammar.  Try to be concise and exact.  Complete any structure drawings using the ChemDraw program. When you submit this report, please include your spectra and downloaded spectra. Absolutely do not forget to include your unknown number in a readily visible location. You will receive zero credit for your report if you fail to do so.

IMPORTANT! - Your reports must be written independently. You may help one another but do not plagiarize in any form. Your report is to be written in clear and coherent English! Do not use the first person in your reports (e.g., I; my; we; our; etc.)! Do not write in the command form for any part of your report (e.g. of command form; "Avoid contact with this chemical."; "Do not inhale the fumes."; etc.)! Write in the past tense! EXAMPLE - "The organic layer was extracted three times with a 5% sodium hydroxide solution. The basic extracts were combined, cooled in an ice bath and acidified with 10% hydrochloric acid".

The following link (Quinn_JOC_2013.pdf) will take you to a recent paper by Quinn et al. that describes the isolation of some interesting natural products from an Australian marine sponge. Please use this paper as a model for constructing your own reports. Please follow the format employed there. This is the standard format used for a paper in the Journal of Organic Chemistry published by the American Chemical Society. The order of parts for the paper is:

Make certain that you address the results of each experiment (Extraction, Recrystallization, Melting Points, Thin Layer Chromatography and Spectroscopy) in each appropriate section of your lab report.

From the SDBS website (, download the IR and CNMR spectra for your neutral component to confirm the identity of your unknown. Combine these with your own spectra that you will attach to this report.

After consulting the MSDS website (, report briefly on the hazards associated with your unknown. This information may be included in the summary section.