127 – I think I broke science.

I’m honestly not doing anything all that complicated in the lab. Just a simple liquid-liquid extraction.

For some reason when I dry my sample (MTBE + organic contents) with nitrogen gas, a white precipitate-looking thing (looks almost like a pellet) starts to form at the bottom of the micro centrifuge tube. I thought it was precipitate and was pretty frustrated with it since there shouldn’t be any proteins left in the MTBE layer and there really should not be any precipitate.

So when this happened on Saturday, I just gave up and said I’d try again on Monday, leaving the tubes open in the fumehood in frustration. On Monday, the white-precipitate looking thing was gone. SOLIDS DON’T JUST EVAPORATE, RIGHT?

My supervisor thinks it might be foam, but foam shouldn’t normally form at the bottom of the tube. So I don’t know what the white stuff is. Does it form because of air pressure/cold temps or is it something in the solution? I don’t know. Science is hard. ):


4 thoughts on “127 – I think I broke science.

    • Hm. Doesn’t make a lot of sense. There’s no reason for there to be precipitate in the solution in the first place.
      I was thinking maybe deposition of the N2 gas to cause the white colour.

    • I don’t think it’s benzoic acid. I guess I should’ve given more details.
      I’m doing a MTBE extraction of stripped human serum spiked with steroid hormones – so it could be any number of biological components.

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