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The Neglected Diseases/medicinal chemistry research team has certainly hit the floor running. We have reactions going day in and day out–literally. Most of our reactions actually end up going overnight so we can achieve a good yield. It’s really awesome to be doing science we enjoy that has a greater purpose: our work is for the poor. Check out this post for more on that.
Today I wanted to share a cool picture that I took. We use a pretty acidic chemical called phosphoryl chloride. It’s super reactive with water, so you have to be careful. After we’re doing using it, we have to “quench” it so we can dispose of it in a safe way. We introduce the phosphoryl chloride to a a mixture of primarily toluene and methanol, and slowly add water. The toluene and methanol greatly slow the reaction of water and toluene down; the mixture allows it to happen in a controlled environment. The reaction taking place is the little tornado you’re seeing in the picture above! Cool stuff!