working in the lab

Grand Forks Travel Blog

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me doing alkalinity titration

I've finished my physical experiments and now it is time to test my water samples in the lab.  UND has an environmental lab where I can prepare and run all my samples myself (maybe not such a good thing).  I can usually get one test done a day, or rather, one batch of one test.  I test the cations (Ca, Na, Fe) on the Flame AA (atomic absorption) and the anions on the Ion Chromatograph (Cl).  I must say I like the Flame AA the best.  I get mesmerized watching the flame.  Since I have such high concentrations of solutes, the flame glows very brightly when a sample is tested.  Sometimes I think I zone out watching the flame.  I read somewhere that people like to stare at three things:  flowing water, a campfire and something else.

cool frozen water
  So this is my little campfire.

I also tested for total dissolved solids by placing my water samples in beakers and then heating them in an oven until the water evaporated.  I knew there were a lot of salts, but I wasn't prepared for the crystals that formed!  I had some amazing salt crystals form and some rather interesting salt formations (small scale of course).  When I took them out of the oven they were cracking and popping, very musical. 

After I finish analyzing my samples I get to analyze the data and see if any of it makes sense.  And then I get the fun task of writing my thesis.  I hope to have most of it written by this summer and have it defended by December!   The pictures are various ones of me working in the lab. 

sylviandavid says:
Really interesting.... looking like it's coming along swimmingly.... Sylvia
Posted on: Feb 20, 2009
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me doing alkalinity titration
me doing alkalinity titration
cool frozen water
cool frozen water
me filtering samples
me filtering samples
me staring at the flame
me staring at the flame
me pipetting
me pipetting
lots of samples
lots of samples
close up of salt crystals
close up of salt crystals
salt crystals
salt crystals
my cups floweth over
my cups floweth over
close up of two salty beakers
close up of two salty beakers
Grand Forks
photo by: asz2020