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I'm looking for a good kinetics experiment to run in the lab section of our graduate lab course. It should be a reaction that we can set up on a bench with inexpensive materials, that will take place safely in an NMR tube, and should take about one to five hours to complete at room temperature. (If done in one, then the students can witness the outcome; more than that, and they'll just set it up, watch the first few minutes of it, then leave and get the data later.) We can follow it using any high-sensitivity high-natural abundance nucleus: 1H, 19F, or 31P being preferred.

Any suggestions?


  • Josh

asked Nov 20 '11 at 10:17

jkurutz's gravatar image


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Hello Josh,

I have been asking myself this very same question and to date have not found many possibilities.

I have been playing with the hydrolysis of Aspartame. This reaction can be controlled quite nicely in its rate by control of pH. There are a few peaks that disappear and a few that appear. But I have not yet assigned all the products of the reaction. There is one more benefit to this experiment, you can explain to the students why Diet Coke has a much shorter shelf life than regular coke or sodas sweetened with other artificial sweeteners. The problem with it is that pure Aspartame is not exactly cheap and regular Equal packets have fillers in there.



answered Nov 21 '11 at 10:52

Clemens%20Anklin's gravatar image

Clemens Anklin

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The transesterification of vegetable oils or ethylacetate might be a good demonstration experiment because the reaction can be monitored not only at 60 MHz, but also at 45 MHz using a benchtop NMR spectrometer!


answered Dec 03 '11 at 13:32

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sekhar Talluri

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Asked: Nov 20 '11 at 10:17

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Last updated: Dec 03 '11 at 13:32

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