Reading the Kilomentor blog is a useful way to prepare for a career as a Process Development Chemist.The best recommendation for a prospective job candidate is to already know the kinds of things that are important to do the work you want. To help persons just graduating with their bachelors degree I have assembled a little test to help you answer the question, “Would you be a good industrial chemist?”
Put the following solvents in the order of the Eluotropic series ending with water: acetone, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, cyclohexane, dichloromethane, diethyl ether, ethanol, hexane, methanol, i-propanol, toluene, trichloroethylene, water.
For a bimolecular reaction what decrease in reactor volume will give a doubling of the reaction rate?
How can you quickly identify reactions that are likely to be highly exothermic without doing any experiments?
You have lyophilized a solution containing a polar organic solute and some inorganic sufate salts; what method can you propose trying to easily separate the organic solute from the salts?
What reagent reacts reversibly with both methyl ketones and aldehydes to give derivatives which are often water soluble or most often insoluble? Do you know a little known reagent that will extract only aldehydes?
List ways to prevent bumping in vacuum distillation?
List good techniques for adding a chemical mixture in a narrow band at the top of a chromatography column?
What are polymorphs?
If you need to acidify a mixture of an immiscible organic and an aqueous phase but you want to be sure that very little acid partitions into the organic phase what inexpensive acids can you use?
If you are trying to perform a gram scale reaction but one of the starting materials keeps vaporizing away, what can you do?
You have the problem of neutralizing an acid produced as a co-product/by-product in a reaction you are trying to optimize. Name compounds that are not primary, secondary or tertiary amines that can remove acids such as HCl or HBr from the equilibrium.
What is 4-diethylaminopyridine useful for?
What are Girard P and Girard T reagents used for?
Raschig rings and Beryl saddles relate to what separation method?
Florisil, magnesia and carbon relate to what separation method?
Sephadex LH-20 is used in what kind of preparative chromatography?
What does pyrophoric mean?
What does teratogenic mean?
What is the greatest single cause of death in the chemical pilot plant?
Why is heating with an oil bath more likely to reproduce pilot plant conditions than heating with a heating mantle?
Liebig, West, Allihn and Friedrich are different kinds of what apparatus type?
Norit, Darco and Nuchar are different types of what?
During the work-up of a reaction, you are faced with an emulsion between a toluene solution and a dilute aqueous solution. The reaction is part of a process scale up sitting in a 1000 litre reactor in the plant. What methods can you propose to break the emulsion and in what order would you try them?
What is Claisen’s alkali? For what separations can it be used?
What is phase shifting with respect to organic synthesis? How is it important in developing separation strategies?
What is dissociative extraction?
What is swish TLC?. When is it particularly useful?
What is polarity reversal catalysis? To what kind of reaction does it apply?
What are crystal habits? How do they differ from polmorphs?
What essentially immiscible pairs of solvents can be used in extraction for partitioning mixtures of organic substances?
This is a portion of the questions from a larger questionnaire to evaluate process developers at any experience level. If I have not already answered a particular question in my blog, stay tuned, or in emergency ask specifically in a comment, with an e-mail return address.