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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 14 Issue 1 (2009) pp 13-15

Beyond the Cookbook—Critically Using Recipes

David E. Berry* and Kelli L. Fawkes

Department of Chemistry, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, V8W 3V6,,
Received January 25, 2008. Accepted July 16, 2008.

Published online: 20 January 2009

Abstract. Two experiments are described for use in the senior undergraduate inorganic laboratory. Both experiments compare the efficiencies of quite different routes of synthesis of two ruthenium complexes, requiring a critical analysis of the literature by the student. One experiment prepares [RuCl2(p-cymene)]2 from ruthenium(III) chloride and γ-terpinene. The second experiment is the preparation of [RuCl2(dppe)2] from ruthenium(III) chloride and 1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; organometallic chemistry; critical thinking; experiment optimization

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (116 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Example procedures as written for an undergraduate student are given. Notes for the instructor are obtainable from either of the authors. (33 KB)

Issue date: February 2, 2009

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