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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 16 (2011) pp 82-84

Taking Advantage of a Lab Manual Error: An Innovative Experiment for the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory

David Ahlstrom, Zstari Purcell, and Jeffery A. Orvis*

Department of Chemistry, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460,
Received February 8,2010. Accepted April 6, 2010.

Published: 5 March 2011

Abstract. During an undergraduate junior/senior level inorganic chemistry class laboratory project synthesizing and studying various Co(III) complexes an error was discovered in one of the synthetic procedures found in an older laboratory manual. The procedure given in the manual does not produce the intended complex ion. The error was investigated by two undergraduate research students, and using their results the error was used to design a new open-ended project in inorganic chemistry that has strong elements of a research investigation that requires literature searching and laboratory experimentation.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; inorganic chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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