Re: ORGLIST - orglist Digest - V01 #156

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From: Richard Prankerd (richard.prankerd$##$
Date: Fri Jun 05 1998 - 00:44:18 EDT

Orgchemlist readers:

In reply to the following:

>Date: Thu, 04 Jun 1998 16:04:36 -0400 (EDT)
>From: s002nxf$##$
>Subject: <none>
>Recently a colleague of mine asked what the word "triturate" meant.
>Unfortunately i neither had run into this word and have been unable to
>find a clear definition of it in the literature or other sources. Any
>help that can be provided would be greatly appreciated.
>Thank you,
>Neil Fairweather

"Trituration" is used to describe several closely related processes:

(i) the grinding of a dry solid powder in a mortar with a pestle, to reduce
the particle size (if the powder is wetted with an inert solvent or vehicle
while grinding, the process is called levigation);

(ii) the process of mixing two or powdered solids with a mortar and pestle;

(iii) the dilution of a solid active ingredient with an inert solid, to
disperse the solid

This term is mainly used in pharmacy practice and in the extemporaneous
compounding of prescriptions, although it was common in synthetic organic
chemistry during the days when "bucket chemistry" was more frequently
performed than today. A typical process was to "evaporate the reaction
solvent and then to triturate the semisolid reaction product with ether (or
some other solvent) to induce crystallization". This would be performed
using a glass mortar and pestle and would hopefully result in a suspension
of nice white crystals in a rather discoloured ethereal solution of the
reaction byproducts. Depending on the sensitivity of the solid material to
contamination, the process could be performed with a mortar and pestle made
out of materials ranging from fired clay to porcelain to glass to agate
(gives least contamination and normally used in preparing solid samples for
nujol mulls or potassium bromide pellets prior to infra-red

Richard Prankerd

Richard J. Prankerd, PhD
Senior Lecturer Phone: INT + (617) 3365-3179
School of Pharmacy Fax: INT + (617) 3365-1688
University of Queensland richard$##$
St Lucia QLD 4072



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