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47 Journal Articles
13 Other Resources
Journal Articles: First 3 results.
Pedagogies:
Appreciating Oxygen  Hilton M. Weiss
Photosynthetic flora and microfauna utilize light from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen. While these carbohydrates and their derivative hydrocarbons are generally considered to be fuels, it is the thermodynamically energetic oxygen molecule that traps, stores, and provides almost all of the energy that powers life on earth.
Weiss, Hilton M. J. Chem. Educ. 2008, 85, 1218.
Bioenergetics |
Metabolism |
Oxidation / Reduction |
Photosynthesis |
Thermodynamics
Analysis of Peppermint Leaf and Spearmint Leaf Extracts by Thin-Layer Chromatography  Libbie S. W. Pelter, Andrea Amico, Natalie Gordon, Chylah Martin, Dessalyn Sandifer, and Michael W. Pelter
In this inquiry-based activity, the usefulness of thin-layer chromatography to visualize the difference between spearmint and peppermint is explored.
Pelter, Libbie S. W.; Amico, Andrea; Gordon, Natalie; Martin, Chylah; Sandifer, Dessalyn; Pelter, Michael W. J. Chem. Educ. 2008, 85, 133.
Natural Products |
Plant Chemistry |
Thin Layer Chromatography
The Chemical Composition of Maple Syrup  David W. Ball
Explores the complex chemical composition of maple syrup.
Ball, David W. J. Chem. Educ. 2007, 84, 1647.
Descriptive Chemistry |
Food Science |
Plant Chemistry |
Natural Products |
Solutions / Solvents
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Other Resources: First 3 results
Photosynthesis  Ed Vitz, John W. Moore
A section of ChemPrime, the Chemical Educations Digital Library's free General Chemistry textbook.
Photosynthesis |
Plant Chemistry
The World's Food Supply  
Volume 03, issue 09 of a series of leaflets covering subjects of interest to students of elementary chemistry distributed in 1929 - 1932.
Plant Chemistry |
Photosynthesis |
Proteins / Peptides |
Carbohydrates |
Lipids |
Nutrition
Molecular Models of Leaf Extracts  William F. Coleman
Our Featured Molecules this month come from the paper by Pelter et. al. on the analysis of leaf extracts by thin-layer chromatography (1). As the authors discuss, their experiment may be used in courses at various levels of the curriculum. The molecules discussed in the paper are also of wide interest both for their structural properties and their wide-ranging appearance in both natural and synthetic substances. Included in the molecule collection are all of the isomers for the molecules pictured in the text with the exception of menthyl acetate, for which only one structure is given (see below). All of these molecules have been optimized at the HF/631-G(d) level. The menthol family enantiomeric pairs of menthol, isomenthol, neomenthol and neoisomenthol provide a rich yet coherent group of molecules on which to base discussion of chirality, enantiomers and diastereomers. Treadwell and Black have described some of the differences in physical properties of four members of this family, and several other experiments using one or more menthols have been published in this Journal (2, 3). I have created a Web page in which the eight molecules are embedded in no particular order, and with no rational file names. This is being used in at least one of our organic sections to give students experience at identifying enantiomers, and diastereomers, and in applying R/S notation (4). As access to computational software becomes more common, and as efforts are being made to incorporate more relevant modeling experiments into all levels of the curriculum, the menthols again present some interesting possibilities. While students at the organic level know about enantiomers differing in their optical rotation, and about chiral molecules interacting with chiral and achiral environments, it is instructive for them to think of other ways in which enantiomers and diastereomers are the same or different. Three useful ways of checking to see whether two structures are truly enantiomers is to compute their total energies, vibrational spectra, and dipole moments. These calculations are available in most common computational packages. Figure 1 shows the results of energy calculations on optimized structures of the eight isomers. The enantiomeric pairs have, as expected, exactly the same total energy, while the various diastereomers differ in energy. The computation of the vibrational spectra is a very sensitive probe to determine whether two structures are optimized and enantiomeric or not. Structures that are almost enantiomeric, but not quite optimized, may exhibit similar energies, but the low frequency vibrations will be sensitive to any deviation from optimization. If two supposedly enantiomeric structures do not have the same computed vibrations, or if either shows a negative frequency, the structures need to be optimized more carefully. As with the vibrational frequencies, enantiomers should show identical dipole moments. Only one structure of the eight isomers in the menthyl acetate family is included in the collection, giving students the chance to build the other seven and verify their computed properties. Because of the central role that chirality plays in chemistry, and particularly in biochemistry, it seems appropriate to introduce some of these visualization and modeling exercises early in the curriculum, and in courses designed for students majoring in other areas. Students in various courses could pursue other aspects of these same molecules including odor and cooling properties, and green chemistry approaches to synthesizing menthols.
Plant Chemistry
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