Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type



Chemistry & Physics

First Advisor

Colin Thomas

Second Advisor

Mark Parker

Third Advisor

John Salzsieder


A general chemistry laboratory that illustrates the effectiveness and benign nature of unconventional reaction media is outlined in a three step procedure: 1) a solventless condensation reaction between two solids, 2) an oxidative coupling reaction in the presence of a liquid carbon dioxide solvent, and 3) the synthesis of an organic-transition metal complex in aqueous solvent. This laboratory exercise is designed illustrate the advantages and utility of alternative solvents through a straightforward procedure with visually qualitative results while further exploring the function of solvents in the synthetic process. The laboratory experiments address waste prevention and the use of innocuous solvents, thus also providing students with an excellent introduction to several principles of green chemistry.