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Thread: Preventing mold in a solution

  1. #1 Preventing mold in a solution 
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    Jan 2009
    Ok, So I am a junior chemistry major doing organic research, but my question hasn't really occured in organic lab and is really more microbiology related, but I assume chemists in certain fields have either run across this problem or already know how to prevent this from happening. I have a chemical, its a racetam nootropic (completely legal), that I ordered a gram of from a chemical provider. Because this nootropic is for personal use and not laboratory use, I have no access to lab chemicals, scales, etc. I dissolved the entire gram in solution and was going to measure my dose in concentrations of 2mg / ml H20. My problem is that because I was in a hurry, I poured this solution into a rootbeer bottle that I had only rinsed out twice with water. Well it appears that their was trace sugars in the solution and a few days later it turned from a clear solution to a cloudy solution with moldy fuzz floating around....

    Now how am I to salvage this solution of nootropic? My first idea was to raise the pH a little bit (hopefully I still have a vial or two of 1 M HCl that I had stolen (yes i was so interested in chemistry that I stole a few chems and glassware from my terrible chem teacher) in high school). If I can't find that I was going to use a little lemon juice or whatever else I can find around the house (you think ascorbic acid would help? or is it too weak?). Then after a reasonable pH change, assuming a pH change would kill and prevent any more mold, I was going to filter it through a coffee filter a couple times (don't really have access to laboratory grade filters right now).

    After doing this would the solution be safe to ingest? Or should I try to attempt some sort of other extraction method? That would be difficult as I can't just steal chemicals from the lab (im not in high school anymore). I'm sure noone would miss a few mLs of acetone, DCM, ethyl acetate, or any of the other common solvents I use everyday in lab, but I do not want to wait till after the weekend as I am trying to get a start on studying for finals.

    Any suggestions or a confirmation of my idea would be great. Thanks alot!

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  3. #2  
    HFS is offline
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    Apr 2012
    Most fungi are quite acid-tolerant (people sometimes use low-pH media when working with environmental samples to select only for fungi or yeasts), I imagine the weak organic acids in lemon juice wouldn't be sufficient to kill it. Ethanol would work if you could get it to a high enough concentration. Also, if the fungi's forming any spores or conidia, they'd probably pass through a coffee filter, and if they remain viable after whatever you choose to kill the fungi, they'd germinate once conditions were suitable.

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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    May 2006
    I would say, add porous pebbles, and boil it. Make sure though you preboil the preferably volcanic rocks alone though, they might contain traces of cadmium, mercury or lead. This will make the water more clear.

    But i don't think a little mold will be hazardous eiter. You can still drink spoiled milk in most cases.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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