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TASK1 : Indentify the Major Organic Component in the contaminated tank using NMR. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Purple Solution.

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The Purple Solution

The task was to identify the cause of an unusual purple colour in a waste holding tank on an industrial estate. The tank was the direct responsibility of the company “Facilities Management” and was used to collect aqueous waste from two different pharmaceutical companies: “RU Regular” and “RU Pain 3”. Both companies denied being responsible for causing the Purple Solution.

2011 National Final Schools Analyst Competition

The Chemistry Department



They were awarded a £750 cheque for their school and each team member received Amazon vouchers.

"We can't quite believe it but are delighted to have won! The day was challenging but lots of fun and we learnt a lot. The competition has definitely made me think about studying chemistry at higher education, hopefully at somewhere like Reading."   - Jack Hoffman, a team member of the winner team


Determine the amount of Aspirin in the input sample from “RU Pain3” by a series of titrations. In addition determine that the waste stream contains salt as well as Aspirin

Natalie Smyth

Friend's School

Ben Nicholson,

Lord Lawson of Beamish School


Indentify the Major Organic Component in the contaminated tank using NMR.

From RU Pain3

From RU Regular

  • The final was hosted by the Department of Chemistry at the University of Reading. 250 schools entered the competition (with 3 students per team) and 18 schools made it to the final. As the map shows the finalists came from all over the UK.
  • Working as a team, each school had to complete 3 related analytical tasks; to solve the ‘Purple Solution’ problem team members then had to work together and combine their results.
  • The activities were designed
  • to test the pupils analytical
  • skills as well as their problem solving skills.
  • The students also had to follow certain deadlines and they all did this brilliantly.
  • All of the pupils in the competition were in their first year of A- levels.
  • Dr Joanne Elliott the local organiser said “I hope those competing were inspired by our state-of-the-art facilities and will consider a career in chemistry.”

Heather White, Anne Thomas (teacher) , David Nicholson, Jack Hofmann. The winning team from Sir John Deane's College in Northwich

“It was a little bit more challenging than what we have done before but this is good!” - Anna Haycock

(Ysgol Brynrefail School)

2nd Place:

Arnold School, Blackpool

3rd Place:

North Halifax Grammar School , Halifax

Tiffany Shum,

Chigwell School

  • The Final Task
  • The judges took into account the analytical skills of the team as well as the results gained. The teams had to produce a detailed analytical report including a breakdown of their results and a solution to the problem.
  • Whilst the judges decided on the winners, the competitors were entertained with a lecture by Dr Matthew Almond on spectroscopy and the uses of chemistry in space.

Task 2:

Determine, by using a Spectrophotometer, the amount of iron in the drainage water from the Acid Storage Farm.

Leighton Park School

Poster produced by Year 10 work experience students Mariya Geneshka and Jose Dean-Lewis between June 20th to June 24th 2011

Johannes Kangur

Stamford Endowed School