March 21, 2014 AT 8:00 am

#RaspberryPi for Science, Wrangling Multiple Flow Chemistry Devices #piday @Raspberry_Pi

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Here’s a chemistry paper that makes a strong case for using a Raspberry Pi as an aid for multiple flow chemistry experiments — where the unit’s price, sufficient processing power, and implementation of Python connects very well with the tools and resources for research and measurement.

Excerpt from “Integration of enabling methods for the automated flow preparation of piperazine-2-carboxamide by Richard J. Ingham, Claudio Battilocchio, Joel M. Hawkins and Steven V. Ley:

…All of the reaction parameters could be observed on remote computers, or wirelessly on a tablet computer when moving around the lab. The monitoring software generates an interface for each running experiment, which can be accessed through a web browser. The ability to access real-time experimental information from anywhere – as opposed to only on computers situated next to the apparatus – is very important, because it gives the chemist freedom to perform other tasks at the same time. This is particularly beneficial when data from multiple reactors and devices is combined into a single interface.

The sensors were interrogated approximately once a second; a Raspberry Pi® microcomputer (as shown in Figure 5b) has more than sufficient processing power to perform the required data collection, interpretation and control. We anticipate that much more complex systems than this one could be controlled using this miniature computer system.

An example of the error handling behaviour is shown in Figure 7. After approximately 40 minutes the product begins to elute and after it passes a threshold in the absorbance as detected by the FlowIR™ unit, valve V1 is switched to collect the output. After approximately 1.5 h, a loss in pressure is detected corresponding to an air bubble in the input stream. Valve V1 is switched to waste, and an SMS notification is sent to the operator, who re-primes the pump. After the pressure has returned to normal there is a delay calculated to be the dead volume of the column before the output is collected again….

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