Today, Dr Bonanni brief us about the first part of the NTU Flagship programme, the extraction of caffeine from tea. We were given a lab coat and a pair of safety glasses. (Safety glass in the fume hood lab later on). Each group will be doing two types of tea, Green Tea and Black Tea, two members to one type of tea. We will be using an organic solvent called dichloromethane, which we need to be very careful as it is toxic when inhaled and come into contact. To prevent from inhaling the toxic gas, each pair is to work in a fume hood. (click this to see what is a fume hood if unsure.) We had fun exploring different apparatus that we never seen before such as a rotary evaporator and etc.
Second Question: What did you learn today?
I learnt that caffeine is an alkaloid, same group as nicotine, heroin (which we known as drugs). On small doses, it will increase alertness and relieve one's drowsiness. But on high doses, it will cause addiction and even death. Caffeine have both advantages and disadvantages.
Third Question: How do you feel about today's activities?
I feel that today's activities are very fun and exciting and the NTU students are very interactive and it is fun learn from them as they brief us on the experiment detailedly. Although today is a very tiring day, I have learn a lot interesting things and gain a lot of information and look forward to the next day :D