Monday, June 29, 2009

Handling reactives in the solubility database

The discovery that aromatic aldehydes bearing electron withdrawing groups react with alcohols has forced us to create a new category in the ONS Challenge SolubilitySum spreadsheet: solute reacts with solvent. There is now a column on the far right to flag these.

Since there is no meaningful number for these mixtures we are assigning the value of -0.1M in the solubility column of the SolSum sheet. That has the advantage that it will not break any web services currently querying the sheet. We can also put an explanation in the notes column for a reason, such as "forms hemiacetal".

One of the benefits of this approach is that all solutes reacting with solvents can be queried using Rajarshi's web query setting the solubility range from -1 to -0.01 M.

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