Day 1 (24 May, Tuesday)

Firstly, we were briefed on today's programme before going over to the lab. Dr Bonanni went through the steps and made sure we were all clear of the processes. Then when we headed to the lab, we would have to put tea leaves into 8 tea bags and then make the tea for extraction. 

We then added calcium carbonate to remove tannin from the tea, afterwards we then filter it by using the Buchner filtration method. 

Japanese green tea with calcium carbonate added. 

After filtering. 

We then added 50ml of dichloromethane 3 times into a separating funnel, shaking it three times and releasing pressure, before taking out the organic layer. 

Next, we added magnesium sulphate powder to remove water from the organic layer, then we distil off the dichloromethane on a rotary evaporator. 

I learnt that the solubility of the compounds is important in this experiment. For instance, caffeine is more soluble in dichloromethane than water in room temperature, therefore we used dichloromethane to extract caffeine from tea. Today's activities were very interesting. It was the first time working in such a huge laboratory and the process was very fun, even though it was rather confusing at times. 

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