Blog posts by Bertram

Robot Chemist publication in Nature includes a Spinsolve benchtop NMR spectrometer

July 24th, 2018, by

The group of Professor Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow has combined machine learning with a chemical reaction system to speed up the discovery of new chemical reactions, which is an inherently unpredictable and time consuming process. This new approach of an Organic Synthesis Robot uses a Spinsolve Benchtop NMR spectrometer as an integral component. Their work has just been published in the prestigious journal Nature: J. M. Granda, L. Donina, V. Dragone, D.-L. Long and L. Cronin, Nature 559, 377–381 (2018), DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0307-8

Photograph of the chemical robot

The photo shows the impressive setup of the chemical robot with 27 pumps, valves and six reactors, as well as NMR, IR and MS spectrometers for real-time analytics.


Harrisburg University Uses the Spinsolve 60 MHz System as Part of Their Undergraduate Teaching Program

June 27th, 2018, by

Dr Catherine Santai is an Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Program Lead of the Integrative Sciences program at Harrisburg University of Science & Technology. The program utilizes a number of analytical techniques teaching undergraduates about their use, giving them the experience ahead of entering research or industrial roles in later life. So far, the Magritek 60 MHz Spinsolve Benchtop NMR Spectrometer has been used in the Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry laboratory sessions. These provide invaluable hands-on lessons about NMR techniques and analysis of a variety of compounds. NMR is used alongside FTIR (Fourier transfer infrared), AAS (atomic absorption), UV-VIS (ultraviolet – visible) and fluorescence spectroscopies.


Quantification of hydrocarbon content in water analysis at ppm level using benchtop NMR

June 20th, 2018, by

The permitted hydrocarbon content of discharged water from offshore oil and gas exploration is becoming increasingly limited by more stringent legislation. This creates the demand for measurement methods that are sensitive enough to detect contaminants at ppm level, but also compact and robust to field conditions. The group of Professor Mike Johns at the University of Western Australia in Perth has developed a benchtop NMR method to quantify the hydrocarbon content in water at the ppm level.


Measurement of oil adulteration

May 7th, 2018, by

Due to their high retail value, some edible oils are often blended wilfully with other more inexpensive vegetable oils. Two recent publications by Kim et al. and Krause et al. in international journals were able to demonstrate that Spinsolve 1H benchtop NMR spectroscopy is a possible cost-effective method for discriminating the authenticity of some vegetable oils.

Patchouli oils

Overlaid 60 MHz 1H‑NMR spectra of genuine patchouli oils spiked with 9 different adulterants at 20%.


Wageningen University & Research uses the Spinsolve 60 MHz System as Part of Their Undergraduate Teaching Program

February 21st, 2018, by

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is formed from the collaboration between Wageningen University and the Wageningen Research foundation. With the mission “to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life,” its staff and students work in the domain of healthy foods and living environments. Dr Teris van Beek is a Lecturer in the Department of Agrotechnology & Food Sciences. Among his responsibilities is the coordination of the undergraduate course in analytical chemistry where 220 molecular life sciences and biotechnology students are introduced to practical spectroscopy each year (UV, IR, MS, NMR, structure elucidation).


Spinsolve as an optimisation tool for a catalyst-free flow reaction

February 15th, 2018, by

The group of Professor Yoshida at the Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry of Kyoto University has recently published an article showing how Spinsolve benchtop NMR spectroscopy can be used to optimise the reactions of aminating reagents to achieve an efficient C–N bond formation without using any catalyst.


Using Spinsolve as chemically sensitive online detector for Size-Exclusion Chromatography (SEC–NMR)

February 8th, 2018, by

Manfred Wilhelm’s group of the Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) recently published an article evaluating the use of 62 MHz Spinsolve benchtop NMR as a chemically sensitive online detector for size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) of polymers.


New Publications on Real-Time Reaction Monitoring

December 14th, 2017, by

Two recent publications (link here and here) in international journals highlight the potential of using the Spinsolve benchtop NMR for real time chemical reaction monitoring.  Interest in using NMR spectroscopy to monitor chemical reactions has been increasing as the information can be used to optimise yield and minimise waste in order to enhance sustainability of the production process.

One of papers from the Ley group at Cambridge University (Musio et al., ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng, 2017) describes how real-time reaction monitoring on Fluorine can be used to optimise the reaction and reduce the environmental impact in the synthesis of functional fluorinated products. The other paper from the Blümich group at RWTH Aachen (Singh et al., Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 409, pp 7223–7234, 2017) evaluates the on-line benchtop NMR reaction monitoring method against off-line GC and high-field NMR methods and finds excellent agreement between them.

New Publications Featuring Spinsolve in Education

October 4th, 2017, by

Two nice educational applications of Spinsolve benchtop NMR have been published recently as open access in international journals. These papers can be downloaded for free from the links given below. The first one describes a simple method to measure the octanol-water partition coefficient of an organic compound. The second one demonstrates a method to determine the pKa value of some biologically active pyridine-based drugs.


University College Leuven Limburg use Spinsolve in their undergraduate organic chemistry laboratory program

August 23rd, 2017, by

Dr Hilde Roex is the co-ordinator of the second year organic chemistry laboratory course of the Chemistry Program (Gasthuisberg campus, Faculty Management & Technology). Here, the students apply NMR in their organic chemistry laboratory to identify the molecular structure of their synthesized products. They are taught to see the value of NMR for quality control and its use alongside other analytical methods including gas and liquid chromatography. Their goal is to be able to interpret proton NMR spectra and to learn that proton NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy are complementary techniques. This helps to make students familiar with NMR showing them applications of its wide use in industry.


About Bertram

Bertram works as Senior Applications Engineer for Magritek in Wellington. He gained his PhD under the supervision of Paul Callaghan and has been working in the field of NMR technology for over 20 years.