I don’t know if you check out Compound Interest (@compoundchem) or not, but if you don’t you should probably consider remedying that IMMEDIATELY!  Pretty much every single time that I read it I have a “HMMMM, OHHHH, Cool! I had no idea!” moment.  Today, was no exception.

They have interesting real world chemistry examples of what is actually going on with the things you observe in real life.  Today, on world book day (not sure who decides on these days), you can learn about the smell ofold vs. new books.

Turns out that basic compounds give rise to the smell of old books: toluene, vanillin, 2-ethyl hexanol, ethylbenzene, benzaldehyde, and furfural.   New books, on the other hand, smell more of the treatments and adhesives applied to the pages.  I know, I know you’re like “HMMMM……COOL…..I had no idea!”

Now – not only is furfural fun to say – but apparently it also used to gauge the age of a book.   I was excited to see this real world example of where you’d find this surprisingly toxic, skin irritant other than foods and fragrances, because, coincidentally I was actually just acquiring some 1H/13C NMR data for this compound on our NMReady-60PRO just today.  See 1D 1H, JRES and 13C{1H} spectra below.

For questions about benchtop NMR, low-field vs. high-field or other compounds of interest please don’t hesitate to contact us!