Friday, August 23, 2013

What is that equipment in the Breaking Bad Lego set?

Credit: Ars Technica, annotated by CJ
So television's favorite manufacturing chemists have a Lego set of their very own. I don't watch the show (tomorrow's Onion headline today!: "Area Blogger Never Misses Opportunity to Remind Audience that He Doesn't Have Cable"), but I hear enough about it that I have a general idea of what it is about.) The bloggers of C&EN have asked if anyone had any opinions about the Lego Set and its accuracy -- I am curious to know if any readers/commenters had thoughts. Seems to me to be a fairly basic kilo lab set up (how would Walter White know about that, anyway?), but, again, I haven't seen the show enough to have an informed opinion. Anyone? 

4 comments:

  1. given account of Uncle Fester who was Breaking Bad technical consultant, their "superlab" actually featured beer microbrewery equipment with few added bits like nitrogen dewars and glassware - it was far cheaper and easier to obtain than the real chemistry process reactors. Please note that the series creator has no clue of chemistry, the screen-writers depend heavily on DEA experts and Uncle Fester (who is a self-tough underground cook without formal chemistry education, and his expertise in meth making is a bit dated), in other words there is no real process chemist anywhere. It is good enough approximation of a process lab for the TV purposes but I would not worry too much about the actual function of various pieces of apparatus

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  2. They also consulted with Donna Nelson, professor at University of Oklahoma, who may know a thing or two about Organic Chemistry.

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    1. prof. Nelson is a physical chemist by training and primarily a chemistry educator, with wide outreach to high school kids, etc, who also did some reearch work on single wall carbon nanotubes.There is nothing wrong with any of her specialities but a expert process chemist she is not

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  3. I'm pretty sure that the thing labeled as "Kilo lab reactors is actually a coffee set up. In the show Gale, one of the chemists has a side project to create the best coffee. See this youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ83kt4a2-A

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