Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Weird job posting for Ottawa, ON: someone who knows stoichiometry

Lead Chemist  
Vapor Candy, LLC - Ottawa, ON 
We are in the Electronic Cigarette Industry specializing in high quality nicotine based products, and are looking for a Canadian based chemist to help us set up operations in Ottawa. We are looking for someone who can help us with the logistics side of lab operations in Ottawa, as we are a new corporation in Canada. We have been very successful in the USA and are trying to expand the business. 
This position is for part time, with a great possibility of becoming a full time position. The position requires the candidate to have the ability to mix, handle and store the chemical nicotine, safely. The process entails mixing 99% pure nicotine with Propylene Glycol and or Vegetable Glycerin, to dilute the nicotine into specific amounts that are safe for consumption via an electronic cigarette device. 
We are looking for a chemist who understand the following: 
When determining how much Nicotine Liquid to use, we'll start by finding the concentration of the Nicotine Liquid. We will use the mg/mL on the label to find the volume of Nic Liquid to add to the 250 mL erlenmeyer flask. This volume will correspond to the amount of nicotine that will be exactly neutralized by 25 mL of the 0.1N HCl solution. 25 mL of 0.1N HCl will neutralize exactly 0.0025 moles of a mono-hydroxy base (or of an organic base acting as a mono-hydroxy base). The molecular weight of nicotine is 162.26, so 0.0025 moles of nicotine is: 162.26 grams * 0.0025 = 0.4056 g. We call it the 406 Method. 
4ml of Nic Liquid 100mg (VG or PG)
46ml distilled water
30 drops PH Tester (Bromothymol Blue Aquous)
Acid HCI 0,1N 
Pay is negotiable.
But they've given away the secret formula!

(From my uneducated perspective, it seems the entire "vaping" industry is unregulated and could pose unexpected danger to those hired by new entrants to the market. As always, caveat emptor (and caveat artifex!))


  1. "We are looking for a chemist who understands this." = "We are looking for an average high school chem student"?

    Or is it because the last person to understand this retired, leaving a notebook containing only these words? We shall never know...

  2. Judging by what I've seen produced by the "average high school" in the last 20 years in Illinois, I'm not convinced that they would be able to follow instructions as precisely as written.

    It would seem that their "secret formula" is pretty easily reverse-engineered by anyone with some separation skills and a GC. Is USP (or its Canadian equivalent) nicotine available without a license?

  3. A recent article on the BBC online discussed the evolution of health warning statements and graphics on the sides of cigarette packages. Apparently, in every country, they have grown to cover most of the available surface on the package. In every country, except the US, that is, where the size of the advertisements has not changed since their introduction, back in the mid-1960s. And so it comes as no surprise that the nicotine-delivery industry is now trying to extend its reach up to our northern neighbors.