Monday, February 12, 2018

Wanted: fluorochemical standards

In this week's C&EN's cover by Cheryl Hogue, an interesting request for synthetic standards: 
Wanted: Fluorochemical reference standards 
When researchers discover a new chemical in the environment, they need a reference sample of known purity to do further research on the substance. Such reference standards are necessary to calculate concentrations of chemicals in environmental samples, conduct toxicology studies, or carry out environmental fate and transport testing. 
But suppliers of chemical standards sometimes don’t have novel industrial chemicals, in particular those that are unintentional by-products of manufacturing processes. Researchers can measure the concentration of only some of the fluorochemicals in the Cape Fear River because they don’t have standards for comparison, says EPA scientist Mark Strynar. 
Chemours supplied standards for the two Nafion by-products found in the Cape Fear River to Strynar in November. Strynar is seeking standards for perfluoro-3,5,7-trioxaoctanoic acid (PFO3OA), perfluoro-3,5-dioxahexanoic acid (PFO2HxA), and perfluoro-2-methoxyacetic acid (PFMOAA). “Those compounds need to be synthesized,” Strynar says. “Without that, our work is sort of at a standstill.” 
“There’re people out there that can do that synthesis and they can make these available as chemicals for us to purchase,” Strynar says in a pitch to the chemistry community. “It doesn’t have to be 99.9% pure,” he says. 
Strynar can be contacted at
Gonna guess that Dr. Strynar could engage Apollo or Synquest for $20,000 or so, but what do I know?  


  1. Or an interesting and productive collaboration for a small-college synthesis group!

  2. Based on what I've heard from friends with exposure to the federal acquisitions process, there's a very real possibility that the EPA cannot just engage Apollo or Synquest for $20,000 or so. The rules that have been put into place to wring misbehavior out of purchasing has resulted in a slow, cumbersome, difficult process that essentially eliminates the idea of a simple transaction--especially at that scale.

  3. CJ, having some experience in a CRO before moving on with my life, we made three analytical standards for a large pharma company for 50-60k if I recall correctly. While there was certainly more functionality than these, I would still be surprised if someone made/sold these for such a low price of 20k.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20