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? 


  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

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

    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

  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


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