This summer has been nice so far, and I’ve returned to IFF for a summer internship and have now transferred to my co-op position.

As the Research Investigator Intern, I’ve been working given a lot of new responsibilities and privileges (I’m not just relegated to the dev server, production access wooo!!). I also learned a lot about Python, particularly in using it with sql and with RDKit. At this point, it’s been so long since I used C++ I’d probably use python for any of my side projects (still iffy on arrays though. Lists of lists? And I keep using indexes in for loops instead just using the list item the python-y way).

While that was fun, I am now an assistant engineer for the process research group, where I’m assisting chemists in performing processes they can’t with the tools they have, and performing research to apply new synthesis routes. It’s very neat stuff, can’t discuss it though. What I can say though is I am learning a lot about catalysis and reactors.

Something I have learned so far is catalysts often deactivate to surface deposits such as coking. The goal then is to reactivate the catalysts by getting rid of the coke without deactivating it through other chemicals. So generally you run an oxygen rich material (like oxygen nitrogen mixtures according to some literature I’ve read) and just get the carbon to become carbon dioxide and have it float off,leaving behind your clean catalyst ready for reuse.