Telechemistry: monitoring chemical reactions via the cloud using the Particle Photon Wi-Fi module†
Experimentation in chemistry normally involves manual handling of hazardous chemicals and observation of chemical transformations that occur within minutes, hours, or days. Nowadays, acquisition, exchange, and analysis of digital datasets are facilitated by the emerging technology called the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Chemists are also empowered to implement the IoT to remotely operate laboratory equipment and monitor their experiments over the cloud in real time. Automation of experimental procedures and remote reaction monitoring comes with the added safety of the experimenter. Moreover, it improves the data reliability and transparency because the IoT facilitates simultaneous exchange of data among scientists. Here, we demonstrate how a popular IoT device (Particle Photon Wi-Fi module) can be applied effortlessly for remote operation and monitoring of long-term (bio)chemical reactions and experimental conditions. Examples include monitoring of a pH-oscillating reaction and spoilage of milk (acidification due to microbial fermentation). Laboratory environmental conditions are monitored along with the reaction mixture/sample pH. The system also implements a safety feature to switch off the entire system if a dangerous condition emerges. The experimenters can monitor the experiment progress by means of any connected device—computer or smartphone—from any place in the world and even reprogram the system during the process, if necessary.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Synthesis 4.0: Towards an Internet of Chemistry