First Impressions of TLC Kit by a Neophyte Options
#1 Posted : 10/23/2015 7:27:22 PM

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I recently purchased the Bunk Police TLC Kit ('Separation Kit' ) and used it for the first time to analyse a harmaline->THH conversion. My overall reaction is very positive. Thumbs up The kit is well designed and it is relatively easy to get accurate results.

The kit comes with everything needed to run a TLC analysis, and the individual components are packaged well, protecting the fragile elements, such as the capillary tubes and UV lamp.There was a minor developer liquid leak into the sealed bag holding the developer bottle. This was probably caused by indoor/outdoor temperature changes-- warmer indoor temps likely expanded the air in the bottle enough to squeeze some fluid out the spout. I'm not sure if or how the issue could be avoided.

The process of running the test is surprisingly easy-- and made even easier with the videos being uploaded to the site demonstrating regent reactions. I would recommend a video be added that walks the purchaser through the TLC process-- I found a college lab instructional on YouTube that helped me a lot, and I think the Bunk Police should make their own.

For the non-chemist, it would be helpful to provide a short description of TLC and how it works. Once I educated myself a bit regarding the chemistry behind TLC, the process became nearly intuitive.

There are a couple clarifications that I would recommend for the instruction manual (also printed in the website).

- A few general tips are provided, but this could be expanded. The user should be warned not to touch the face of the testing card. Tips could also recommend the use of gloves when handling materials.

- The directions should clarify that the capillary tubes and mini-test tubes are disposable, intended for one use (substance) only.

- This is the most important critique: Item 3 of Step 2 states: 'Remove after the GLASS TUBE is 1/3 full."-- The first time, I held the tube in the solution for several minutes waiting for the fluid to climb 1/3 the way up the glass-- IT NEVER DID. The glass tube fills almost instantly about 1/8 the way up and then stops; that seems to be plenty enough for the analysis. The directions would be much clearer if they just indicated that you will need to provide 2-4 'spots' on the card of the illustrated spot size.

- I had some trouble knowing how the filter paper should be set, and if it is ok to let it touch the developer. I was worried that the filter paper wouldn't stick to the side of the developing chamber, as the illustration seems to show. As it turned out, the filter paper works best if resting on it's side against the back wall of the chamber (the curved edge helps it stand up). One of the chemists here on the Nexus helped me understand that the filter paper is just to ensure the whole chamber is saturated with fumes-- I would have benefited from this info in the directions.

The kit is a fantastic success, bravo! I will be bringing this kit to some events where drug analysis would be helpful. The price is very reasonable given the three regents and all the components. I would recommend the kit to anyone-- even folks without a formal education in chemistry, like me. Big grin

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#2 Posted : 10/26/2015 9:49:40 AM

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Thanks a lot for this! I'm gonna pass along the constructive feedback to the person actually distributing the kits.

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