Isopropyl alcohol: A replacement for tertiary-butyl alcohol in pollen preparations

Whitney, Bronwen and Needham, Teresa (2014) Isopropyl alcohol: A replacement for tertiary-butyl alcohol in pollen preparations. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 203. pp. 9-11. ISSN 0034 6667

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We propose an alternative dehydrating agent for the preparation of pollen samples mounted in silicone oil. Isopropyl alcohol (propan-2-ol, or ‘IPA’) proves to be miscible with both water and silicone oil, and unlike tertiary-butyl alcohol (2-methyl-2-propanol, or ‘TBA’), the conventional dehydrating agent, IPA does not freeze at room temperature. Pollen preparations using IPA are therefore less problematic, especially in cold weather. Photos of fossil pollen samples prepared three months previous using IPA as a dehydrating agent show no difference to those prepared at the same time using TBA. We observed no size difference between Corylus avellana pollen grains dehydrated with IPA compared to those dehydrated using TBA in identically prepared samples. We also find that IPA evaporates from the pollen residue and silicone oil mixture more readily than TBA.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: pollen preparation; tertiary-butyl alcohol; silicone oil; mountant; isopropyl alcohol
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Bronwen Whitney
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 12:12
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2019 00:37

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