The recent and laughable account by Xinbo Wang, Bo Zhang and David Zhigang Wang in JACS that sodium hydride is an oxidant has been challenged by an online cabal of chemists over at TotallySynthetic.  It was further questioned at CBC and has been the scorn of folk in the office.

I almost feel compelled to do the reaction, but from the comments section it seems pretty clear:  in the absence of oxygen, sodium hydride does not an oxidant make.

It’s a pretty tough reality and a stinging rebuke that people can essentially do basement chemistry and have your shit debunked before it even makes it into print.  This is the nature of the blogosphere, the inernets and the future.

Of course, there was no scandal here… it was a bit sensational.  Peer review triumphed again, even if it happened only after the publication (or has it not been published yet?  See… this online shit is confuckingfusing).

UPDATEMissed it.  Do this in a glove box and it doesn’t work.  Open it up to air and you get 80% yield.  All apologies to those involved..