Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Chemistry offers some TLC

This week in chemistry students discovered the use of thin layer chromatography to identify the analgesic present in a non-prescription sinus medication.

Students crushed 4 different analgesic tablets: Panadol (acetoaminophen), Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid), Aleve (naproxen), and unknown (X)

The tablets were then dissolved in a suitable solvent. Students pencilled a starting line across the thin layer chromatography (TLC) plate made of silica gel. 

Using a capillary dropper they made a spot on the starting line for each analgesic and the unknown. 

 They then placed the TLC plate  
  in the developing solvent until 
  the solvent front was 1 cm from
  the top of the plate.

Students then placed their TLC plate under UV light, and calculated Rf values. They then determined the anagelsic present in the unknown sinus medication.

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