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Analytical and separation science (CH2205)


The aim of this module is to introduce modern techniques for separating mixtures and analysing components.

General description

This module will investigate the use of separation based methods in analytical and preparative chemistry. The basis of chromatography will be introduced with examples in GC, GPC, TLC, and HPLC. Analysis techniques considered will include mass spectroscopy, analytical electrochemistry and atomic absorption spectroscopy, data analysis and error analysis.

Syllabus content

Separation procedures and associated handling will be discussed. Application of chromatographic separation techniques to product identification (HPLC, GC, LC, etc).

Solvent extraction, partition coefficients.

Mass spectrometry, application to inorganic systems, fragmentation patterns, isotopes patterns, detailed discussion of different ionisation methods, MALDI.

Electrochemical methods based on potentiometry including ion selective electrodes and biosensors incorporating biocatalytic membranes. Introduction to amperometric methods such as anodic and cathodic stripping voltametry, linear sweep dc and ac voltammetry. Electrochemical determination of equilibrium constants of inorganic complexes. Speciation of inorganic complexes in aqueous systems, measurements of stability constants.

Ion exchange chromatography.

Atomic Absorption.

Powder X-ray diffraction will be introduced to illustrate the use of Bragg’s Law in determining interatomic distances in the solid crystals. Basic nomenclature concerning crystal groups and structure.

Practical work :

Aspects of interpretation of mixtures, designing separation protocols, characterisation of unknowns will be undertaken. Preparation of calibration plots and associated errors and their suitability in quantifying unknown concentrations.