Thin Layer Chromatography

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The aim of the lab was to separate and analyse analgesic drugs in a drug tablet. The method used to separate the components was Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) with silica adsorbent as the stationary phase and 0.5% glacial acetic as the mobile phase. In one plate, five known samples were used as the reference, that is: Aspirin; Caffeine; Ibuprofen; and Salicylamide. Aspirin and Salicylamide were the only samples that fluoresced. On a second plate, the tablet sample was developed. The results of the lab showed that the unknown tablet had an Rf value of 0.51 and fluoresced. This related to Tylenol in the reference plate with an Rf value 0.49. The other analgesics such as Anacin with Rf of 0.13 and Excedrin with Rf of 0.32. This proved that the lab was a success as analgesic drugs in the tablet were able to be separated and analysed.

Chromatography is an analytical separation technique where compounds are separated from their mixtures. There are various types of chromatography techniques but they work using the same principles. They all have a mobile phase—made of a gas or liquid—and a stationary phase—made of a solid or liquid supported on a solid base. Separation is achieved when the mobile phase travels through the stationary phase carrying the components of the mixture in it (Wall, p. 8). Chromatographic separation involves an active and rapid equilibrium between the two phases. The equilibrium is influenced by: polarity and size of molecule; polarity of the stationary phase; and polarity of the solvent (wall, p.11). Therefore by altering the variables using different mobile and stationary phases one can separate any substance from its mixture. Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) has a stationary phase of a liquid supported on a solid base with a liquid mobile phase. Almost all mixtures of solvents can be used as a mobile phase whereas a thin consistent layer of alumina or...
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