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Chemical Separations

Principles, Techniques, and Experiments

Clifton E. Meloan
Kansas State University
Manhaltan. Kansas

A Wiley-Interscience Publication
New York I Chichester I Weinheim I Brisbane I Singapore I Toronto

The Iabonuory procedures deKribed in ltIis rcxl are designed I(l be carried ouI in allJiblbty rquippcd
labonuory. In common with many sum procedure$, !hey may ilMllvr hazardoI.a 1t\IleriaIs. For lhc
0Cll'TCCC and 5IIfe tJlC'Cution ofthcsc prott:dure$. it is c:s::5JmQ1lhallaborarory pmonl'ld fOllow 5landard
"(ely prCClM'l.iont.
Although th: grnteM c.c 1'Ia5 been uercised in me ~ion orlhb inronn.tion, lht 1Ultlor.
~inl for himself. and lOr the c:1a5Aoom and Jabonu::ry ~ -r the publi5htt. exprcuty
OOcbim any liability to 05Cn of thQc prooeduu for COIISC'qUCnIiaI 4afnI&eI of any kind nina (lUI of
or connected with their U5e.
The anal)'tic:al ~ dcui~ heRin, unkss inlfiakd. $UCfI,.-.:.oo /'10110 Ix reprded.
offIcilr.I. bul are proc:edtn$lha ha\-e been b.-.d 10 be atttnIlc and rqlI"Oducible in I .....-iely of
laboraIories. All ~ is .. tht tole risk of the reader.


The ilemS of ~ dcseribed in this manual we intended 10 iJluRrlilc proper Icdwl~ 10 obtain •
qualif)' ~ and art: IlClIIO be ~ asotrJciaJ .d.'or requirecl Any cquiYaknllppll"llUS
obtained hom Qlha IMntIfKtInfl 1M)' be llbsIiluIcd.

This book is prinlcd on .cid·~ paper. @

eopy,ightO 1999 by John Wiley&. Sons, Inc. All righUlUO'Wd.

Publiihcd dmullllnrou5ly in Canada.

No paI1 of lhi!> publicillion mil)' be reproduced slorW in a retrieval sySlem IX ulIl\!>lniUoo

in Ilny form or by tmy means. dl"\:lronic. m<:'ChaniClll. photocopying, reL-on:1ing. SClnning
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Permissions DcpllTlmcnt, John Wilc~ & Sons, Inc., III RivlT StrccL Uoboken, NJ 07030,
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M<:1oan, Clifton E.
Chaniall5tplnltiOll£: principles, techniques. and aperlrnenu;;.
tombined 1cJl1, labon!OI')' manual, and reference I Clifton E. Memo.
• =.
MA WiIc:y.. lnlcrscieJlce N>lic3Ilion.M
",m. M

lncludc:sbiblqrllplUail refcrenc:cs; Met irxb..

LSBN G-471-)SI97-o{.Ik. p!IpCt")
I. ScpInlion (Tcdtnology) 2. Sc:panl:ion (Tc:elvlokl£Y) UboraIory
.".,.,..Is. I. Totle:.
QD63.S4M44 1999
S4l'.0'73-ik21 99-36208

PmIed in the: Uniled States ofAmmca

10 9 8 7 6 S 4 J 2 I
Dedicated To

Mr. Paul Bacher

My High School Chemistry Teacher
Burlington Senior High School
Burlington, Iowa

11le one who started it all

Clifton E. Meloan is professor of anal)1ical chemistry at Kansas State Univcrsicy, Manhattan, KS 66506,
and was Science Advisor to the Food and Dmg Administration for 28 years, mostly associated with Ihe Total
Diet Center in Lenexa, KS. He was also consullam for several industries. He received a B.S. degree in
chemical technology from Iowa Siale University in 1953 and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Purdue
University in 1959. He has directed lhe research 0(50 Ph.D. and 26 M.S. students. The areas of research in-
cluded extraction mechanisms, reactive column gas-liquid chromatography, polymers to remove selected
ions from polluted \vater, solid reagents to selectively delect toxic compounds. criminalistics, insect detec-
tion of chemicals. and making undergraduate chemistry laboratories real world. This research has resulted
in over 160 papers in refereed journals and I patenl He has prepared II video tapes on laboratory technique
for the American Chemical Society and 26 hours of video on basic chemistry for the USDA Food Safety and
Inspection Service. He is the sole author of five books and the co-author of seven books, the two most feCeni
being Food Analysis: Theory and Practice by Y. Pomeranz and C. E. Meloan, Chapman-Hall (1994) and the
Central American Pesticides Laboratory Training Manual published by the A.G.A.C. International (1996).
In addition he has contributed 22 chapters to 3 other books. He was selected as Distinguished Research and
Teaching Professor in 1970 sponsored by the Standard Gil Co. l-Ie has twice been selected as Outstanding
Educator in America and in 1995 was awarded the first Kansas Slate University Distinguished Teaching

Pick and choose.
Cover what you can in lecture.
do the experiments you have the time and apparatus for,
and Icave the reS[ for reference.

The purposes of this book are to present the principles of operation of the most commonly used chemical
separations, to describe the apparatus that is used, and to provide an expcrilTlCfll to illustrate the techniques
required to perform each separation correcdy. The samples used are commercial products and naturally oc·
curring materials. 'The mcthodsare, far the most part. official methods from the A.HOCia/ion a/Official Ana~
lytical Chemists. International (AOAC. Inti.); the United States Pharmacopeia (USP); the American Society
for Te.ffing and Materials (ASfM); and from university and induslriallaboratories.
Most students do not know "what is available" to solve a separation problem and usually do not
know how to do il. This lexl is intended to be "street smart" by incorporating air the manipulative techniques
practicing chemists use to make the separation work well. far more separations are described here than can
be covered in a one-semester course, but this book is intended to serve as a reference for the remaining sep-
arations. The mathematical treatment is kept to a minimum, presenting on1)' what is necessary to illustrate
the principles and to show how quantitation and recoveries are determined. Individual instructors will surely
supplement the theor)' based on their interests.
Students rna)' select 14 experiments from about 30 available, or about one per week. The expcri·
ments are set up 5--6 at a time for 2-2.5 weeks. II is the responsibility of the student to do the experiments
within that time. The directions are tape recorded so students can work at any time. Laboratory assistants are
available at certain times, and although the students are encouraged to take advantage of those times, it is
not mandatory. Safcty in an open laboratory is alwa),s a concern. Most oflhese experiments have been done
for several years and the lab is believed to be very safe. The open laboratory is necessary with real·world
samples because it is not always possible 10 finish a lab in 3 hours. The author believes that learning how to
solve a problem is more important than being restricted to J hours.
In 1966, the author became a science advisor for the fDA. II took about 20 minutes in one of the
field laboratories to convince him that allhough he probably knew more thcory than anyone there, he had
been inadequately trained in the practical aspects of handling real-world samples. Subsequent visits to in-
dustrial laboratories as a consultant reinforced this belief. furthcnnore, the author realized that he was
teaching his students the way he had been taught As a result, a course in separations was developed in
which commercial products, natural samples, and official methods of analysis procedures "",ould be used as
much as possible. All of the laboratory techniques thaI the author has learned are being passed on to stu·
dents by incorporating them into the directions of the experimems.
Students should know the basic principles and have actual practice with the operational techniques
ofa wide variety of separation methods. In addition, rhey should be familiar with a great man)' other meth-
ods of separation Ihat may be useful in the future. This book includes far more experiments than anyone
student can be expected 10 do in a one·semester class. The purposes of this are
" Preface

I. Students can select a wide variety ofexpcriments to do based on their past experience and inter-
2. SlUdents can readily learn something about a separation they arc unfamiliar wilh and have an ex-
periment to try if they desire.
3. Because students can learn many ways to separate a mixture. they are less likely to force an inef-
ficient method of separation as a solution to a problem just because it is the only one they know.

T\WO points of caution:

I. The student is using real samples, strange equipment. and many new techniques all at the same
time. It is unrealistic to expect that the anal}1ical results on first try will be perfect, but they usu-
ally will be acceptable.
2. Separation is not not spelled sep£.ration.

An experiment with detailed directions accompanies each separation scheme. Instructors must know
what apparatus is needed, how it is set up. what solutions are required, strength of solutions, and how much
to prepare for each student. particularly if teaching assistants are involved.
The fonnat for each experiment is to provide first a brief summary of the principles involved. A
problem is presented that requires a separation 10 be made. A list of all of the equipment needed for one
complete setup is provided. A list of all chemicals and samples needed is provided with the amount for each
student (5) listed at the end such as 15 mUS. In the author's laboratory, each experiment is available on au-
dio tape so students can proceed at their own pace. It is imperative that the apparatus be Set up to follow the
directions. That is one of the purposes of the apparatus diagram. The second reason is so that students can
recognize the experiment setup without being embarrassed because they didn', know what it looked like.
A one paragraph summary of what is to be done gives the studL'Tl1 a broad view of what is expected.
It also provides the instructor with a quick review of the separation so if a question is asked, the instructor
can quickly provide an answer or a ~uggestion.
The directions arc detailed. It is cookbook. and intentionally so. This is not Chem I with beakers and
test tubes where "discovery" is paramount and the apparatus is incxpcnsive.1hesc separations involve a lim·
ited amount of expensive equipment. and good techniques arc to be learned. In addition. when rcal-",:odd
samples are used, the experiments can take considerable time, so directions are necessary. Unless students
are shown what good technique is, they will seldom learn it on their own. and unless they arc shown how to
take care ofan instrument, it will be a "machine" and treated as roughly.
Ifan instrument such as an infrared is used, general directions are given 10 show what is needed. It is
expected that the local instructors will make modifications for their particular instruments. An example cal·
culalion is provided I'll lhe end. The samples often smell. won't dissolve. are messy. and have many imerfer-
ing subslanccs present. However. lhat is reality after graduation. so it is best to get used to it flOW.
This text has been used wilh both undergraduate and graduate classes. Undergraduate students
should do those portions assigned by their instructor and as many others as their interest dictates. Graduate
students should begin with new material and continue on.

Eileen Schofield, Senior Edilor, Kansas State Agricultural Experiment Station, for editing the manuscript.
Justin Vardeman. Manhattan. Kansas, Vocational Technical Institute, for the following drawings: Figures
2.3,2-11.2·\4.2-25,3·8,7···7,13-4, 20-5 and 20-8. Kelly Johnson. Kansas State
University. Architectural Engineering, for the following drawings: Figures 1-4,5-1.7-6,7-9,7-10.7.14.
9-3.9-7,10·10.11-3.12-2.21-4,23-11,26-15,27-8. 29-1. 29·3. 29-8. 29-12. 29·14, 29-19, 29-21. 30-2,
34-1,36-20.43-1.53-3,56-3, and 56-15.

Clifton E. Melean
Kan.~as Stnte University



I Volatilization 5
2 Zone Melting 13
3 Distillation: Generallnfonnation 21
4 Azcotropic and Extractive Distillations 43
5 Steam and Immiscible Solvents Distillation 49
6 Vacuum Distillation 57
7 Molecular Distillation and Sublimation 71
8 Lyophilization (Freeze Drying) 85


9 Extraction: General Concepts 93
10 Continuous Extraction 107
11 Countercurrent (Extraction) Chromatography: The 1to Coil-Planet Centrifugal Extractor 117
12 Solid Phase Extraction 129
13 Supcrcritical Fluid Extraction 137


14 Chromatography: General Theory 149
15 Displacement and Muhiplc Column Partition Chromatography 155
16 Affinity Chromatography 165
17 Size Exclusion Chromatography (Gel Filtration; Gel Permeation) 171
18 Flash Chromatography 179
19 t-ligh Perfonnance Liquid Chromalography (HPLC) 183
20 Gas-Liquid Chromalography (GLC) 211
21 PapcrChromatography 249
22 Thin Layer Chromalography 255


23 Ion Exchange 269
24 Ion Chromalography 277
2S Ion Retardation, Ion Exclusion, and Ligand Exchange 289
xli Contents


26 Electrodeposilion 299
27 Eleczrophoresis-General 315
28 Immunoelectrophoresis 339
29 Polyacrylamide Gel Disc Electrophoresis 345
30 Jon Foeusing. SOS, and Two-Dimensional Electrophoresis 351
31 Capillary Zone Electrophoresis 359
32 Field Flow Fractionation 371


33 Purge and Trap and Dynamic Headspace Analysis 385
34 Foam Fractionation. Gas~. and Liquid-Assisted Flotation 395


3S Osmosis and Reve~ Osmosis 413
36 Dialysis and Electrodialysis 423
37 Filtering and Sieving 431


38 Densily Gradienls 449
39 Ccmrifugalion 455
40 Masking and Sequcstcring Agcnts 469
41 Solubility 473
42 Gas Analysis by Portable Orsal 489

Experiment I Volatilization: The Determination of CO2 in Either Limestone or Baking Powder 500
Experiment 2 Volatilization: The Determination of Mercury in Hair by F1ameless Atomic Absorption 504
Experiment 3 ZOne Refining: The Scpamlion ofTrace... of MClhyl Red from Naphthalene 507
Experiment 4 Azcotropic Distillation: The Production of Absolute Ethanol from 95% Elhano~Watcr 509
Expcriment 5 Extmctive Dislillalion: Separation ofCyclohexane from Benzene Using Aniline 516
Experiment 6 Steam Distillation: The Separation of Oil of Clove from the Whole Cloves 519
Experiment 7 Immiscible SolvenlS Distillation: The Use ofToluene to Remove Water from Fruits, Vegetables, 521
and Meats
Experiment 8 Vacuum Distillation: A Vacuum Distillation to Purify the Solvent Dimethylfonnamide 523
Experiment 9 Molecular Distillation: The Detennination ofVitamin E (Tocopherol) in Margarine 527
Experiment 10 Sublimation: The Separation of Benzoic Acid from Saccharin 532
Experiment II Entrainer Sublimation: The Separation of Caffeine from Coffee by Entrainer Sublimation 535
Experimenl 12 Lyophilization: Preparing Freeze-Dried Beverages 538
Experiment 13 Continuous Extraction-Solvent Heavier Than Water: The Determination of Caffeine in Cola 540
Drinks Using a Continuous Extractor; Solvent HeavierType
Experiment 14 Continuous Extraction-Solvent Lighter Than Water. Separating the Anti-amoebic Alkaloids 544
from Ipecac Syrup
Experiment 15 Continuous Extraction--The Soxhlet EXlractor. Extracting Oil from NutmealS 548
Experiment 16 Countercurrent Extraction: Separation of the Phenolic Flavor Components., Carvacrol and 550
Thymol, from Oregano Leaves
Experiment 17 Solid Phase Extraction: Atrazine, Simazine, and Propazine in Ponds. Lakes. and Rivers 554
(Supelco Applicalions)
Experiment 18 Supercritical Fluid Extraction: The Separation of Oil from Pc<:ans 556
Contents xiii

Experiment 19 Displacement Column Chromatography: The Separation of cis-trons-Azobenzcne 561

Experiment 20 Mulliplc Column Pal1ition Chromatography: The Separation ofCOOcine, Chlorpheniramine, and 564
Phenylephrine in a Cough Syrup
Experiment 21 Affinity Chromatography: Separation ofa Lectin from Soybeans 567
Experiment 22 Size Exclusion Chmmatography: Gel Filtralion Chromatography-The Separation ofVitamin 572
B I2 from Dextrans by Means ofSephadcx G-IOO
Experimenl 23 Flash ChIOlI":!If':;raphy: Scparalion of vanillin from vanilla Extract 575
Experiment 24 High Pcrformaroce Liquid Chromatography: Dcleaing Explosive Residues 579
Experiment 25 High PcrfolTJ'\3nce Liquid Chromatography: Separation of Aspirin, Acetaminophen, and 584
Caffeine in Excedrin
Experiment 26 Gas-Liquid Chromatogmphy-Arson Inve.tigation: De!ection of Accelerants in Debris by Head 586
Space Analysis
Experimcnt 27 Gas-Liquid Chromatography-Determination ofAntioxidants: The Determination of DHA and 591
BHT AntioxidanlS in Breakfast Cereals
Experiment 28 Paper ChromalOgraphy: The Determination ofSulfametharine, Sulfametrazine, and 595
Sulfadiazine in Trisulfa Tablets
Experiment 29 Thin Layer Chromatography: Ascending TLC Separalions Requiring Color Development- 599
Vasodilator Drugs; the Aliphatic Nitrates
Experimcnt 30 "lnstant"Thin Layer Chromatography: The Detenninalion ofAntihistamines in Drug 601
Experimenl 31 Two-Dimensional Chromatogl'1lphy: Separation of Sulfamethazine or Caroadox from Medicated 606
Experiment 32 Ion Exchange: Sepannion<; ofScvcral Cations in Mineral Water, Pond Water, or Low Acid Foods 608
Experiment 33 Ion Chromatogmphy: The Separation of Corrosion Inhibitors and Contaminants in Engine 614
Experiment 34 Jon Retardation: Separating Salt and Urea from Urine 617
Experiment 35 Ion Exclusion: Dctennination ofTOIal Vitamin C in Applesauce 618
Experiment 36 Ligand Exchange: Dctennination of Hydraz.ine, Methylhydrazine, and Dimethylhydmzine in 621
Liquid Rocket Fuels
Expcriment37 Electrodeposition: The Determination ofCoppcr and Nickel in a U.S. 5-Cent Piece 623
Experiment 38 Agar Horizontal Strip Electrophoresis: The Separation of the Isoenzymes of Lactic 628
Dehydrogenase (LDH) in Blood Serum
Experiment 39 Agarosc Gel Horizontal Strip Electrophoresis: DNA Fingerprinting-A Palemity Case 634
Experiment 40 rmmunoelectrophoresis: Immunoelectrophoresis of Human Proteins in Urine or Serum 642
Experiment 41 Disc Electrophoresis: Identification of Fish Species by Their Amino Acid P..lUem 646
Experimcot42 Ion Focusing Electrophoresis: Ion Focusing ofFetric Lcghemoglobins from Soybean Root 652
Experiment 43 Capillary Zone EICl:.'1rophoresis: Micellular Capillary Elcctrophoresis separation ofAspartame 657
Breakdown Products in Soft Drinks
Experiment44 Field Flow Fractionation: Dctennination of the Size/Mass ofLalex Spheres Using 662
Sedimentation FFF
Experiment 45 Purge and Trap: Separation of Aroma and Flavor Compounds in Fresh and Aged Beer 665
Experiment 46 Foam Fraclionation: Separation ofDetergenlS from Waste Water 667
Experiment 47 Gas4Assisted Flotation: Separating Suspended Solids from River Water 671
Expcrimenl 48 Liquid-Assisted Flotation--Tomatoes: Separating Fly Eggs and Maggots from Canned TomalOes 673
Experiment 49 Liquid-Assisted Flotation--Commcal and Flour: Separating Insect Fragments and Rodent Hairs 676
from Cornmeal and Flour
Experiment 50 Liquid-Assisted Flotation-Leafy Vegetables: Separating Mites, Aphids., and Thrips from Leafy 681
Experimem 51 Osmosis: Determining the Osmotic Pressure of a Potato 685
Experiment 52 Dialysis: The De!enninuion of Phosphatase in Milk to Dctennine Proper Paslcurization 687
Experiment 53 Air Filtration: Separating Pollen and Molds from Air 691
Experiment 54 Density GradienlS For Soils: Comparing Soils at a Hit-and-Run Accidenl 694
Experiment 55 Centrifugation: The Separation ofFat from Milk and Ice Cream 696
Experiment 56 Masking and Sequestering Agents: The Determination of Zn Accelerator.; in Rubber Products 700
xiv Contents

ExperimentS7 Solubility of Plastic Materials: Separation and Identification ofThennoplastic Polymers 703
Experiment 58 Solubility of Fibers: Identification ofTextile Fibers by Solubility Measurements 704
Experiment 59 Gas Analysis: Separ.uion of cal' 0z' CO, and Nz from Car Exhaust Gas Fumes 707

Answers to the Review Questions 711

AOAC Association of Official Analytical MBAS Methylene blue active substance
Chemists.lmernalional MDFF 2-Methoxy-2,4-diphenyl-3-(2H)-furanonc
AUFS Absorbance units full scale MECC Micellar electrokinetic capillary
BHA Butylate<! hydroxy anisole chromatography
BHT Butylated hydroxy IOlucne MFFF Magnetic field flow fractionation
BIS N,N-methylene bis acrylamide NBT Nitro blue tetmzolium
BSA Bovine serum albumin NHE Normal hydrogen electrode
CHEF Crossed clamped homogeneous electric NIST National Institute of Standards and
fields Technology
CCC Coonter curren! centrifuge PAM Pesticide Analytical Manual
CPC Coil planet centrifuge PAT Purge and trap
CZE Capillary zone electrophoresis PCR Polymerase chain reaction
DMF Dimethylformamidc PFGGE Pulsed field gradielll gel electrophoresis
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid PMD Programmed multiple development
DPN Diphosphopyridinc PTFE Polytetrafluoroethylene
DTA Differcntiallhermal analysis PVDF PolyvinyTidene difluoride
EDTA Ethylencdiarninetctraacclic acid PVP Polyvinylpyrrolidinone
FDA The Food and DrugAdministnttion RAM Relative apparent mobilities
EFFF Electric field flow fractionation RFLP Restriction fragment length
FFF Field flow fractionation polymorphisms
FFFF Flow field now fractionation SDS Sodium dodccylsulfonate
FSar Fused silica open tubular SFE Supcrcritical fluid extraction
GLC GaS-liquid chromatography SFFF Sedimentation field now fractionation
GPC Gel pcnneation chromatography SI Systcme International
HOES Hydrodynamic equilibrium system SPE Solid phase extraction
I·/EPA High efficiency parliculale air SRM Standard reference material
HETP Height equivalent to a theoretical plate Steric FFF Steric field flow fractionation
HPLC High perfonnance liquid chromatography TAFE Transversc alternating field electrophoresis
HSES Hydrostatic equilibrium system TEMED N,N. N~ N'-tctramethylelhylene diamine
IEF lsoclectric focusing TFFF Thermal field flow fractionation
IEP Immunoelectrophoresis TLC Thin layer chromatography
ITLC Instant thin layer chromatography TRIS uis(Hydroxymethyl)aminomethane
LOH Lactate dehydrogenase VOC Volatile organic compounds
With the possible exception of sampling, the largest sources of error in an analytical determination are those
processes that are known as seporotions. A separation is a process whereby the compounds of interest are removed frolll
the other compounds in the sample thal may react similarly and interfere with a quantitative determination.
As an example ora separation, the presence ofrouen eggs in powdered eggs can be determined by titrating the
lactic acid fanned in the rouen ('r~s. However, acetic, propionic. aolt butyric acids are also presenl in both fresh and
rotten eggs and would also b~ ,••Iall.:d. causing an error. The lactic acid is "scp3r.lted" (liquid-solid eXfmction) by adding
dicthyl ether. which will :'"clcctively dissolve the laclic acid and leave the other acids in the egg where they will not
Separations are also important in the preparation of pure compounds. The separation of penicillin from mold is
an example. In fact. evcry chemicallhaJ you have cvcr used has been purified, al least to some extenl, by a separation
of somc type.
Separations arc oftcn complex and may require several different mcthods and much time before the final
detenninative step. The Food and Drug Administration's tocal diet study of foods examines over 250 foods for ovcr 350
pesticides and industrial chemicals. It requires 600 to 700 hours of analytical effort of which between 300 to 400 hours
are involved in separations.


Cleanup: A practical tcnn used to describe the handling ofa sample before the measuring slep. For example, after the
pesticides arc cxtracted from a vegetable, the extrad may contain fats and plant waxes that will imcrfere with thc
delcnnination ofthc pesticides. These fats and waxes arc removed by solid phase extraction, column chromatography,
or gcl penncation chromatogrnphy, and thc cxtrad then is said 10 be cleO/led lip,

Spiking: The additioo of a known amount of a standard 10 a sample so that recovcries can be detcnnincd and to calibrate
the signal for quanlilalion.

Standard reference maferia./ (SRM); Malerialsofknown concentration such as those prepared by the NationallnSlitute
of Standards and Technology (NIST); for example, orchard leaves, bovine liver, oyster tissue, lobsler pancreas, steel.

Incurred residue: The residue originally in the sample.

Percent recovery. The amount of a spike that can be recovered when processed through Ihe entire analysis procedure.
Values of95· 105 % are desired. Iflhc value is below 80 0/0. then me method should be modified to improve the

CoJlaborative .fflldy. A study by others to validate the proposed method. Several national agencies set the standards. In
the U.S. these arc the Association of Offidal Analytical Chemists, International (AOAC Inti.), the Unifed Sta/e.v
Pharmacopeia (USP) and the American Society for Tcsting and Materials (ASTM).
The AOAC Iml. requirements are:
I. An intra-lab collaboration firsl
2. At least eighllaboralOries should test the method as written at five spike levels. If the results look
reasonable, they are presenled at an AOAC meeting for Offdal First Ac/ion.
3. After any recommended modifications, which are thcn tested, the method may be accepted as Official Final
Ac/ion. The melhod then can be used for court cases.
4. In selected cases where specialized apparatus is involved or only a few laOOratories would use the method,
then three laboratories and three spike levels are acceptable, but this must be noted in the method.
The need for such methods is extensive in commerce and in litigation. If your company is buying a rnw material
ofa specified purity, you need to know thai it meets the specifications. The company selling it to you needs to know
what it is selling. If there is a difference in the analysis, and a third company is brought in 10 settle the argument. what
method is to be used? A sample that has been analyzed by an official method will settle most arguments, and will stand
up in court.

Remember· cover the material you have time for, do the experiments selected by your instructor for which you
have the apparatus and leave the rest of the material for reference.



No Vacuum Applied I Vacuum Applied

rl- - - - ----'i''--------rl---------,'
Solid Solid Liquid Uquid Solid
to 10 to 1\1 10
Gas or Vapor Liquid VlIPOC Vapor Vapor

Volatilization Zone Melting Regular Balch Vacuum Lyophilization

Chartcr2 Distillation Distillation (Freeze Drying)
Chapter I
Chapter 3 Chaplcr6 Chapter 8

Azeotropic Mok"Cular
Di5tillation Distillation
Chaplet" 4 Chaptt.'f' 7

Chapler 7
Chapler 4

Chapter 5

Solvems Dist.
(118pter 5

TIle phases ofmolter considered are solid liqllid, and gas. These are not to be confused with the states a/mailer.
A glass ofwaler is in the liquid phase, but its stale may be 20"C and 740 tOfT. Remember, ira liquid changes into a gas,
this gas is called a Vapor, since it did nol exist naturally as a gas. If, in a mixture of compounds, the amount of one or
more of the compounds changes if part of the mixture undergoes a phase change, then it is often possible to take
advanlage of this and effect a separation. The simplest example is the removal of water from a piece of lumber. When
the lumber is heated, the waler (liquid) changes to vapor and separates from the solid comfXIunds in the lumber. This
is called volatilization and is discussed in Chapler I. MereuI}' in fish is determined in this manner.
If a portion ofa solid mixture, such as an impure drug. is melted, the impurities are set free in the liquid portion.
If this fXIrtion is then partially resolidified, the impurilies will collect preferentially in the remaining liquid portion. This
change, from solid to liquid to solid, is ealled zone melting and is discussed in Chapter 2. Computer chips are zone
refined using this technique 10 evenly distribute the impurities.
The change from liquid 10 vapor back to liquid is g;vcn the tenn distillafion, and therc arc stveral variations. For
example; a mixturc ofbcnzene and 101U(,"Oc is liquid. The valXlr coming from its surface contains more benzene than
toluene, and if this valXlr is eondensed back to a liquid, then an enrichment in benzene occurs. The rate ofthis process
can be increase<! by applying heat for the first phase change and applying cooling for the change back to liquid. Most
laboratory·scale dislillations are batch distillations, in that a singlc charge is diSl:illed without adding more material
during the distillation. The general theory, the app3J'Cjtus used. and the lcchniques involved arc discussed in Chapter 3.
There arc tirnes when a mixture oftwo or more compounds forms a constant boiling mixture and will not separnte
any further during distillatioo. These mixtures are called azeotrapes and are discussed in Chapter 4. A common
azeotrope is 95% ethanol·5% water, lQOGIo ethanol, or absolutc ethanol, is n:quired for gasohol. How can this 5% of
water be removed? You will learn that you form two additional aZCOlropcs and use azeotropes as an advantage, a process
called an azeotropic distil/ario", in Chapter 4.
There are times when there is a component in a mixture that is chemically different from the rest of the system,
such as OI1e component having an aromatic ring. while the others do not. Ifa compound is added to the mixture that can
pi bond 10 the aromatic compound, it can raise its boiling lXlinl sufficiently to cause a separation to occur during this
extractive distil/ation, discussed also in Chapter 4.
Raoult's law is the basis for steam distillarion, Chapter 5, and its reverse, immiscible solvents distillation. also in
Chapter 5. When the swn of the individual vapor pressures reaches 760 lOfT 31 sea level, the mixture will boil. By adding
stcam to a liquid, the vapor pressure of the water is quitc high compared to the other components, and they will distill
at a much lower temperature. This can minimize destruction caused by overheating. and is usually applied to liquids
immiscible with water. The reverse, using a liquid such as toluene, can be used 10 remove: large amounts of water from
somelhing like a watennelon section prior to additional chemical analysis.
By reducing the pressure of the system during the distillation, the boiling points decrease about 15 OC for each
halving of the pressure. At these reduced temperatures it is possible to reduce decomposition, polymerization,
az.cotropcs, and increase: boiling point differences. Distillations at reduced pressures are called vacuum distillations,
discussed in Chapter 6. Modifications ofthe application ofa vacuum arc discussed in Chapter 7. Ifa very high vacuum
is applied, such that the length of the mean free path of the desired compound is greater than the distance from the
liquid's surface to lhe surface of the collecting vessel, then there is no rebound. This is called a molecular di~tillafion.
Chapter 7, and is the commercial method for obtaining vitamin E.
Iflhe phase change is solid to vapor,lhcn this is a sublimation but the compound is lost. The preferred technique
is solid to vapor back to solid, so the product can be collected. If the vapor is carried away from the sample surface as
soon as it foms, so as to reduce the vapor pressure immediately above the sample, then this is called an entra;ner
sublimation, also in Chapter 7. If a liquid is solidified, changed to a vapor. and then to a solid, this is calledjreeze
drying. This is discussed in Chapter 8.

Volatilization i.s the conversion o/al1 or part ola solid or a liquid to a gas. This evolved gas may be recovered
and measured 0.- the residue remaining may be measured. The gas may be produced by several methods: (I) by direct
heating. such as heating NH.N~ to fonn N! and H20; (2) by applying the principle that strong acids displace weaker
acids and strong bases displace weaker bases; for example. the evolution ofgaseous CO2• a weak acid, from solid CaCO]
by adding HCI. a strong acid. or the removal ofgascous NH), a weak base, from solid (N~hSO. by adding NaOH; (3)
by oxidation. such as burning a sulfide in air to produce S02; or (4) by reduction, or converting the elements to hydrides
such as AsH) or H2Se. The most common method to detennine Hg, As. and Se is to use volatilization procedures and
detect the volatile compclOents by atomic absorption spectroscopy.
In all cases a gaseous substance is fornle<!. If this is to be collccted, then it is passed through an absorption train
to remove unwanted gaseous impurities. The desired gas then is either absorbed 011 a solid absorber and weighed or
is passed into a solution where it reacts quantitatively with another chemical and the excess chemical is detennined.
Alternatively. the evolved gas mixture could be trapped and then passed through a gas chromatograph or the vapors can
be examined spectrophotometrical/y.
Ir the evolved gas is not to be collected. then the residue is examined. One example of this approach is to
detemline the moisture in lumber by driving off the water and weighing the residue. Another example is to examine
polymer compositions by heating the polymer in an N 2 stream and reducing the polymer to carbon, which then is
The point is that volatilization as a means of separation can be simple and can be applied to many problems. far
more than most chemists realize. Although almost any element can be made volatile under stringent conditions. about
30 elements can be volatilized in one form 0.- another by using reasonably mild conditions and simple apparatus. A brief
summary of how several of these can be obtained in a volatile form is shown below fo.- the inorganic compounds.
Carbon (inorganic)
Carbonates (except the alkali metals) -----> MO + COz
Carbonates and bicarbonates + strong acid (HCI) -----.> CO 2
Cyanides + strong acid (HzSO.) -----> HCN
Sulfites and bisulfites + strOllg acid (HCI04 ) ---> S02
Acid soluble sulfides + sfrong acid (HCIO.) ---.> H2S
Nitrates and nitrites + strong acid (HzSO•• HClO. --------> N0 2
NH: + strong base (KOH) -----> NH)
F + strong acid (H 2SO•• HClO.) _.-.-> HF
F + Si + H2SO. --------> SiF. + H2SiF6
r+ B+ HCIO. -----> BFJ
H]BOJ + HF + HCIO. ----~--> BF)
H)BO) + CH)OH + HCI -------.> (CH))BO)
6 Ttchniques

Selenium and Tellurium

-ales, ites. or ides + H (NaBH.) ------> HzSe or H2Te
-ales, ites. or ides + CI 2 -.-----> SeCl, or TeCI 2 + TeCi.
AsO/. AsO J -J, AsO;J + Zn + H2SO. (or NaBH.) -----> AsH)
+ HCI + H2SO. -----> AsCI)
SbO)-J, SbO;) + HCI + HCIO. ---> SbCl)
+ Zn + H2SO. - - > SbH J
Silicates + HF + H 2SO. ---> SiF.
Chromales, chromites + HCI + HCIO.
Hg- + SnCI2 ----> Hg + SoCI.
HgCI2 + H2SO. ------> HgCI!

Halogens (F. CI. Br, I)

X z + H 2SO. ->HX
PO)'). PO;) + Zn + H~O.
Osmates + HNO j , H~O. ----> OsO.
Rhenates and pelThenates + H 2SO•• HClO. -------> Re,P7
Gold >WC
Aurates + HCI. HNO). H 2SO. -----> AuCI J
Oxidalion MY<
Sulfides + Oz - - > S02

Reduction by hydrogen
Oxides of inactive metals + Hz ---> H20 (steam) + M or weigh the
metal residue
N 2• Oz. Flo CIl> BTl> 120 He, Ne, Ar. Kr. and Xc all can be volatilized from their sUlTOundings by
gentle heating.
Organic compounds
Convert lo COl + H 20 and absorb each one; COz on NaOH coated on asbestos (Ascorite) and H!O
on Mg(CIO.>:Z (Anllydrone).

Figure I-I (p. 8) shows a photograph of a computer-controlled microwave oven for detcnnining moisture and
any other volatiles that come off when a food sample is dried. A piece of paper is placed on the balance pan and
automatically lared. A gram or so of homogenized sample is spread out Ofl the paper and again placed on the balance
pan. It is weighed automatically and recorded. The microwave oven is turned on and the sample is dried to constant
weight. which takes about I minute. The loss in weight is obtained, and the computer calculates the loss in weight as
percent moisture. A 9-pin printer prints out the results.

An aluminwn dish weighed 1.9593 g-ernpty and"2.8410 with sampJ~. After the"sample was brought to constant
weight, the combination weighed 2.7555 g. What is the % moisture in this sample on an as received. basis and on an
oven..dried basis?
Volatilization 7

~ As received" sample
~Oven·dricd~ sample
- ... .,..., '....
Sample weight
AI tlish + Sample
1;0135 8
Al dish L95938

Sample 0.88\7 g
A\ dish + sample 2.114\0 g
Weight after drying 2.7655 g

Moisture I~
0.0755 g.
'. '.
0.0755 g x 100
% Moisture loss .. .. 8.56 %

., U tube H u tub<; \
After 77.8624 g After ,4.2916 g
Before77.5167g Before 74.2749 g

Wt gain 0.3457 g Wtgain 0.0167 8

Total weight gained = 0.3457 g + 0.0167 g '"" 0.3624 g

1'As received" calculations:

Wto/C0 2 x 100 0.3624 g x 100 .. 35.7 %

% CO2 .. -;;-'---;---'--:-,.,- •
Sample weight 1.0135

WI ofCOl, x 100044x 100 .. 0.3624 g x 1"00144 oX. lQO' '" 81.3 %

Sample weight 1.0135 8

"Oven-dried" calculations:

(1/ d
........__ . -L.'
/0 Vvt>r''-Uf Ie .J>_~
-;:;;%"",A;;";"c: (J·2)
100 - % Oven-dried loss

35.7 % x 100
,.. 39.0 %
; .100 '8.56 %

.. 81.3 % x 100 .. 88.90/0.

100 - 8.56 %,

1 __ •• ,'oo_. o:.; __ ow· .

8 Te<:hniqut5

Figure 1-1. ACEMCorp.modelAVC~

gO computer-contmlled microwave oven
for drying foods.
(Courtesy - CEM Corp.• Mathews, NC)


There is more to doing a volatilization dctennination quantitatively than you might believe. 1be desired gas often
must be sepamted rrom other gases and it must be dried. The Knorr alkalimeter shown in Figure 1-2 for the
detennination of COl in limestone is a good example of the precautions that must be taken to ensure an accurate
analysis. CO 2 from the air must be removed as well as other possible impurities; HCI, SO~ H~, and water vapor.

f G



B K 'f.

Figure 1-2. Knorr alkalimeler for the
determination of Cal'

A gentle suction is applied to dmw the gas in the desired direction. (A) Bunsen burner. (B) Sample. (C) Wide mouth
Erlenmeyer reaction flask. (D) Hel reservoir. (E) Drying tube filled with Ascarite (NaOH on asbestos) 10 remove CO2,
(F) Condenser 10 remove large amounts of water. (G) z..shaped connecting tube. (1-1) H2S0~ scrubber to remove water,
bUllet the weaker acid gases pass through. (I) CuS04 to remove HCI. (1) U tube for CO 2 absorption. Caution: soft glass
breaks easily. (K) Ascarite to remove CO 2, (l) Anhydrone [Mg(CI04 hJ to absorb water.
CO 2 (f.w.::: 44) + 2 NaOH - - > NaZCa) + H20 (f.w. = 18).

(M) Backup absorption tube. (N) Dry;ng tower 10 remove any \.WIer vspor backing up from the aspirator. (0) To a water
aspirator to draw the CO 2 through the system.


Excessive mercury in the environ-
ment is ofconcern because mAny organo-
mercury compounds have th..: ability to
pass through the blood-brain barrier and
cause severe neurological disorders.
Mercury used to get into the environment
in large amounts from the production of
chlorine, from slimicides and fungicides
used in the puper industry, and from
fumigants. Mercury is one of the
electrodes for the electrolysis of salt
water to produce chlorine and sodium
hydroxide. The contamimded mercury
used to be dumped into lakes and rivers
(0.45 Iblton of CI 2 produced) because it
was belie\'ed to be so hcavy that it would
just settle to the bottom. However, it was
found Ihat certain microorganisms could figure 1-3. Apparatus for flameless atomic absorption analysis.
conven the mercury to organic mercury (Counesy - Official Met/10th of Ana/}'3is. 16th Ed.• I, chapter 9, p. 20, 1995.
compounds, almost exclusively methyl Arlington, VA)
mercury, which can be quite toxic.
Methyl and phenyl mercuries were used
by the paper industry 10 spray on logs to keep them from gelling a slime mold 011 them while they were waiting to be
processed. Fish accumulate these compounds and at certain concentrations may cause a problem if eaten. Pike can
concentrate Hg as much as 3,OOO...fold. Wheat used to be treated with organomercury compounds (pink wheat) to protect
it during transponation and storage.
The detennination of Hg in fish is done routinely by a volatilization method. Figure 1-3 shows a diagram of the
apparatus used. The same apparatus can be used to detennine Hg in hair as illustrated in Experiment 2, in Appendix
A. Inorganic and organic Hg compounds are converted to Hg" by acid digestion. SnCI 2 is added to reduce the Hg-
to Hs. which is volatile.

Hg'~ + Snel2 .---> SnC!. + Hg (volatile)

A ir is passed through the solution, and the Hg vapor transfers to the air bubbles (2nd Law ofThermo-dynamics -
high concentration goes to low concentnllion). Water vapor is removed in a drying tower, and the Hg vapor is passed
through the beam of an atomic absorption spectrometer. The tolerance is 0.5 ppm.


Arsenic compounds are used widely in industry for the manufacture of glass., paint pigments, dyes, weed killers,
and tanning hides to mention a few. Most are toxic, and several are suspected carcinogens.
Selenium compounds are used widely in glass manufaclure, photography, electrodes for arc lights, TV sets,
photocells, semiconductors, Clttalysts, and wlcanizing agents. Selenium is necessary in humans and cattle to pl'e\'ent
muscle degenerative diseases. However, too much can cause problems in animals (loco weed); severnl compounds are
toxic, and surprisingly, some compounds may be anticarcinogcns.
In 1972, RS. Braman, L.L Justen and C.C. Forbank (Anal. Chem., 44, 2195) described a method for detcnnining
As, Bi, Ge, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, and Te by fonning the volatile hydrides using NaBH~. A 0.3 % solution in 0.9 % NaOH
is used to keep it from decomposing.
Figure 1-4 (p. 10) is a diagram oflhe hydride generator. The screening levels for As and Se in the l.'flvironment
are so low lhal the only way to detennine these elements is 10 use atomic absorption (AA) spectroscopy. The problem
is that their nonnal wavelengths have many flame interferences. One way to get around this is to convert As to AsH)
and Se to H~e, both volatile compounds, and pass these through AA without using a flame ~ jlameless AA. This process
is also called hydride generation.
to Techlliques

• 1-...11--::1...,
Figure 1-4. Hydride generatO!". (1) Polyethylene tubing; (2) rubber stopper,
(3) flame-sealed polyethylene tubing with holes punched in one end; (4)
reagent cup; (5) sodium borohydride solution; (6) sample solution; (7)
• nitrogen inlet.
(COUr1esy • Officiol Mcthod$ of Analysis, 16th Ed.• 1. cooper 9, p. 2, 1995,
Arrington. VA)

TIle hydrogen can be generated either by adding acid to Zn metal or the newer method of using a sodium borohydride
solution. The borohydride is preferred because it is easier to handle. and the reaction appears to go belter.
As'}, As'} + Zn + 1-1 250. ------->
AsH) + ZnSO.
Se'·, Sc'6 + Zn + H2SO. ------->
HzSe + ZnSO.
As'), As" + NaBH.(NaOH) + Hel - - > AsH) + Na)BO} +?
Se'·, SC'6 + NaBH.(NaOH) + Hel • -----> H2Se + NaJBO) +?

A 1.1385 g sample of hair was dissolved in 10 mL.ofconcenuated HNO). The samplc then was diluted to 50
roL with deionized water, and the Hg was detcrmined as described in Experim~t 2. An absorbance reading of 0.037
was obtained. A set of five standards produced the results shown in Figure 1-5. These values were plout..'d to produce
the calibration curve shown in Figure 1-6. Use these data to delermi'1e the Ag Content mppb.

Referring ro Fi&ure 1-6, an absorbance orO.037 gives a cqn~trati9n of 6.5 nglmL. Remember, the sample was
diluted to 50 roL. Also, 1 nglmL or I nglg (i(wafer)· I ppb.

6.5.!!£. x 50.0 mL x I _ 285 !!£. '" 285 ppb or 0.29 ppm.

mL 1.1385 g g

A 10 nglmL Hg standard produced an absorbance of 0.060. When 10 nglmL was added to 1.5004 g of a fish
,,",pie \-'lith no incurred residue, an absorbance of0.056 was obtained.WlJ,en to nglmL was added to 1.5970 g ofa fish
Sample obtained near a logging plant, a value of0.125 WllS obtained,. (A) What is the % recovery with this method? (B)
~t is the concentration orHg in the fish? .

. A. % Recovery'" (actualfe:xpected) x 100; 0.05610.60 x 100 ~9-J'%.
B. 0.056 o~the absorbance was due to the spike, leaving 0,125 ,,-0.056 =0.069 for the Hg iii the fish. Rcferring
rO,Figure 1--6, thiS represents 1 J.3. ngIrnI:.. CalcuIatjng, dle pIP'l.OUS ex~ple gives Q value of)54 ppb or 0.15
ppm in the fish. 0.50 ppm is the legal,limit. ....~ ........_,
Volatillzation II

'" - --~~--.,.- ---

~ ----
.!::-~ --.1------. -- - ~f--- --
f-- --
.c.:-:: _-_:_c .:c... _.,,: ::-.::

~. :;-~
.e.- . ----·-4--
-. --- ---
- --
._.'- 0.15


,~ . . . - -.. - -- ---
<C. --- ~l·-.I-= ~
1 0. 10
--.::i -
::0 _.-.
- - 0 - .-.--
: j - - . .-- 0.05 H-;;!~
J__ . --
1-\- I- -.--

-~ .. llO
- o 10 20 ~)

c.:oncentrlllJun ntdrnL C(lfJC.<.-nttlllion nglmL

Figure )·5. F1ameless atomic absorption Figure 1·6. Plot of absorbance vs. concentration of
data for mercury standards. mercury.

I. Name at Icast two ways to produce a volatile compound from a liquid or solid.
2. A compound is suspected to be NH 4 NO). How might you volatilize the NH J ?
3. How is the clement H determined in an organic compound?
4. How is the Hg in a food sample made volatile?
5. What is meant by flameless atomic absorption spectroscopy?
6. What would be the effect on the CO 2 results if a rock sample evolved S02 or H2S?
7. What effect on the resull.. would occur if a weak organic acid such as acetic acid were evolved from organic
impurities in the ore samplc?
8. Ifall of the walerdisplaced from the Ascaritc were lost, how much lower would the final n."Sults beon a % basis?
9. A student filled V-tube H with Ascarite and no Anhydrone and then filled V-tube I with only Anhydrone. Would
this have any effect on the results? If not, then why not do it this way?
10. There are areas in Kansas where limestone samples contain over 100010 CaCO J • How can this be? The analyses
are correct.
I I. Vse the following data and determine the % CaCO} in the sample.
Sample weight as received 0.9565 g
Moisture loss after drying 0.0087 g
Weight increase ofU tube I 0.3306 g
Weight increase ofU tube 2 0.0059 g

12. Use the following data and determine the % CO 2 in the sample on both an "as n..-ceived" and an "oven dried" basis.
Sample weight as received 1.1593 g
Moisture loss after drying 0.0096 g
Weight increase ofU tube 1 0.1535 g
Weight increase ofU tube 2 0.0042 g
13. A 1.4420 g sample of a fingernail was found to contain 0.85 j.lg ofHg. What is the Hg concentration in ppm?
12 Review Quesdonll

14. A 1.6732 8 sample of the same fingernail spiked with O.6J,L8 Hg was found to have a value of 1.55 J.lg ofHg.
Wha.t is the % recovery?




Zone melting cncompilSscs a group ofrelated techniques to control th~ distribution ofsoluble impurities or solutes
in nonnally crystalline solids. It was first inlroo~ in 1952 by W.G. pfann (Trans. A/ME, 194,747) to produce
ultrapure semiconduct()(" materials. Although normal freezing is used to describe the underlying principle. the main areas
are zone refining and U)ne leveling. As a separation scheme, it needs no solvents or other reagents. complete recovery
is pOssible, it is simple and can be automated. However. it is a slow process, and not all Oflhc original charge can be
purified. In some cases, volume changes can be a problem. bul usually the~ can be handled by tilting the apparatus.
The main appliCHlions W"e 10 produce very pure metals or organic compounds or 10 provide a vcry unifonn level of
intentional impurity in a metal such as a semiconductor used in transistors.
What can be done? With a Ie oro. I (defined later), the ultimate purification is about 10'" of tile original value after
20 passes and a charge to zone length of 10. Three passes purified 99.91 % benzoic acid to 99.997 mole %. This is
equivalent to II recrystallizations from benzene or 25 from water.

Those ofyou who live in the northern climates may have observed that when muddy rivers, lakes. or farm ponds
freeze in the winter, the ice is clean and not muddy at all!! Why is this so? Consider the diagram in Figure 2-1
iIluslrating what happens during normal freezing. Systems tend to the lowest energy. As a result, a crystal would
"prefer" to be uniform and have no irregularities thai woold set up a point ofstress. It is also known that all systems are
in a continuous state of equilibrium. and if the system is a liquid-solid miKture. some ions or molecules are leaving the
surface ofthe solid and others are adding to the surface of the solid. The areas around the impurities (points of stress)
are slightly more soluble than the main body, and the impurity will leave the crystal ifgiven enough time. Rivers and
lakes are usually so deep and the layer of ice so thin by comparison that the layer orice is quite pore. However, ifYOll
freeze a shallow pond or a bucket of river water, the ice on top will be pure, but that deeper down and on the boltom
will still be muddy. The reason is that the impurities are now so concentrated in the liquid that they have no place to go
and reenter the ice. nlis is normalfreezing - only one surface i5 involved. How much material is removed depends upon
the relative solubilities ofthe solute in the original material and in the melted portion. The ratio of C, the concentration
ofsolute in the newly frozen solid. and C•. the concentnilion in the original material, is k. If the solute lowers the m.p.
of the solid. then k will be < I and ifit raises the m.p. it will be> I Equation 2-1 assumes that k remains constant
throughout the process. In actual practice, this seldom occurs., and k changes when the concentration changes are
eKtreme or ifa eutectic or peritectic composition is attained. For a single step, the concentration of the purified system
can be represented by:


where C = solute concentnltion in the solid; C.. = original <l.ver<tge concentration of the solute; g = fraction
ofthe original solution; k = distribution coefficient; Cd,) Clitpl > I if solute rises that is frozen; the m.p of the
solvent; <I ifit lowers the m.p.

14 Principles

o o
o o
o o
o o Figure 2-1. Diagram of stress caused by

Figure 2-2 shows the variation for nine zones in a

, , Io-zone system after one pass.
• ~_'_I'."lr"ll/~
, ,., Ce ... ' _ ...... ~

',\ ,
. ,..

:- °•
j ,' /
~ o¥


Figure 2-2. Relative solute concentration as a

• , , • > • , • •
function ofcharge length.
(Courtesy - pfarm, W. G., Zone Melling. 2nd Ed.,
McGraw·HiII, New York, NY 1958)

What is the concentration ofdissolved solids in the frozen.portion of a glass of orange juice, if the liquid is 1Q
% frozen? Assume k .. 0.05 and C" '"' 0.044 M.

Use equation 2·1.

C ... 0.05 x O.Q44.M('1 - OJ_)lj.os - '; oS 0.0026 M

The same concept shown in Figure 2-3 works with a solid as the starting impure material. If you melt it. the
impurities are set free. Ifyou then slowly freeze it, the impurities will concentrate in the liquid. One such step is called
zone melling. The difference between norma/freezing and zone me/ling is Ihal two surfaces are involved in zone melting,
one melting and oneJreezing. If, in addition, you place the solid in a long column and heat a small section of it starting
at one end and moving the heated zone slowly to the other end, you will drive the impurities ahead of the refreezing
ZOne refining

solid toward the opposite end of the column. This is known as

zone refining and was developed by W.G. Pfann in 1952 (Trans.
A/ME, 194, 747).
Zone refining was developed originally to produce very
pure gennanium for the semiconductor industry. It was
successful in thai Dell LabollltOries produced 99.99999999 %
pure gennanium! Since then. many elements have been prepared
in high purity, as well as m3ny "' ..... T'ic compounds.
Refer to Figure 2-4 to hel.' ·,Iain how zone refining
works. If the composition of the soh.. lhal freezes out at any
Ftgure 2-3. Creating and moving a molten zone
temperature is different from the composition of the liquid then
through a solid.
zone refining is possible. Consider a melted section of (Courtesy· Berg. E. W., Phy$ical and Chemical Methods
composition A, and lower it C, its freezing point (T.). The solid o/Seporotion, McGraw-Hili, New YOI'k, NY, 1963)
that freezes out (B), will have II. higher concentration of X than
the liquid at the same temperature. This exclusion of the solute Y
will raise the concentl1l.tion ofY in the liquid (D). If the sample
is now cooled to the freezing point at this composition (Tl ), the
solid that foons (E) will be richer in X than the corresponding
Liquid A
liquid. This in tum raises the concentration of Y in the liquid. intcrfacc
Referring to Figure: 2·5. three regions are observed.
Assume k is constant and less than one. the solid sample is of
uniform composition, and the molten zone is ofconstant length ''" <
i!" ,
(I) and cross-- sec1ional area. Berg (1963) explains this as: "In the
first part the solute concentration has been reduced, in the central !!.
"' G

part the solute concentration is unchanged, and in the final part
the solute concentration has been increased.
..." Solid
"The concentration of the solute in the molten zone at the
very beginning of the pass will be C", the concentration ofsolute
in the unmelted ingot. because no segregation ofsolute occurs at
the melting interface. After the zone has advanced a short .00 " ~ » 0
Pure X Concentration of X Pur"c Y
distance, a freezing interface forms at )( :: O. The solute
Figure 2-4. Phase diagram oran ideal two-
concentration in the newly frozen solid will be IcC". component system.
Simultaneous wilh the deposition of solute in the lTeezing melt,
the melting interface at)( = J is taking in a solute concenlnl.tion
of C". Thus, as the zone advances through the ingot, the
concentration in the zone builds up, resulting in the freezing out
of higher concentrations of solute. This enrichment of the zone
continues at a decreasing I'llte until the concentration of solute in
the ZOne is equivalenlto ejk. from this point on, the amount of
solute entering and leaving the molten zone at the 1\.\'0 interfaces
is equal, and the concentration of solute in the newly frozen
I' I --7---------,,)
: -
• 1/ : I
ingot remains constant untillhe melting interface reaches the end j~ I
of the ingot. Further movement of the zone merely decreases the
length of the zone, causing the solute concentration to rise
sharply in the melt and the solid. This latter stagc is complctely
analogous to a noonal freezing technique.
"The variation ofsolute concentrdtion with ingot length for Figure 2-5. Solute distribution after one pass of
a single pass of the molten zone can be described by a single the moltcn zone.
equation up to x '" L - I, where L is the length of the ingot, and (Courtesy. Betg, E.W., Phy$icol andChemicol Methods
x is the distance the zone has traveled. TIle equation as presented a/Separotion, McGraw·~lifl. New York, NY, 1963)
by Pfann (Zone Melting, 2nd Ed, McGraw-Hili, New York, NY,
1958) is:
16 Principles

C '" I _ (I _ k)e- bll." (2-2)


WhaJ, is the concentration of anthracene in a bar of naphthalene at" distance oflO em if/is ,I em, k is 0.2, and
C... ~s.030 M, alld.this is the f1f$1 pass? ~....,..c<t

l,J':iC cqua1ion 2-2.
.' C • r -( I - 0,20)~jl"" "" • 0.29>('
__ a 0.30

What happens as the number of passes increases?

Figure 2-5 shows what happens. Notice that the
concentration at the begirming approaches zero, and that the
impurities collect at the end ofthe ingot.
Look at Figure 2-6 after 20 passes. Nolice that the
Concentnltion approaches 0 and stays there for quite a
distance. This is zone refining.

Suppose you wanted 10 intentionally dope a metal with
1 ppm of an impurity. One way is to add a small amount of
the impurity to one end of a pure ingot and make several
Figure 2..(;. Relative solute concentration as a function passes. The impurity will be spread evenly throughout lhe
of length of charge after n Passes of the molten zone. ingot for a considerable length. This is called ZOf1e levelirtg
(Courtesy· Berg, E.W.• Physical and Chemical Methods of and is excellent for making semiconductor materials where
Separation. McGraw-Hili, New York. NY. 1963) the level of impurity is critical. Refer to Figure 2-7.
Ideally, what is needed is an ingot with the same
amount of impurity in it from end to end. However, zone
refining slOWly pushes the impurity to one end. Suppose a
small charge of the impurity were added at lhe start to just
overcome lhe initial refining and when the melted zone
reached the end. it were reversed and went back in the
opposite direction. "That mighl eliminate one ofllle zones and
greatly reduce the other. If multiple passes are made

• .. ... ........... -
..., ..,..
(repealed pass zone melting), nearly all deviations from
uniformity can be eliminated. This leveling is particularly
effective if I-k is large. Equation 2-3 is one equation 10
Figure 2-7. Zone leveling using a starting charge to represenl this. Cj is the final concentration of the uniform
e1iminale the initial transition region. charge.
(Courtesy - Pfann. W.O.• Zone Melling, 2'" Ed.• McGrnw-
Hill, New York. NY, 1958)

c, (2-3)
zane leveling 17

• ON.
'" What final concentmtioo would"be prciJieted ira 30 ern bar with an 8 thm moltenzonc'had a IS "ppm of As as iui
initial concentration and k is believed lD average O.I? :

Use equation 2-3.
-;-:-LL- " 1 ; = 12.) ppm
15 ppm 1. o.8cm,(_I_,._I),
30cm' 0.1 '

Zone mel!ing tcchniques are slow. very slow. Rates ofzone movement vary from I to 20 cmIh. Figure 2-8 shows
a morc effident arrangement. Oncc the heatf.-d zone has refrozen there is no reason why it can't be remelted. In this case.
three hcalf.-rs are used. and the chargc is moved. Figure 2-9 shows a helical type where you can get many molten zones.
This is more appropriate for organic compounds, which are lower melting than metals.
Figure 2-10. p. 18. shows a commercial apparatus. There is a waiting time of3 months for this apparatus, because
none are stocked. However, it is reasonably priet-d ($2.500 in 1997 + $150.00 for the educational kit) and can be used
for both studenl and Tf.>sCarch purposes. Its capacity is 20-160 g of material that melts betWCf.-'Il -20 and 400°C
The least expensive way to do zone refining it to place the sample in a quartz, ceramic, or graphite tube. and place
the tube in a metal lathe. Move thc heater with the lalhe.
Figures 2-11 and 2- 12, p. 18, show two inexpensive zone refiners that ean be made locally and work well. In
Figure 2-11. A and B are microswitchcs for reversing the stepping motor C; 0 is heating elements; and E is the wire
to the controller box. The healers are several turns of nichrome wire. and the tube is 8 mm Pyrex closed at the bottom.
The healers are moved up the tube by a screw attached to a stepping motor. At the top of the tube, a microswiteh turns
off the heaters. and Ihe stepping motor is returned automatically to the bonom of the tube. The wiring diagram, which
is not all that difficult. is presented in J. Chern. Ed., S9 (I). 63, 1982 by G.F. Needham, G. Boehme. R.D. Willitt. and
Air gap... are removed by heating the entire length with a hot air gun. Jfthe solid expands on melting and a
vertical tube is used. then the heater must start at the top. The design in Figure 2·12 is clever in that it moves the tube
rather than moving the heaters, but it floats the tube on a rising column of water.
A circle of 1/4" plywood acts as a float which moves upwclTd at a constant rate as water fills the desiccator. A coat
of paint keeps it from becoming water logged. The overflow tube acts the same as that in a Soxhlet extractor (Chapter
10) and the water level lowers. The cycle can be repeated as necessary, two or three passes being all that is usually
necessary. A cycle rate of aboul I hour will clearly show the principle. The sample tube is I em in diameter and about
20 cm long. The healers are made from nichrome wirc wound around a J mm thick glass ring slightly larger in diameter
than Ihe sample tube. A variable transfonncr is used to control the heat and temperatures in excess ofJOO "C are easy
to obtain. The asbeslos shield is nceded to keep the heated zone as small as possible. A large graduated cylinder can be
used 10 collect the overflow water to measure the rate.
Experiment No.3 in Appendix A can be used to show what happens when a small amount of methyl red is added
10 naphthalene.

Figure 2-8. A 3-stage fixed heater with moveable Figure 2-9. A rotating helical tube refiner.
charge. (Courtesy - Berg, E. W.. Physical and Chemiool Methods of
(Courtesy - Pfanll, W.G., Zone Melting. 2nd Ed., McGraw-liill, Separation, McGraw-liil!, New YOI'k. NY, 1963)
New York. NY. 1958)
18 Principles

Figure 2·10. A modcl200 zone refiner. Figure 2-11. Schematic diagram of an

(Courtesy. AtolTlergic Chemetals Corp., Farmingdale, inexpensive zone refining apparatus.
NY) (Courtesy· Needham, a.F., Boehme, G.,
Willett, R.D., and Swank, D.W., J. Cllem.
Ed.. 59(1),63,1982)

Tube with purified



Leads to mains

- 0.6 em
-' -\-=-
__ ._--- Rublxr
__. stoppe..!...._
Floolin~ disc
Figure 2-12. Water-controlled automatic zone
(Courtesy - Knypl, E.T.. am Zie1enski, K., 1. ehe",. Ed.
Water _ 40 (7), 352, 1963)
zane leveling '9
This is a new approach, developed in the lale 1990's
that overcomes many of the problems associated with tube
type zone refining. Mool of the description are Ihose of Or.
Dean M. Ball, "Zone Refining of Organic Chemicals: A New
Approach", American Laboratory, 31, (5) 66, (1999).
The primary rc:!o;rn'l for Ihe slowness of conventional
zone refining is that the lra;l:>f "f"~·3r into and out of me

sample is very slow. The lhcnnaJ c... nJuctivity of both g1ass-

and organic chemicals is relatively low. This limits the speed
with which the zone can be moved through the specimen to
rates of 0.1 to 1 ClOth. Another complicating factor thai
requires special experimental techniques is thai Ihe
coefficient of thennal expansion of organic chemicals is figure 2·13. Purifier 10 zone refiner mechanism.
about 50 limes highc::r than glass. If the heating is too (Counesy. Design Scientific., Inc., Gainesville, GA)
vigorous or 100 fast, the glass tube will burst.
Instead of a round glass tube. the sample is placed on
a flat metal tray having a very thin (0.025 mm) bottom,
Figure 2-13. This configuration allows the transfer of heat
into and out of the sample at least 1,000 times fasler than the
glass tube design. This, in tum. allows thc molten zones to be
closer together and to be moved fasler. The commercial
apparatus is shown in Figure 2-14.
With this type of zone refiner. a sample is prepared for
purification by loading between I and 30 gofsample into the
metal tray. The tray is then placed in the zone refiner and
covered with the tray lid providtd. A small positive pressure
(0.03 atm) is applied by a built-in air pump and pressure
regulator. This pressure has the benefit of forcing the thin
metal bottom of the tray against the hot and cold surfaces so Figur't 2·14. Purifier 10 zone refiner.
that thennal contact is ncar optimal levels. Without this small (Courtesy - Design Scientific, Inc., Gainesvillc., GA)
positive pressure. the bottom of the metal tray will warp and
move away from the hot and cold surfaces, making the melting and freezing processes ineffective. Provision is made
for an inert gas to be substituled for the air pump to allow the purification to be performed under an inert atmosphere.
The lemperature difference between the hot and cold zones is normally between 60 and 80 "C. The hot temperature is
usually from 0 and 150"C and the freezing lemperature is from -10 10 80 DC.
Referring to Table 2·1, p. 2O.lhe most critical factors that dcfermine purification lime are the wall hcat conduction
ratio and the fonn factor or ratio of surface.-area-to-volume of the sample. The combination of these improved factors
enable samplc purification to be accomplished in hours instead of days.

The use of a solvent

Recent work has shown that by adding a solvent, compounds that would decompose during normal wne refining
can be refined as well. This is essentially a multiple recrystaIli7..8tion. The solvents can be any that the compound would
nonnally dissolve in.
20 Review questklns

Table 2·1. Comparison oftmditional and Purifier 10 zone refiners.

(Courtesy - Design Scientific, Inc., Gainsville, GA)

Sample containcr Traditional Purificr 10

Shape Cylinder Flat tray

Dimensions 2.5 x 50cm IOcm1
Material of construction 01"" Stainless steel
Wall thickness Imm 0.025 mm
Wall heat conduction ratio I 560
Ratio of surface area to
volume of sample 0.4 cmJ/mL IOem1lmL
Container breakage during
operation Probable Unlikely
Sample removal after purification Difficult Easy
Rate of movement of melted zone 0.1· I cmfhr I-50 cmlhr
Time required for Iypical
purification Several days 4-8 hrs
Amount of sample required 5D-200 g 1-30 g

1. What are thc main uses of rone melting?
2. What forces are operating to aid a solid to purify itself if it is in contact with a liquid?
3. What is the concentration of dissolved solids in the frozen portion ofa glass of grapcfruitjuice, if the liquid is
5 % frozen? Assume k = 0.07 and C., = 0.040 M.
4. What is the difference between zone melting and nonnal freezing?
5. Why does zone refining work?
6. What are the three main areas in a zone refining operation?
7. What is the concentration ofanlhracene after one pass in a bar of naphthalene at a distance of IS em, if I is 1 em,
k is 0.15 and C. is 0.25 M?
8. What final concentration would be predicted if a 40 em bar with a 9 mm molten zone had 12 ppm of Sb as an
initial concentration and k is believed to average 0.12?
9. What has been done 10 speed up the zone mclling process?
10. What is the primary cause for the slowness of conventional glass tube Iype zone refining?
II. How does the thermal expansion of glass compare 10 that of mosl organic compounds?
12. Why is a small positive pressure applied to the tray?
13. About how far docs the tray mOve before it is returned?
14. What provides the cooling under the tray?
15, What might be Iried if you wanted 10 zone refine an organic compound that readily decomposes?




One of the easiest ways 10 separate large quantities ofhcat stable compounds is by a process called di,\',illatiOIl.
Distillation is the process of producing a vapor from a liquid by heating the liquid in a vessel, then condensing the
vapors and collecting them in another vessel. In O1aptCf'S 3 through 8 you willicam how several types of distillations
work, the principles behind them, and the basic techniques lhal arc nect.,-ssary.
The lypes of distillation processes 10 be examined will be simple, fractional, steam. immiscible solvent,
azeotropic, extractive, vacuum. molecular. enlraincr sublimation, and freeze drying.
Simple and fractional distillations will be discussed in this chapter, but no experiments arc provided because most
students will have done experiments ofthis type previously. Such a discussion will permit the majoc areas ofdistillation
to be put in proper pcrspectivt:.

Molecules are in continuous mOlion, and in lhe gas phase they are moving sevcrnl hundred milcs an hour. For
example, wHter molecules at room lemperature are traveling at about 1340 mph and ethanol molecules at about 840 mph.
Thcy make between 3 to 5 billion collisions with each olher or against a surface each second. These collisions with a
surface are what we recognize as pressure. The pressure exerted by our atmosphere pressing down against the earth's
surface at sea level is called an atmosphere (at 0 0(:). Table 3-1 indicates several ways of expressing an UItl10sphLTC plus
a few other common conversion factors.

Table 3~J. Pressure conversion faclors

TIle Systeme Intemationale (SI) unil accepted v.'OrJdwidc for pressure is the Poscol, Pa:
I Pascal = 1 Newtonlm1
I Atmosphere "" 1.0139 x IW Newtonslm 2 - 1.0139 x IW Pascals
Older units more commonly used in the U.S.:
I Atmosphere - 76 cm of Hg
-760 mm ofHg (I mm ofHg "" I lorr- 133 Pascals)
-29.92 inofHg
=14.7 Uw'in-!

Ifmolecules arc constantly colliding with each other, it seems reasonable to asswne that some hit each olher head
on, whereas others hit with more glancing blows. This should certainly affect the energies remaining in each molecule.
Figure 3·1, p. 22, shows a typical energy plol for a box ofmoleculcs at different temperatures. We see thaI., in fact,Lhey
do have a variety of energies and that more of me molecules have higher energies as the temperature increases.
The size and shape of molecules differ from compound to compound, and because of Ihat. some of them have a
nonunifonn electrical charge distribution within the molecule. For example, carbon disulfide, C~ is a very symmetrical
and straight molecule and is nonpolar whereas water is slightly bent and is polar. Ethanol is a linear molecule, but
because of the oxygen at one end, il is also polar. In addition, attractions can occur between molecule.<; by whal arc
known as hydrogen bonds. Molecules thai have 0, N, and F atoms located near onc end can readily fonn hydrogen
bonds. Some of these possibilities are shown in Figure 3-2, p. 22.

22 Principii'S

These differences in bonding mean that the

molecules in some liquids are held more tightly together
than other liquids. Let us look al a diagram ofthe surface
of a container of water (Figure 3·2) and sec what
happens because of this.
At the surface only five bonds are possible for a
given molecule whereas six are possible in the interior.
These five bonds at the surface can be stronger, because
there is no sixth molecule to squeeze in and weaken them
and there is no force to pull in the upward direction in
this diagram. The net result is that the surface ofa liquid
has a tension on il., which is called surface tension.
Figure 3-1. The energy distribution of molecules For a compound like water. which can have rather
(approximate) at various temperatures (T J>T1.TJ ). strong hydrogen bonds in addition to a dipole-
dipole attraction. the sunate tension can be fairly strong.
Water bugs take advantage ofsurface tension to ~walk on
Liquid surface water.~ Unfortunately. it is not strong enough to support
professors, although many have tried. Let us again look
5 bonding
o directions for a
at the sunace of a liquid.
/ \ Because the molecules are in constant motion,
surface molecule
.' H H.. some will have enough energy to overcome the surface
tension and break away from the surface ofa liquid. This
i, /'"
6 bonding breakaway Cl1ergy will vary from compoond to
directions for an compound depending upon the strengths of the bonds
Hydrogen bonds interior molecule holding the molecules together as well as the overall
in water mass of the molecules.
The pressure exerted by those molecules that have
s=c=s No dipole-dipole bonds or hydrogen bood escaped from a liquid's surface is called vapor pressure.
For water at room temperature this pressure is only 23
I'" ,.
,. t'" ,.
mm ofHg (3059 Pal. This is not very much, but it does
pennit water to slowly evaporate. In contrast, hexane. a
H component ofgasoline, has a vapor pressure ofaboot220
H " mm Hg (29.260 Pal. and ethanol, about 6) mm Hg (8379
A - pole and A dipole-dipole allraction
a + pole; Pal at room temperature.
a dipole Figure 3·1 indicates that if the tempeT8lure of the
system is increased. a larger portion of molecules reach
T'HJ A hydrogen bond the breakaway energy. This means that as the temperature
CH, increas{.'S. the vapor pressure increases. Figure )·3. p. 2J
/ /0 -Cl-l~ - CHJ
H ...... O - H is a diagram showing the dynamic equilibrium of
molecules at a surface that produces vapor pressure. and
Figure 3·2. Surface effects on a liquid and several Figure 3·4, p. 23. shows how vapor pressure changes with
types of bonding. temperature for two compounds. water and ethanol.

A simple distillation involves applying heat to vaporize a liquid and then cooling thc vapor- until it condenses as
a liquid. The separation of water from the salts in sea water is one example. See Figure 3-5. p. 24. The sea water is
placed in a container called a sHII {Jot. or simply a pot. and heat is applied. The water will evaporate easily. but the salt
will not and is left behind. However, the water will be lost unless something is done to collect it. A condenser is added
to the system to cool the water vapor and condense it back to a liquid. The pure water then is collected in a container
called a receiver.

In the simple distillation just discussed. only one compound of the sea water had sufficient vapor presStlre 10 be
distilled. What do you do if the mixture has two or more compounds that have appreciable vapor pressure? Rather than
do several simple distillations. with a partial separation occurring al each step. the same effect can be obtained in a
Dislillation Z3

single column if the vapors of the volatile

components are condensed, brought into contact
with part of the condensate flowing down Ihe
column, and then boiled out of the descending
liquid. A large surface area is ~cd so the process
can be repeated several tir:1cs ... ,,,,.~ lhe
length of the column. A cllumn for this purpose is
called a fractionatillg COIUIIIII. and lhe process is
called/roc/follol distillotion.
figure 3-3. Diagrammatic form ofa liquid surface.
Vapor Pressures of Mixlures of Compounds
- - - - -.- .-.- - :.L.
Dallon's Law
Dalton's law slates that each gas in a system
behaves as if it were by iLself, and therefore the
tolal pressure of a system is the sum of all of the
pressures added together. ''''
P_:: P,+Pl+P~+-- (3-1)
P, then is called aportial pressure.
Refer to Figure 3-4 to see what this means in
tcnns of boiling points. We see that when the SUM
of the pressures ofeach component in the mixture
equals the external pressure, the system will boil.
In this case, at about 68 OC. the vapor pressure of
water is about 230 torr and that of ethanol about
530 torr, giving a total of76O torr.

Gibb's Phase Rule

The Gibb's phase rule tells how many
degrees offrcedom (variables you can ehange) you
have in any system if you know the number of
component<; (C), the number ofphases (P), and the
temperature and pressure.
F""C-P+2 (3-2)
Figure 3-4. A plot of vapor pressure vs. temperature for water
and ethanol.

How many degrees offrcedom would you have if you had a beaker of benzene and toluene sitting on a bench top?

C ""' 2 (benzene arid foluehe); p';' 2 vapof and liquid; 2'" temperature at\d pressure.
F= 2 - 2 + 2 = 2 Pressure is constanl;.,ttgefor.»...lhe~mposjtion will vary ~th tempcralUJt. .-
Raoult's Law
What happens to the boiling point ifthcre is 10 times more ofonc component than the olher? Raoult's law corrects
for this. The partial vapor pressure ofone component is directly proportional to the number of molecules in the mixture.
In practice. we refer to this as the mole/roc/iOll (X) of molecules.


where P = the partial pressure; r = the vapor pressure of the pure material; X = the mole fraction of the material.
24 Principles

..... ."...,


Figure 3-5. Apparatus for a simple distillation.

What would bc;.the vapor pressure for a mixture of I~ lI)1. of benzene (f.w.::II 78.1, d"" 0.$78 glmI..P"::II 86 ten'
at 25 OC) and 2S roL of toluene (r.w." 92.1, d -0.866 gImL,?" 32 torr at 25 "'C)?


N ( benzene) '" 15 mL x 0.878 glmL ... 0.1 69 moles

78.1 glmolc

N ( toluene) ,. 25 mL x 0.866 81mL ... 0.235 moles

92.1 glmale

x ( ~nzene ),. ,,",~0.:;.1,,69,;;-;= • 0.418 x ( loluene ) ... I.OQO - 0.418 .. 0.582

, 0.169 + 0.235

P ( benzene ) ... 0.4 J8. x 86 torr .. 3"6 torr P ( tol"uene) - 0.582 x 32, torr '" J9 lorr

~ - _
...... --- ---
TdaI pressure

--- -...... -... -
A .. ~ ... -
,, -'-
, "

Mole Fnction
Molr: F....:tlon

Figure 3-6. Theoretical vapor pressure curve Figure 3-7. Actual vapor pressure curve at
at constant temperature. constant temperature.

The apparatus for a fractional distillation is more complex in that a coilimn and a disfifling head are placL-d
between the pot and the condenser. The purpose of the column is to provide a large surface so that many simple
distillations can take place at the same time. and the distilling head allows onc to remove only a small portion ofthc
material that reaches the top of Ihe column. sending the rest back down the column to be redistilled. a process known
as rej1uxjng.
Consider a mixture of two compounds. A and B. at constant tcmpen:l!ure. If Raoult's law holds, then we should
get a curve something like that shown in Figure 3-6. Actually, there is some deviation from Raoult's law due to
molecularintcraclion. and a vapor pressure curve like that shown in Figure 3-7 is more likely to occur. Ifboth the liquid
and the vapor are considered. then a curve like that shown in Figure 3-8 can be obtained. Ifthe pressure is held constant
and the temperature is changed, then a similar sct of curves can be obtained.
Figure 3-9. p. 26. shoVJS a plot ofwhat happens to a mixture of benzene (b.p." 80.0 "C) and toluene (b.p.... 110.6
"C) as the temperature changes. If a mixture of8O mole % toluene and 20 mole % benzene (point D) is heated to boiling
al constant pressure, the vapor will have the composition at point C, which is about 40 mole % benzene and now only
60 mole % toluene. This vapor could be condensed (point C) and collected (simple distillation). but benzene would not
have been completely separated from toluene. The mixture would have to be redistilled several times. a time-consuming
process. Refer to f'igure 3-10. p. 26. which is a diagram ofy.ilat might happen to this mixture in a distillation column.
Most columns contain a packing of some sort to
increase surface area. These are discussed later.
The purpose of this packing is to provide a large
condensing and re-cvaporation surface. The
objective is to do multiple simple distillations in
110 ·c
the same column at the same time. Referring to N.. in''''''''''>n
Figure 3-9. let us condense lhe vapor at C. It is
now liquid at E and is at 95°C. If we were 10
continue to apply heal. this liquid at950C would
vaporize to fonn a vapor a little higher up the
column at F. This vapor. in tum. is condensed to a
liquid (point G), which upon heating at 89 °C
fonns a vapor at 1-1 even farther up the column. 11le "'." ho';!..

more heat that is applied to the pot, the higher up

the column the process will continue. The highL"Sl
100 % 8enzcnfe 100 % Toluene
place up the column where the vapor condenses is
called the reflux line. o OS '0
MaIc Fraction oll"oIuerJoo
rn the case just described. six major
equilibrium steps were involved. These are called
plates. Although plates actually exist in large Figure 3-8. A combined liquid-vapor curve.
26 Principles

commercial distilling columns to help hold

the column packing. Ihey are just there in
theory in most laboratory columns, so they
• are called theoretical plates.
"' Suppose that the distance from where
the product is removed at the top of the
column to the surface ofthe liquid in the pot
'00 is 60 cm. The average distance between
each theoretical plate in the example shown

H _
in Figure 3-9 (6) would be 10 em. This is
known as the Height Equivalent to a
Theoretical Plate or HETP. HETP is a
measure of the efficiency of distilling
columns, and a standard equimolar mixture
of hexane (b.p. "" 69"C) and methyl cydo-
hexane (b.p. = 100.4 "C) often is used to
detennine HETP. Figure 3-11, p. 27, shows
"'L_-'-_ _-'-:-_~,_-_=__-...: the effect of the number of plates on a
o 02 0,4 06 0.8 1.0
Mole fncuoo ofTMlene in liquod ond Viper separation.

Table 3-2 shows the relationship

between boiling point difference and the
Figure 3-9. Boiling point - composition diagram for a mixture of number of theoretical plates required to
benzene and toluene at 760 torT pressure. obtain a good separation.

" l 0 _0_ ---- III'I.I·C
~"'"' DiIlil~
"'" %

"J - - 0_
"'"'~ (0)

"'., Table 3-2. Relationship between the number of theoretical

plates and the difference in boiling point for a good separation
(Counes)'- K. Wiberg- Laboratory Technique in Organic Chemistry,
," . -" McGraw-Hilt. NY, 1960)

"" Nurnberof Difference in

, plates b.p. "C

'"" I- ---_. " 0--------------- 21 5

I ~--------------- 108
I- ._" 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - 72
3 - - - - - - - - - 54
4 --------.--- 43
5 - - - - - - - - 36
'"-- o _ 100'C
10------··------ 20
'" '""
po< 15 - - - - - - - - . - 13
20 - - - - - - - - - 10
30 ---------------- 7
50 - •__._ 4
100----·---------- 2
Figure 3-10. Composition changes
in a distillation column.
Distillation 21


Ifyou had a mixture of two liquids, how many plates •••
would be needed to separate them? This is important,

because ifyou do not use enough plates, the mixture will not o·0
be adequately separated. and if you use too many. you are
wasting time and energy. both of which are expensive. In ••
this section. several equations will be reproduced that have c<
been developed by others to detcnnine Ihe number of plates •~.
for a system at total reflux, for a system at partial reflux. and
for a graphical method to do it quicker and with reasonable •, zo 4~ 6~ so
accuracy. The equations developed below were from the F .. .-c.... t ~Ist ..""

following original papers:

Fenske. M.R.• Ind. Eng. Chern. 24, 482 (1932). Figure 3-11. The effect of the number of plates on a
Underwood. AJ.V.• Trans Inst. Chern. Engrs.. London. 10. separation ofan equimolar mixture.
112 (1932). Rose, A.. Ind. Eng. Chern., 33. 594 (1941).
Sorel E., CampI. Rend. lOS. 1128, 1204, 1317, (1889).
Lewis. W.K.,lnd. Eng. Chern. 1,522(1909),14,492.

Volatility. V. is the ratio of the mole fraction of a component in the vapor phase to its mole fraction in thc liquid

y (mole fraction in the vapor phase) (3-4)

x (mole fraction in the liquid phase

v == I for a pure compound because the mole fraction is the same for both the vapor and the liquid.
For a binary mixture. V, is for the more volatile component, V] for the less volatile component.

x, (3-5)

Relative volatility = a =~

x2 = I-XI and Y2 = I - y,

= 0 --- (3-6)
1 - XI

If Raouh's law holds for the solution and Dalton's law of partial pressures holds in the vapor

p' po = vapor pressure of pure materials.

p' ,
28 Prindrlu

RaouU's law:

For ideal gases V I = PI; x = mole fraclion.


lfpressurcs are nol available, bul boiling points are. you can combine Trouton's rule

t>H .. 21 cDI deg -I mole -'(or 87.8 J deg -I mole -I) (3-8)

P - Ii H (T) - TI )
and Ihe C1apyron equation: log ----!. (3-9)
P, 2.3 R (T) x TI )

10 gel Rose's equation: 8.9 (T) - TI )

log a. '" (3-'0)
(T) ... TI )

"The b.p.'s of l-hexanol aQd 2·hexanol are 157 and 14O"C. respectively. What is the predicted a for this mixture
based on Rose's equation?

8.9 [(273 + 157) - (273 + 140)]
Log a. '"
[(273 + 157) + (273 + 140)J

wg« "843 • OJ795 a.-,.. L51


In a distillalion, the process ofreturning pari ofthe condensed vapors back down the column to be redistilled and
improve the separation is called refluxing. With glass apparatus, Ihe reflux line can be seen easily as a line of liquid
somewhere up the column where the vapors are condensing. Unless some product is being removed, the process is
called lotal reflux. This condition is used primarily 10 understand whal is going on in the column.
Let X. and Y, be for the more volatile component; a. musl be constanl over the range of concentration considered.
Use equation 3-6.
Dbflllation 29

(3-11) 100%

Refer to Figure 3-12. X repres..::ls the mole fraction of the liquid

returning to the pot, and Y represents the mole fraction of vapor heading for the
top of the column.

Y, Y,
a -:-~
- Y, - Y.'

Assuming that the vapor (XI) cl1lering the first plate of tile column is condensed
and in equilibrium with the vapor VI entering the second plate ofthc column,
continue the pattern.

Y, , X,
I - Y2
-n - - -
I - X,

In general:

x, "",
The n + I (cnn = the enrichment factor.

With this equation you can Figure 3-12. Diagram of a

I. Calculate the efficiency of a column. distillation column for total rcnux.
(Councsy - E.W. Berg, Physical and
2. CaJculate the number of plates required to separate two components
Chemical Methods of Separation,
3. Calculate the number of Iheoretical plates. McGraw-Bill, New York, NV, 1963)
n-Hexane ( b.p. = 69 "C) and methylcyclohexane (b.p. = 101 "C) are used
to detcnnine the number of plates in a colwnn since very accurate vapor-liquid
data are available.

Chlorobenzene and bromobcnzene have P', and p'] = 861.5 and 455.8 torr, respectivdy. How many- theoreti~
plates arc required to produce a vapor containing 99.9 mole % chlorobentenc at the lOp or'tne column under total rcflux
if the pot contains a 50-50 mole ratio mixture?

,. Y. ". 9·999 X.

~ 9.50

IX ",
. .
861:~ ... '1.89

(n+lylog 1.89= 10g999 2.9995610:27646 = 10.85'" n+ 1

n=j.80rlOplates. J. .
30 Principles


With total reflux no product is obtained. This is an unsatisfactory condition for
all parties concerned. What is desirro is to be able to determine prior to
distillation just how many plates are needed and to prepare a column
accordingly. Too many plates waste energy and time, and too few plates produce
an inferior product. The equations developed below show how the nwnber of
plates required for any system can be detennined. Refer 10 Figure 3-13.
(1) The column is adiabatically.
(2) lbere is no heat of mixing.
(3) The heat necessary for vaporization of each plate is provided by the
condensation ofthe descending vapors.
l :>:: Moles of reflux
V : Total nwnber of moles leaving the top plate. therefore, also entering
the bottom plate
D:: Moles of distillate
UV :: Reflux ratio 3 Ro

V::L + D (3-1l)
Leaving the top plate Entering the base of the column

L •
~ Divide by V:
Yn ·'C
I t LX,

t~ t LX, DX"
Yn-I i'ln " L<D <L- •- D

Therefore, between any two plates:

._- D Xv
Y,' - -

In general:

Y" - I
.-- D XD

l1lc foregoing is ca[~ the operal{J!K line equation.

VY 1 - Lx" + DXj).
VY 1 :: moles of component leaving the n-I plate.
Figure 3-13. Diagmm of a Lx" :: moles returning by reflux.
distillation column for partial OXo ". moles leaving as distillate.
(Courtesy - E.W. Berg. Physical and At total reflux: 0-0 UV=
Chemical Methods of &poration. so:
McGmw-HiII, New York, NY. 1963) y~, :: x" which is a 4S"line.
(nceded for the McCabe-Thiele diagram described later)
Distillaflon 31


Calcl;llillc the number of theoretical plates rc:quir,:ed to ~~~e a disllllate cotltaining 99,Q.mole % dtIorob<""'~
from a I: Lmole ratio 'of chlorobenzene and bromobenzenc; iftbe reflux ratio is 9'. ...

V=L+D" 9+1=10
Y".~ "" O.9x" + O.IX"
, =
y. Xc because 1M more-volatile compound is-nearly pure lUbe lbp ofthc oolumn. O.990-is nell'r1y I·

If XD =Y...:cO.990

x• . 0.990
• 1.89
I - X• I - 0.990 I -X"

X. - 0.9812; Y.,» 0.9(0.9812) + 0.1(0.99) c 0.9821


". • 1.89
- 0.9821

x., ·0.966 Y., - 0.9(0.9666) + 0.1(0.990) = 0.9689


the process until X n·? is equal to or less than 0.5 (a I: I ratio in the pot)'.

Y... 2 09689 • 1.89

.,--'-;;'- •. a
Y". 1 1 - 0.9689

X...2 "" 0.9428 Y., '" 0.9(0.9428) + 0.1(0.990) = 0.9475

~ -3 X".3 . 0.9475 • 1.89

.,-"7;-'- " a
Y" . 3 1 - x" . ,. 1 - 0.9475

.:x.. , =.0.9052 Y... = 0.9(0.9052) + O.I{O.990) = 0.9137

y.. - 4 X". 4 0.91]7

• a 1.89
- y". 4 -~". 4 0.9137

x.. = n,8485 Y., • 0.9(0.8'18:», + O.l{0.99O) = 0.~26

3Z Prindples

- y" .. . · ~
I - 0.8626
X... ~
• I .89 -:-,'-::-'--

x.. , = 0.7686 Y... - 0.9(0.768(;) + '0.1(0.990) - 0.7907

y.. - 6
- Y" - 6
· . _X...::."~.~,_
~l-X.. _6
- 0.7907
• ).89 -:-X-,,"C,'-'.'_
, - X.. _•

XIl-6 = 0.6664 '1'., c 0.9(0.6664) + 0.1(0.990) • 0.6987

1 - Y"-7
• • 1 x..- X...
~ 7

1 - 0.6987
• 1.89 ..,-X","",''c-
I - X... 7

• x.., • 0.5509 '1'... - 0.9(5509 + 0.1(0.990) - 0.5948

x.. _.
• ~0:::.594:-=.8"'
1 - 0.5948
• 1.89
I - X
" -.
~.. - 0.4389 '1'... - 0.9(0.4389) + 0.1(0.990) ·0.4948
But X.... = 0.4389 which is Jess than what is in the slill pot ex.
= 0.50); therefore, this is the end. The number
of plates equals the number of steps., or 9. Usc Y; it is easier. because the n-number gives you the number of plates.
Figure 3-14 is a plot of !he above example calculation. Table 3-3 shows !he number of plates required to get a
99 % mole fraction separation depending upon the boiling point difference between two liquids. A computer can be
programmed 10 do Ihe above calculation.
With extractive distillation, discussed later, a 0.3 "C difference can be separated 90-95% by <I 0 plates.

xD-yn "" 0.990 --.

y .... -t "" 0.982
yn-2 ::: 0.969
y .... -3 = 0.9"8

Table 3-3. The number of plates required 10 gel a 99 % mole
fraction separation depending upon the boiling point difference
between two liquids
yn-" ,. 0.914

yn-S =0.862
yn-6 '" 0.791 --. Boiling Point Difference Number of

y .... -7
y .... -9
= 0.699
::: 0.494
•• \ 15-20
'C Plates


/ 8-12
5-10 4'"
)., 80
Figure 3-14. The plate - mole haction 2 150
distribution for the example calculation.

There must be a quicker way to
detennine the number of plates required in a
practical situation. In an industrial situation,
the quality of the feedstock can change daily " 'D
or weekly depending upon the supplier. If the
product distilled is to be used for a variety of
applications. then the purity of the product
must be changed from day to day. Suppose painl 81 the j

your current supplier is sending you a feed- I(~I

stock that is 20 mole % pure and you have a

customer that needs it to be 80 mole % pure.
what do you do if you only have one high
quality still? ,
IfYOll put the feedstock in the pot and ,
recover the product from the top of the ,•I 1(, ,.
column. then you arc wasting energy and time .j
at considerable extra expense, because you are Mole Fr...uondtho: More Vol8l.l.le
redistilling some feedstock that has already Compound In lhc LIQUId

been partially distilled. Therefore. you add the

feedstock 10 the column where its composition Figure 3-15. A plot showing the McCabe-Thiele equation and how
matches that ofthecolwnn. and you lake it off it can be used.
at the desired composition. Many years ago,
McCabe and Thiele developed an equation and a diagram technique to solve the above type of a problem graphically.
This is shown in Figure 3-15.

LX, , DX,
Y, • is a saraight line of the fonn Y = mX + B (3-15)

.f. ., DKD
Slope Intercepl B

Your current supplier is sending you a feedstock that is 20 mole % pure and you have a customer that needs it
to be 80 mole % pme, how many plates are needed to meet these conditions?

Plot a diagram like that in Figure 3-15 with a 4S"line beginning at 0 % mole fraction. The D Xd'Vare the various
reflux rati~ you might want to use. These.are plotted on the Yaxis. The vapor curve is ploned based on previously
obtained va~r pressure data of the mixture.
Pla~ a point on the 45'" line at the composition of the .desired fmal product (XD ) desire<f(0.80). Draw
a vertical
Jine upward at the feedstock composition
- .- .
(X", 0.20). Place s'ttraightedge"se it crosses the XI) point and extends across
the axis. Move the left side ofthe straight edge up and down until it crosses the vertical Xk line somewhere between the
yaporcurve and the 45 0 lin.e. Draw a line.between the twQ points. Starting at Xo> step offthe plates .(dashed line) until
you cross the vertical line. This is the number ofplates required. Where the line crosses the Y axis is the rcnux ratio
required. AsD decreases, the slope of UV increases an~ fewer plates are needed. If LN intersects at x..
an infinite
nupJb~ofplates are te<nt~)fit intersects to the. right.sf~ ~O~ th&.1l!f1_ipfinit~ IlQIllbcr of pla!CS are required,
34 Tce:hniqucs

Hot Plales
Hot plates. heating mantles. and sleam baths are commonly used as healers. Burners are not used unless
nonflammable materials are involved or unless rapid heating is required. HOI plates, figure ]-16, are relalively
inexpensive and simple 10 operale, bul they do nOl always provide even heal over the entire bollom of a round·bottom

Figure 3-16. Various types of hoi plates: non·

stirring, left, slirring, right.
(Counesy· Fisher Scientific Co.• Pittsburgh, PAl

Heating Mantles
A heating manlle, figure 3·17, which consisls of layers of wire covered with insulalion, provides much more
unifonn healing over a large surface area uflhe pot thana hoi plate and ils temperature is easily controlled by a variable
transformer. Manlles come in all sizes 10 fit any size flask.
The coil of wire on the outside of a heating mantle should nol be broken or pulled ofT. II is connecled to a
IhcrmOC(lUple (temperature measuring device) inside oflhe mantle and can be used 10 measure Ihe temperature. The
disadvantage of a healing mantle is that it takes a long lime 10 reach Ihe desired temperalure compared to healing with
a burner.

Figure 3-17. Various

types of heating

9- (Courtesy· Ace Glass Co.,

Vineland, NJ)

Variable Transformers
A variable transformer (trade namcs Variac and Powerslat) is a device for changing the voltage applied 10 the
heating wires in the heating mantle.

Figure 3-1 8. A variable Iransfonner(Variac

or Powerstat).
(Courtesy - Ace GIIlSS Co., Vineland, NJ)
Distillation 3S

CAUTION: The cord connecting a heating mantle 10 a variable transformer has a twist·on plug, which must be
turned 1/8 ofa tum before it can be removed.
NOTE: The scak on the dial normally does not read directly in volts. Common scales are 100, 240, and 280.
These were made for European systems. For a 220 volt line, the 280 represents the peak-to-peak VOltage, and the 240
represents the root mean square voltage. For example, if 55 volls were needed in a heating mantle, a Variac with a 240
scale plugged into a 110 volt line would have to be adjusted 10 120 (half of240).

Boiling Chips
A boiling stone or boiling chip is a small piece of porous material (unglazed pottery. silicon carbide, brick chips)
that is added to provide a continuous stream of air bubbles to prevent a buildup of gas in the bottom of the pot, which
if allowed to collect can cause the solution to bump when il finally escapes. Bumping occurs with most materials,
particularly those that arc viscous or when the pot is filled halfw two-thirds full. The air trapped in the boiling Slone
escapes when the pot is heated. and the stream of bubbles given offprovidcs an escape path for the gases formed on
the very bottom of the pot. Boiling stones usually are not used in vacuum distillations described in a later chapter.
CAUTION: A boi!ingchip should never be added,o a hot solution. A violent eruption often takes place, which
can break the apparatus, and you arc likely to be severely burned ITom the hot solution. If you forgot to add boiling chips
and the solution is now hot, the proper technique is to coollhe system back to nearly room temperature before boiling
chips are added. tn an emergency. you can do Ihe following. but be very careful. Cool the system several degrees and
remove the thermometer. Add the boiling chips into this opening one at a time.

Sfeam Baths
A steam both (or ring bath) provides a constant sourcc of heat at lOO"C and is quite useful for distillations that
involve hcat-sensitive or low-boiling compounds. These heaters are preferred for low-boiling materials or when large
quantities of material are to be distilled, because they can be left unaHended for considerable periods oftime.
If small quantities of material are to be distilled and the compound has a medium to high boiling point. then a
small burner is quite acceptable. It provides rapid heat and, if a thermometer is placed in the pot. then it is easy to control
the temperature rather closely. CAUTION: Ifa burner is used, it should never be left unattended.

Figure 3-19. Various types of

steam baths. Left: Multiple
port. water heater attached.
Right: Single port, variable
size. requires steam source.
(Courtesy ~ fisher Scientific Co.,
Pittsburgh, PA)
36 Techniques

A magnetic stirrer is much preferred to a boiling chip. A
small, plastic-covered, bar magnet is placed in the pot. Another
bar magnet. attached to the shaft of an electric motor, is placed
under the pot. When the motor turns, the magnet in the pot
turns also. stirring the solution. The speed of rotation is
controlled by lL"ing a variable transfonner to vary the voltage
to the stirring motor.
Magnetic stirrers are available that are either air- or
water-driven. They are very simple and rugged. All that is
neces."aJ)' is to connect the inlet to either a stream of air or a
water line. Figure 3-20 shows this type.

Figure 3-20. An air- or water-driven magnetic Several materials. particularly those that contain protein.
stirrer. have a tendency to foam. The foam contains impurities. and it
(Counesy - G F S Chemical Co.• Columbus. 01-1)
must not be allowed to get into the condenser and be collected.
If foaming occurs. then either the rate of distillation must be

fH, f" f" slowed or an antifoaming agent added. A drop or two of

benzene is often effective. Silicone oils w;ually have much
G-1)-o-Si-O-Si-O-Si --o--CHl higher boiling points than the materials being distilled. and one

6" 6<, 6<, or two drops of oil is also effective. The structure of a methyl
silicone that can be used as an antifoam is shown to the left.
Antifoams are in many foods. For example. wht.'O making
strawberry preserves. the system foams excessively. and a slower. morc expensive heating process is required. However.
if I0 ppm of antifoam is added, the cooking process is much faster and less expensive. Silicone anti foams are nontoxic.

The distillation column is where the separation actually takes place.
Holdup is the amount of liquid actually in the column as vapor or reflux. You want holdups to be as small as
possible yet still provide a good separation. Ifyou were distilling a 5 rol sample, you would need a very small column
or the sample would be lost in the column.
11lroughpul is the rate at which vapor is passing up the column. How many mUmin are you distilling? You want
this to be as large as possible yet get the desired separation.
The desire is to get as much surface area for condensation and redistillation as possible yet provide sufficient
openings for the vapor to pass.

Column Packings
To increase the surface area inside ora column, usually it is packed with small curved ceramic pieces that look
like Pringle's potato chips (Ber! saddles); sections ofsmall diameter ceramic. glass, or metal pipe (Raschig rings); glass
beads; or protruded metal clips made from either stainless steel, nickel. or Monel. The purpose of this packing is to
provide a large condensing and re-evaporation surface. The objective is to do multiple simple distillations in the
same colwnn at the same time. Figure 3-21, p.37, shows several types of packings.

Figure 3-21. Column packing

materials. From left to right: Glass
beads. Rashig rings. Bcrl saddles. ~~
Protruded metal. ~

Packed Columns
Most packed columns are homemade types. A
glass wool plug or a piece ofscreetl wire is used to hold
the packing in the column. Figure 3-22 shows a Hemple o
column that usually is packed with glass beads. The
HETP for a I O-mm·diameter column is about 4 em.

Fixed Inlernal Surface Columns

Vigreux Column
A IIigrew: (Vig-row) column contains glass
indentations on the side of the column. The indentations
are made by heating a spot on the glass column and
pushing either the point of a sharp pencil or the end of
a small file inlo the hot glass. The indentations are
usually pointed downward at about 45°. This is an
inexpensive column that docs a good job.
Figure 3-22. Several distilling columns shown from left
Snyder Column to right: Hemplc. Vigreux. Snyder. Perforated plate.
This is a more elaborate column with extensive (Courtesy - Ace Glass Co., Vineland, NJ)
glass working on the inside to increase the surface area.
The glass bulbs are frcc to move and move up and down
randomly during a distillation. This is a noisy, but very ~.....,r-'.
effective, column. Pour afew mjIJifjters ofsolvent down
.." •,
the fOp of the column before you start the distillalion
and the bulbs will move freely. Ofherwise. one
..., .

sometimes stich- and the internal pressure blows the 1+) LOW HOt..OlJP

" .
column offofthe pot. 1+) LOW PRESSURE

.... , "___....A.-•....
Perforated Plate
These columns are more expensive, but they have DETAIL OF"
essentially one plate per step, so it is easy to detennine
if you have a sufficiently good column to do the
separation you want to do.

Spinning Band Columns

The most efficient distillation column at the
Figure 3-23. Diagram illustrating the principle ofa metal
present time is the spinning band column (Figure 3-23).
mesh spinning band column.
It consists of either a spiral of wire ml.'Sh or a Teflon (Courtesy. R.W. Yost, Distillation Primer, American Laboratory,
band being turned by a motor at the top ofthe column. Jan., 1974)
38 Techniques

Figure 3-24. Column heating devices:

Left. Insulated nichrome wire. Right,
Heating tape.
(Courtesy. Ace Glass Co.• Vineland. NJ)

These columns can produce up to 200 plates in an 18-t0-20-

inch column.
In the spiral wire mesh type, the edges of the wire
scrape against the sides of the column. This causes a thin film
of liquid to fonn on the side wall and, in addition, inereases
HHH"---Reflux the surface area considerably as the wires move across it. TIle
wire is spun so as to throw the vapors back down into the
TherMoMeterC--+it. column. If spun the opposite way, it can suck thc system dry
bulb in a few minutes. The spinning spiral band operates in the
Condensing - -....11 samc manner. These are expensive columns, but they have a
low holdup and a high throughput.

To retain heat. the column should be wrapped with heating
tape (Figure 3·24) or covered with a layer of glass wool held
Figure 3-25. Proper thennometer position
in place with tape. Aluminum foil can be wrapped around the
column. Insulated nichrome wire connected to a variable
transformer also can be wrapped around the column or any object to heat it.

The thennometer should be placed so the haltom bulb is centered by the outlet to the condenser (Figure 3-25).
Refer back 10 Figure 3·10, p. 26, and notice how the composition changes dramatically at the top of tile column and
how a ~mall difference in thennometer placement can make a large difference in the purity of the final product. The
measured temperature of the system is aCCUl'3te only if the thermometer bulb is totally bathed in the condensing liquid.
This is achieved by having the reflux line just slightly above the top of the bulb.

For distillalions done at atmospheric pressure in apparatus with a ground glass joint (sec Figure 3-5, p. 24), no
joint grease is needed at either end of the condcnser unless the distilling head or the adapter has a lip. The sections of
the joint are pressed firmly together, and the condensing vapors seep up the joint and provide lubrication. A lip makes
this seeping process difficult, and grease must be added. Any grease on the joints ofhorizontal condensers thaI dissolves
or melts will contaminate the product, because it can no longer be distilled.
The inlet wCl/er tubing is attached to the lower end of the condenser so that the condenser can be easily filled and kept
full of water. It also prevents very cold water from coming in contact with the hottest condensing liquid thereby which
reducing the possibility of crncking the condenser.
Distillation 3.


Figure 3-26. Connccling lubing 1(1 a condenser.

Wire (len). Commercial clamp (right). I!+-- l"ohq
(COU/1CS)' • Ace Glass Co., Vineland. NJ)

When Ihe inlel and outlet tubing are being connected to the condenser. a drop or IWO of glycerine is placed on
Ihe glass connection pan so thai the tubing can be slipped off easily laler. The tubing then is wired on with a few turns
of copper wire, or a tubing clamp is used. See figure 3-26 for examples.
One of the largesl sources of damage in a laboralory is condenser tubing that has either broken or slipped off.
Severnl gallons ofwaler are then on the floor in a few minutes. This usually soaks through the floor al the pipe chases
and can cause damage several noors below.
CAUTION: Do not usc old wbing. If the tubing has surface cracks or feels slitT, discard illt is less expensive
[0 use good tubing than to repair the water damage done when Ihe tubing breaks. Figure 3·27 shows several types of

condensers. The Liebig and West condenser.; generally are used tilted about )0" from a horizontal posilion as shown
in figure 3-5. p. 24. The ouler tube ofa Wesl condenser filS closer to Ihe inner lube than the Liebig condenser, so the
cooling waler must be passed Ihrough ala fasler rale. The Allihn. coiled, Graham, and Friedrichs condensers are besl
used in a venical posilion. The Allitm condenser is the most commonly used type: the bulbs provide mOte surface area
than lhose in either the Wesl or Liebig condensers. The coiled and Graham condensers arc used where very high
efficiency is needed, and Ihe Friedrichs condenser, which is made 10 have the condensate drip off the bottom center,
is used mosl in continuous extractions. Look carefully 10 see the difference between the coiled and Ihe Graham
condensers. The cooling water goes inside oflhe coil in a coiled condenser, whereas it goes outside of the coil in a
Graham condenser.

A!'i 8 c E

Figure 3-27. Condensers:

(A) West. (B) Liebig. (C)
Allihn. (D) Coiled. (E)
Graham. (F) Friedrichs.
(Coune5y . Ace Glass Co.,
Vineland, NJ)
4(1 TKhnlque5

For a simple distillation at atmospheric pressure,
almost any type container can be used to collect the
distillate (the matenallhat dislills over). If the distillate

JI )
has a low boiling point, then the receiver is placed in an
ice bath.

CAUTION; The system must be open to the

atmosphere at one place. This opening is usually
between the adapter and the receiver. When using
equipment with ground glass joints, it is very easy to
accidenlally close Ihe system. The apparalUS can blow
apart if this happens. More will be said about receivers
in the vacuum dislillation section.

If a column is not doing a sufficienrly good job, a
Figure 3·28. Swing funnel type distilling head.
(Courtesy - Ace Glass Co., Vineland, NJ) part of the matenal that reaches the top of the column
can be sent back down the column to be redistilled. This
is called refluxing. The ratio of the amount of material
sent back down the column to the amount collected per
unit of time is called the reflux ratio.
In a simple distillation. the distilling head holds
the thermometer and connects the pot to the condenser.
In fractional distillation, the distilling head must provide
some means to aller the reflux ratio, and some even
contain a condenser.

Swing Funnel Type

Figure )·28 shows a quality distilling head. This
Figure 3-29. Stopcock control type
is a swinging funnel. magnetic controlled type that is
distilling head.
(Courtesy - Ace Gla.'>$ Co., Vineland, quite common. The coil of wire is placed alongside of
NJ) the swinging funnel, and a pulse of eleclricity is sent
through it by a relay. This causes the funnel to tilt. The
speed of the tilling and. therefore, the reflux ratio are controlled by a timer in the circuit.
The condenser is usually an AlIihn type. because of its large surface area, and usually it is placed vertically so
all of the condensed vapors will drip into the reflux control.

Stopcock Control Type

FigUTC 3-29 shows a simpler, stopcock-type reflux controller. The reflux ratio is controlled by how much the
stopcock is opened. This type does not work well with viscous materials. and you cannot measure the reflux ratio.

During a 5·minute period, 10.0 mL ofmaterial .reach the lop ofthepoJumn, J.O ml is collected, and 9..0 ml are
seni' ~ack.. "What is the ,reflux ratio?
9,0 mL,SC!It ~ '1,0 mL ",Il"'~~, ;;'!illill!l~l'"
0ll!0:u. ...._ _""""_ _,...._ .......a
Distillation 4.

I. What causes "pressure'''!
2. What is a Pascal?
3. What is meant by a "polar" molecule?
4. Why are the water molecules present in our atmosphere calle<! "vapor" rather than a "gas"?
5. What is a "still pot" or "pC"" ,,·... "TJ referring to a distillation?
6. What is a fractionating column!
7. What does the Gibb's phase rule tell you about a system?
8. FcC1 4 ' in a 6 M aqueous solution ofHCI is to be extracted with diethyl ether at room temperature and atmospheric
pressure. How many degrees of freedom do you have?
9. One fluid ounce (29.6 mL)ofethanol (f.w. =46.1, d = 0.189 glmL. v.p. at r.t. = 18.4 torr) is mixed with 4 fluid
ounces (118.4 mL) of water (f.w; = 18, d;:. 1.00 glmL. v.p. at r.t. = 100 torr), an olive, and a few drops of
vermouth to make a Martini. What is the vapor pressure just above the surface ofthis combination, ifyou assume
the contribution from the olive and the vennouth is negligible?
10. What does HETP Sland for?
II. What does HETP mean and of what value is it?
12. Ethyl isobutyrate (b.p. = III "C) is used in the manufacture of flavors and essences, as is ethyl isovalerate (b.p.
= 135 "C). How many plates would a distilling column have to have to effect a good separation of these two
13. What is meant by the tenn "volatility"?
14. What would you estimate the 61-1 of vaporization to be for ethyl fonnate, a flavoring agent for lemonade, ifit
boils at 54 "C?
15. Butyl acetate is use<! as a solvent for fingernail polish. What is the difference in vapor pressure if a woman
polishes her nails on a 100 "F (38 "C) day as compared to polishing them outside on a 40 OF (S OC) day? 6H '''P
= 43.9 kJ/mole, v.p. at 38 "C = 31tOlT.
16. What is « and what is its significance?
11. I-Butanelhiol (b.p. 98.5 "c) and 2-butanethiol (b.p. = 85 "C) are believed to be two of the major components of
the "essence of skunk". What is the predicted a for this mixture based on Rose's equation?
18. What is meant by refluxing and why would it be used?
19. Cyclohexanone (b.p. = 155 "C. v.p. = 760 torr) is used as a solvent for resins and natural rubber and is prepared
by the catalytic dehydrogenation of cyclohexanol (b.p. = 161 "C, v.p. = 508lttr at 155 "C). Assuming total renux.
how many theoretical plates are required to produce a vapor containing 99.0 mole % cyclohexaIlone at the top
of the column, if the pol contains a 50-50 mole ratio mixture?
20. Repeat question 19, bUI usc a reflux ratio of9. Notice how many more plates it takes than the example problem
when essentially the only thing thai changed was that a was decreased from 1.89 to 1.49.
21. What is an advantage of the McCabe-Thiel diagram?
22. Why is a healing mantle usually preferred over a hot plate?
23. What is the purpose of the small coil of wire on the outside ofa heating mantle?
24. What is the purpose ofa boiling chip?
25. Why is it dangerous to add a boiling chip to a hot solution?
26. Why are silicone antifoams preferred for food processing?
27. What is "holdup" when referring to a distillation column?
28. Ceramic pieces thai look like small Pringles' potato chips are called what?
29. What spins in a spinning band column?
30. What are some advantages ofa spinning band column?
42 TechnIque!

31. Where is the proper place 10 pUI a thermometer during a distillation?

32. Why is Ihe inlet water always added atlhe bottom ofa condenser?
33. What is the penalty for not properly wiring condenser tubing to a condenser?
34. What is the purpose of a distilling head?




If a mixture ofethanol and water is distilled, eventually it will fonn a solutioo that is 95 % ethanol regardless of
the starting composition. Hydrochloric acid and water will form a 20.22 % Hel solution. and chlorofonn and acetone
will fonn a 65.5 % CHef) solution. These solutions arc called ozeotropes (Gr: a + zoo 10 boil; trope more at). Webster's
dictionary defines an azeotrope as a liquid mixture /hal is characterized by a con.~/ant maximum or minimum boiling
point which is lower or higher than that ofany ofthe componenls and thai distills without change in composition. An
azeotropic distillation involves the fonnation of an azeotrope with at least one of the components of a liquid mixture,
which then can be separated more readily because ofthe resulting increase in the difference between the volatilities of
the components of the mixture. Figure 4-1, p. 44, shows the water-ethanol system (A) and the HCI-water system (B).
Notice thai each line (A and B) crosses over the 4Y line. At the point where it crosses over the line. the
compositions are the same in both the liquid and the vapor. What does this mean in practice? Figures 4-2 and 4~3. p.
44, show the resulting temperature-mole fraction curves (constant pressure) for these situations.
To use an azeotrope to effect a separation a solvent is added to mixture that will fonn a constant boiling mixture
with one or more of the components in the mixture. There are two requirements:
I. The added component reduces the partial pressure ofone of the original components.
2. The formed azeotrope is removed more easily than anything else in the pot.
For example; You have a mixture AB. Add excess C to it AC is distilled ofT leaving Band C, which then are
separated by distillation. Refer to Figure 4-4. p. 45, as an example of what happens during a distillation. Suppose a
mixture of A and B had a liquid composition at point 6. The vapor in equilibrium with this liquid has the composition
at point 5. If the temperature is raised. then the concentration of the material in the pot will slowly increase in A from
points 6 to 8 to 10 etc., and the vapor will be very rich in component B and move to the left along the vapor curve. The
end result will be that B will distill away. and the liquid composition will change until point 18 is reached. At that time,
the composition will remain the same. and the temperature will not change. The material distilling will have the
composition indicated by point 18.
I f the mixture initially is at point 22. then compound A would distill away. and the concentration of the material
in the pot will move on the line from 22 to 20 to )8. Again, the end result is a liquid composition at point 18. Regardless
of the starting composition, a mixture of constant composition is the end result.
Azcotropes are much more common than expected; in fact. there are entire books that list two- and three-
component azeotropcs. Some references are:
I. Horsley. L.K.. Anal. Chern. 19. 508-600 (1947).2. Ibid. 21. 831-865 (1949). 3. Advances in Chemistry Series,
No.6. AzeOfYOpic Dala, American Chemical Society, Washington D.C. 1952.

Example of an Azeotrope Distillation

Preparation of absolute ethanol is as follows:
Water + EtOH [onns an azeotrope (95% EtOH) b.p. ::= 78.15 0c.
Add ben7..ene to fonn another azeotrope (74% benzene. 18.5% alcohol. 7.5% water) b.p. = 65 "C.
Distill al 65 "C. This removes the water.
Now benzene and BOH fonn an azeotrope (67.6% benzene, 32.4 % EtOH) at 68 "C.
Distill at 68 "c until the temperature rises. Pure EtOH can be obtained at 78.5 "C.

44 Principk.>s

10 r----::==--~


Figure 4-1. X·Y diagrams for the more volatile components of

0,0 Mole Fraclion in the uQUld 1.0 typical azeotropes. (A) Minimum b.p. (8) Maximum b.p.

Conslanl pressure

j b.p.ofB -...


o Figure 4-2. A minimum boiling point azeotrope.

Mole fraclion 1.0

Consla"l pressure

b.p. of a"""

o Mole fraC1ion 1.0 figure 4-3. A maximum boiling point azeotrope.

M.ootropic and utractin distillutioo 45

1711 l~


Pure 0

Figure 4-4. A general

temperature-composilion diagram
for compounds A and B. o 20 <lO 60 80 'ro

Tables 4.1, 4-2, and 4-3 (L.H. Horsley, Alltl/. CJICI'II. 21, 831, 1949) list some representative azcotropie mixtures.
As you can see, an azeotrope is not a rare occurrence. As a chemist, you cannot aSSJlme that)'Ou !love a pure Jiquidjust
becam'c it distills at a COnstant temperature. Recall that an azeoJropic distillation involves the (annatioll of an
azeotrope with at least one of the components of a liquid mixture which, thereby can be separated more readily because
of the resulting increase in the difference between the volatilities of the components of the mixture. The third component
added is onen called an entrainer (see p. 47).

Table 4-1. Some binary azeotropic systems containing water

A component B component B.P."C B.P."C Weight % A

Waler 100
Trichloroclhylenc 86.4 73.6 5.4
2-ehloroelhanol 128.7 97.8 57.7
lodoethanc 70. 66. l.5
Methylailylamine 787 78.4 4.1
Nitrobenzene 211. 98.6 88.
Butyl vinyl e1hcr 93.8 76.7 II.S
Diisopropylamine 84. 74.1 9.2
Triethylamine 89.4 75. 10.
Styrene 145. 93.
m·XylCfle 139. 92. 35.8
Butyl ether 142.6 92.9 28.
Ethyl hCl(yl ether 143. 92.9 29.
46 TechnitlUeli

Table 4·2. Some binary system azcotropcs (weight %; b.p. 0c)

A Component Weight % B.P. B Component Weight % B.P. B.P. AzeoI:rope

Ethanol 53. 78.3 1,3-Butadiene 47. -4.5 14.5

Nilromclhanc 56.5 10\.1 Dioxane 43.5 101.3 100.5
Methanol 22.3 64.7 2·Methylfuran 77.7 6].1 51.5
Acetic acid ]0.4 1\8.5 ]·Picoline 69.6 144. 152.5
Acetamide 23. 221.2 C~pho< 77. 209.1 199.8
Acetone 61. 56.3 2.Propanol 39. 69.0 54.2
2-Butanooe 30. 79.0 Butyl nitrite 70. 78.2 16.7
Ethyl acelatc 71. 77.2 Butyl nilrite 29. 78.2 76.2
Butyl amine 60. 17.8 Cyclohexane 40. 80.7 76.5
Pyridine 45. 115.5 3-Penlanol 55. 116.0 117.4
Cyclohexanone 65. 156.7 Cumene 35. 152.8 152.

Table 4-3. Some ternary azcotropic systems

Weight % B.P."C

HB, WatLT Chtorobenzenc 10.4 11.0 78.6 lOS.

HF Water Ethanol 30. 10. 60. 103.
Water CCI. t-Butanol 3.1 85. 11.9 64.7
Water elKI J Acelooe 40. 57.6 38.4 60.4
Water Formic acid m-Xylene 10.6 40.4 49. 97.5
Water Trichlorocthylem: AcctOf\itrile 6.4 73.1 20.5 67.
Water AcelOflilrile 8<"_ 8.2 23.3 68.5 66.
Water Ethanol Ethyl chloroacetate 17.5 61.7 20.8 81.3
Water Ethalol Acetal 11.4 27.6 61.0 17.8
Water Ethanol Triethylamine 9. 13. 78. 74.7
Water Propanol Ethoxyprq:lOxymethane 17.6 22.9 59.6 83.8
Water Butanol Butyl chloroacctale 41.8 SO.3 7.9 93.1
Water 2-Butanol Isobutyl chloroacetate 33.6 53.1 13.3 90.2
Water Isoamyl alcohol Isoamyl chloroacetale 46.2 47.3 6.5 95.4
CHCl l Methanol ACClOrll: 47. 23. 30. 57.5

Ways 10 Break an Azeolrope
I. Fom1 a new azcotrope. Experiment 4 is an example of this technique.
2. Add a salt.
Anhydrou.<; potas.'lium carbonate was added to break the cthanol~water BZeQlropc over 150 years ago. This gave
way to quicklime. which wa'l cheaper. The difficulty wilh adding salts in commercial scpar.llions is that the sail must
be accounted for where ever it is beeau.<;e of environmental considerntions.
3. Changing pressure.
Figure 4-5 shows the effect ofchanging the pressure on the acetone~watcr system. The ethanol-waler system shifts
away from the azeotropc ifa vacuum is applied. This is often a reason why vacuum distillations (Chapler 6) are done.
Azcotropic and extracti"e dl!itillation 47

· "-
• 14 7 psito

Figure 4-5. Vapor-liquid equilibria for the acctone-

watcr system at several pressures.
I " 1110 .....
• lSO .....
• )/)(1-

(Courtesy - R.E. Kirk and O.F. Othmcr, £nQ.doped;o of

Chemical Technology, Vol. 3, John Wiley & Sons, NY o lL.~~~-'-+,-~~~~;;;;i
1980) o SO 100
""Cdone in liquid. mole %

In extractive distillation, a third component is added to exlract one ofthe other components. For example: when
cyc10hexane (b.p. = 80.8"<::) is formed by hydrogenating ben7..efle (b.p. 80.\ "C), the desired product cannot be separated
by an ordinary distillation. Aniline (b.p. - 184 "C) is added to foml a complex with benzene. probably by a pi bond

interaction. This complex boils at a much higher lemper.lture than benzene, and the cyclohexane then can be separated

bYdi~ ~. ~NH' • NH '

Cyc10hexane Benzene Aniline Proposed Complex

(no pi bonds) (pi bonds shown) (pi bonds shown)

A third component. called an enfrainer in azootropic distillation and a salven' in extractive distillation, is added
to increase the difference in volatility between the key components.
In an extractive distillation the altrac/ion between the solvent and one or more ofthe components in the mixture
is necessary whereas a repulsion between the entrainer and one or more components in the mixture is required for an
azeotropic distillalion. For example: advantage is taken ofthe highly repulsive forces thai develop between benzene
and water, when benzene is used as the entrainer to separate a mixture of ethanol-water. This repulsion resuhs in an
immiscible pair. However, when the same mixtwe is separated by an extractive distillation. ethylene glycol is used as
the solvent. Water is attracted to the solvent and is removed with it from the bottom of the tower.
Hydrogen. dipole-dipole. ion-<lipole, and pi bonds are common methods that chemists can select to create a
successful extractive distillation. In general, extractive distillation offers a wider range of possibililies than docs
azcotropic dislillation because (1) the phase relationships are not as critical so more solvents are available and (2) less
heal inpul is required because the solvenlS are not taken overhead. Complete separations with extractive distillations
arc difficult to obtain and, as a result, extraclive distillation is used when large quantities of reasonably pure materials
are needed. Azeolropic distillations are used when higher purity is required.
48 Review questions

Some commercial applications arc:

I. The separntion of acetone from methanol by adding water as the solvent to fonn a hydrate with melhanoI.
2. The removal of water from methyl elhyl ketone with pentane a<; the solvent.
3. Thc removal ofisoprcne from cthylenc by using either dimcthylformamidc or acetonitrile.
4. The preparation of 98·99 % HNO} from 50·70 % HNO} by adding 93 % H~O~ as adehydrnting solvent. Ifsmall
amounts of high quality HNO} are needed and must be sulfate free, then an aqueous solution ofMg(N0lh can be used
as the solvent.

I. What is an azeotrope?
2. What is an azcotropic distillation?
3. What are the requirements for a successful azeotropic distillation?
4. What is the % water in a wa[cr·nitrobenzcne azeotrope?
5. What is an enfrainer when discu....sing 8zeotropic distillation<;?
6. How can azeotropcs be broken?
7. Most wines arc 12.5% alcohol by volume. What "proof" is this? See Experiment No.4 in Appendix A.
Refer to the examples in Experiment 1 on refractivc index to answer the next set of qucstions.
8. What is reffactive indcx?
9. What does each ofthe parts of the symbol noM mean? See Experiment No.4 in Appendix A.
10. Acetone and dicthyl ether should not be used to clean the prisms ofa rcfractometer. Can you think oftwo reasons
why this might be so?
II. Room tcmperatures are seldom at exactly 20"C or 25 "C. How can you make a sct of refractive index
measurements, say at 23 "C, and be sure they arc correct? (Hint: use water as a standard)
12. Pick any of the binary system azeotropcs listed in Tables 4-1 and 4-2 and calculate an expected refractivc index.
Assume ideal solution behavior.
13. Pick any ofthe ternary system azeotropcs listed in Table 4-3 and calculate the expected refraclive index. Assume
ideal solution behavior.
14. m-Xylcne (f.w. "" 106) has a refractive index of 1.4973 at 20 "C. It forms an azeotrope with 35.8 % water. What
is the calculated refractive index of this system?
15. Allyl amine ha... a refractive index of 1.4190. A solution ofthis compound and water was distilled and when it
was believed that pure allyl amine was being distilled, a few drops were collected and the refractive index was
1.4185 at 20~C. How much water (mole %) is in the allyl amine?
16. What is the difference belween an en/miner and a solvenn
17. What is the difference in operating principle between an azcotropic distillation and exlraClivc distillation?
18. What arc the advantages of an extracti . . e distillation compared with an azeotropic distillation?
19. If an extraction solvent is added to the still pot at the besinning of the distillation, why is it ncces.'lary 10 add
additional solvent into thc top of the column?




Ifthc components of a solution decompose in some manner at its usual boiling point. then it must be distilled
under less drastic condition... One such method is a vacuum distillation discussed in Chapter 6. A second method Ihat
is much simpler. but is limited to those compounds that arc immiscible with water, such a<; fats and oils. is a steam
When immiscible liquids arc heated. each exerts ils own vapor pressure irrespective of the other. Whcllihe sum
ofthe vapor pressures ofthcsc liquids becomes equal to the atmospheric pressure, they distill over lOge/her, Water is
a preferred as one ofttle liquids. because it has a high vapor pressure, a low molecular weight. and is quite inexpensive.
Figure 5-1, p. 50, shO\vs the simple apparatus required. It consists ofa steam generator, safety valve, distillation
flask, condenser, and receiver.
Earlier you had some exposure to the concept of vapor pressure. Wh(..'rI the surface molecules of a liquid escape,
the liquid is said to evaporale. The gas molecules given offstrike other molecules above the surface and push on them.
The pressure created by this pushing is called vapor pressure. For example, at room temperature, water has a vapor
pressure of about 24 mOl Hg and you know that water will slowly evaporate. If the water is heated to 70 "C, the vapor
pressure increases to 234 mm Hg and the water will evaporate much faster. At lOO"C the vapor pressure is 760 mm I-Ig.
which is equal to the pressure ofthe air (at sea level) in the atmosphere pressing down on it. This state of equilibrium
- the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the atmospheric pressure (at sea level), is said to be
dle standard boiling point of the liquid. At any other room pressure, it is called simply thc uncorrecled boiling point.
Refer to Figure 5-2, p. 50, which shows how the vapor pressure varies with temperature for three compounds.
Suppose some carbon tetrachloride is mixed with the water, and the mixture is heated. We find that at about 68
"C, the CCI, has a vapor pressure of 550 torr and water has a vapor pressure of21O torr. Together they have a vapor
pres.~ure of760 torr, and the system will boil. The water will boil at 68 OC rather than lOO"C. It is the 10lal pressure that
is important.
The preceding is in reality a statement of Dalton's Law ofpanial pressures, which states thai the total pressure
is equal to the sum of the panial pressures of the individual vapors. Therefore. the molar concentration is proportional
to the number of moles present or:


50 Principles

, ,....
... -. -....,
'. Figure S-1. A steam distillation


"" ,,
> c.... ,
0 0

'"' 0



Figure 5-2. Vapor prcssure-
temperature diagram for water.
." UX! 140 ,., '"
T _.... ~·C
"" carbon tetrachloride. and

in which p. + Ph = p ....."'fi>m<
The weight of each material is obtained by multiplying by the corresponding molecular weights.

Weight 01 u =
Weight 01 b (5-2)
Steam distillation 51

KXAMJ:LJ;: CALCULAT!ON' "7 • . - . -

.... %al .is th~ weight nitj~ of water ( f i,:,". ~ 18) .to CCI. (tw, = 154) that will be coll~ted 4uring a steam
distillation? Refer to Figtge s·~, p. 50\'~9ve.along the X axis untillhe sum o~the press~res'" 760,torr.,
I •
, " JlP 21O.x 18 .. 0.0446
'We/glit oj I
• •
W-eighl of co. ,ssp x 154: '22.4

. •
The distillate will t!tJlb<»,lt 95.S"" CGJ:by wcj.ght.

, During a steam distillation ofcloves, the'eugenOl (tw. -164) is collected. If 10.0 grams of,.water also is coUeCted,
p'ow '[lMY gra~?f eugenol (oil Of cloveS) would you exptcl"ifthc distillation was 100010 efficicnt? '


}tcJ'br- to Figorc!s.i", p 50, f~ vapor press~ c}at8. Move along the X i:cis until the SlIm :fthe PfessU!~ .... ~6o.torr.
. ~ "
10.0 g ol-H20 75.5 x 18 ~
X g of Eugenol· 'S.x 164" .X· .0.60 1:!..Eugenol

In order to distill a compound below its nonnal boiling point, steam is generated and passed through the system.
Condensed water plus low concentrations of materials in the sample that arc not miscible with water will be collected.
Steam distillations are used commonly in many areas of industry and research. TIle fat in fish meal is detL'mlinL'd
by passing steam into a suspension ofthc fish meal. The fat is scpar.l.led ca.'Iily and floats to the top of the water in the
receiver, where its amount can be detennined. Thi... is one of the ways that "oils" arc prepared, sueh as oil oflemon,
oil of cinnamon, oil of pine, or oil of pcppcmlint.

An emulsion. a dispersion oftwo immiscible liquids in each other, is a common occurrence in steam distillations
and is recognized by the fonnation of a milky condensate in the receiver. An l..mulsion usually is formed when the
densities of tile two liquids are nearly the same. In Experiment No.6 in Appendix A. the density of clove oil is about
1.04 glmL lmd that of water is 0.99 g1mL There are scveral techniques fOT breaking emulsions, and each is tried until
one is found that works most easily with that system.

I. Place a piece of glass wool in the adapter or filter the condeTL..ate through a gla."5 wool plug. The glass wool
provides a surface on which the droplets can coalesce.
2. Centrifuge. TIlis is useful ifsmall amounts are being collected.
J. Add a salt such as sodium sulfate or sodiwn chloride to the condensate. This changes the density of the water and
also "salts out" the organic compounds by lowering the activity of the water.
4. Make the system acid. In most cases, the very fine droplets., those approaching colloidal size, carry a negative
charge. By adding acid, a positive counter ion is provided that neutralizes the surface charge and allows the drops
to coalesce. Avoid making the system basiC; because this provides nct:,'Stivc surrnce charges and makes the
emulsion harder to break.
5. Filter the condensate through a piece ofphase separaJion fXlper such as Whatman PS-I. This paper is treated with
silicones that then repel water but pennit organic liquids to pass through.
6. Pray.
~2 Principle!


In the previous section, we discussed how steam could be used to distill immiscible organic compounds. The
process call be reversed, and hot organic compounds can be used to remove water from materials. This method can
be used to dctennine the amount of water in an apple, an orange, or a piece of watermelon without ruining the fruit
for other analyses. This technique also is used to detcnnine the water in natural rubber that affecls the curing or the
waler in coal products thai affect'! the burning rale.
The tcchnique involves placing the sample in a flask and then adding benzene, toluene, or some other low-
boiling solvenlthal is immiscible with watCf. Heat is applied, and the solven! and the water in the sample both
distill. The material is collected in a Dean-Stark, Bidwell-Stirling, or Barrett trap, or some modification of them.
The water settles to Ihe hollom, and the solvent drains back into the sample flask 10 be reused. The water can be
drained off and it.. amount meac;ured. The traces of solvent can be evaporated from the sample, and the dry sample
is ready for further analyses. This is a separalion method for large amounts of water and is particularly useful for
food samples Ihat would be quite large unless the water is removed.
Figure 5·3 shows severaltypcs oftraps Ihal can be used to collcct and measure the waler. The equation for
calculating the r~ult'! of the distillation is the same as equation 5-2, p. 50.

A B C n

• Figure 5--3. Typcs of

traps used to collect
water: (A) Dean-
Stark. (B) Bidwcll-
t Sterling. (C) Barrelt.
(D) Solvent heavier
than water.
(Courtesy. Ace Glass
Co., Vineland, NJ)


A section of peeled orange is the sample. What is the percent of water in this sample?

Stcp I. Weight of AI dish and orange section 18.063 g
Weight of AI dish 2.014g

Weight-Oforange section 16,049 g

Step 2. Weight ofweighing bottle, lid and ....'aler 34.469 g

Weight ofweighing bottle and lid 2D.637 g

Weight -of water 13.832g

Step 3. 13.832_ x 100
·86,2 %
.. 16.049 g
Immiscible solvents distillation

., .tt
Using the eq~tiDn ;." SO, caJcu1ate how than,Y ~Qftotuene-( m.w. - 92, density';" 0.866 ~L) probab
ClUId JJave been distil!ed l!l

' to re~~; water fiooni er'~ :\

:NSWER. t .::,~ ..
Step I. A.moopheric P = In Manbattan. Kall,oos Is llbolo¥ 140 torr. PIt>tt1Ilgtkdalll ftom ,..p30 0{
Experimenl No.7 ill Appendix A, vaI... ~;l25 torr,,", lOliienO and 41 S !OtT lOr ~ pr~
• lota! of740tmu.83 'C. '"

Slep 3.

A wide-mouth flask is u'red if foods are being examined,
so that something like an orange section can be added without
squeezing the water out of it when adding it to the flask.
Benzene (b.p. 80"C) is a favorite solvenl, because it boils
at a lower temperature than water and there is less damage to the
food sample. However, it is a suspected weak carcinogen. Ifthis
bothers you, then switch to toluene (b.p. ". 110°C). If the
distillation is done in a hood there is no danger ofexposure.
Erlenmeyer flasks with wide mouths are easier to handle
and less likely to spill than round-bottom flasks with wide
mouth.'!. Because of the flat bottom on the Erlenmeyer, a burner
is used to supply heat rather than a heating mantle. However,
because ofsafeI)' precautions with flames, a round bottom flask
and a heating mantle are used here.
The Barrelt trap is preferred because the '\-'Bter can be
druined from it and weighed, giving a more accurate
measurement of the amount of water. A typical apparatus is
shown in Figure 5-4.
Table 5-1 lists the water content found in several foods.
The original source., the USDA Handbook No.8, Composition Figure 5-4. Apparatus for an immiscible solvent
ofFoods, lists 2,250 additional foods. distillation.
54 Tl'Chniqucs

Table 5-1. Water content ofvarious foods

Food % Water Food % Water

Abalone, tlIW 75.8 Crappie, raw 81.9

Almonds, dried 4.7 Cream puffs with custard 58.3
Apples. raw 84.4 CucLmbers, raw 95.1
Apricots. raw 85,3 Dandelion greens. raw 85.6
Anichokes, raw 85.5 Dates 22.S
Asparagus, raw 91.7 Doughnuts. cake 23.7
Avocados, raw 74.0 Duck, flesh, TlIW 68.8
Bacoo, raw 19.3 Duck, wild, flesh 70.8
Bacon, Canadian. cold 61.7 Eel, raw 64.6
Bamboo shoots, raw 91.0 Eel, smoked >0.2
Bananas, raw 75,7 Eggs, chicken, raw 13.1
Barbecue sauce SO.9 Eggs. dried, whole 4.1
Ba...s, black sea, raw 79.3 Eggplant, raw 92.4
Oa$, largemouth 77.3 Elderberries, raw 79.8
Beans, red, raw 10.4 Endive. raw 93.1
Ikans. lima. raw 61.5 FaI, vegetable 0.0
BeanS. green, raw 90.1 Fennel, raw 90.0
Beef, T-oonc steak. raw 47.S Figs, raw 71.5
Beef, choice sirloin raw 55.7 Figs, dried 23.0
Beef, 6-12lh ribs, raw 47.2 Frog legs, raw 81.9
Beef, hamburger, raw 60.2 Garlic, mw 61.3
Beets, tlIW 81.3 Goose. raw flash 51.1
Blackberries, raw 84.' Gooscbctries, raw 88.9
Bluelx.'rriL..... raw 83.2 Grapefruit. raw 88.4
Boston brown bread 45.0 GrapeJruit peel. candied 11.4
Brains, all types 78.9 Grapes, raw 81.6
Bread. while 35.8 Haddock, raw SO.,
Broccoli. raw 89.1 I lake, raw 81.8
UUller 15.5 Halibut. raw 76.5
Bullhead, raw 81.3 HefTing. smoked 64.0
Cabbage. raw 92.4 Iferring. kippered 61.0
Cake. angel food 34.0 1·loney 11.2
Cake. icing. chocolate 14.3 Horseradish. raw 74.6
Candy, caramel 7.6 Ice cream 63.2
Candy. sweet chocolate 0.9 Ictmilk ".7
Candy, chocolate fudge 8.2 Jams and preserves 29.0
Carp, raw 77.8 Jellies 29.0
Carrots, raw 88.2 Kale, raw 82.7
Cauliflo"'cr. raw 91.0 Kohlrabi. raw 90.3
Caviar, sturgeon 46.0 Kumquats, raw 81.3
Celery, raw 94.1 Lake rroUI, raw 70.6
Cheese. collage 78.3 Lamb leg. raw 60.8
Cheese. blue 40.0 Lan! 0.0
Cheese. American 40.0 Lemons. raw 87.4
Cheese, Swiss 40.0 lCfltils. raw ILl
Cherries, raw 83.7 Lettuce. raw 95.1
Chewing gum 3., Limes. raw 89.3
Chicken, lighl meat. raw 73.7 Liver. beef, raw 69.7
Chicken. dark meal. raw 73.7 Lobster. raw 78.5
Chickpeas., (garbanzos) 10.7 Loganberries. raw 83.0
Chocolate syrup 31.6 Lychees. dried 22.3
Clams, soft raw 85.8 Macaroni. dry 10.4
Coconut meal. fresh 50.9 Mackerel. raw 67.2
Cod. raw 81.2 Mackerel, salte<! 43.0
Coffee, instant 2.6 Mackerel, SIT'IOked 59.4
Collards, raw 85.3 Mall. dry 5.2
Cookies, brownies 9.8 Mangos, raw 81.7
Cookies. oalmeal 2.3 Margarine 155
Crabapples. mw 81.1 Milk, whole, cow 87.4
Crackers, Graham 6.4 Milk, human 85.2
CI1lCkers, saltine 4.3 Milk, reindeer 64.1
Cranberries, raw 87.9 Molasses 24.0
Immlsc:ible solvents distillation 55

Table 5-1 Continued

Food % Water Food % Water

Muffins, plain 38.0

Mushrooms, raw 90.4 Radishes, raw 94.'
91.2 Raisins, raw 18.0
Muskmelons, raw
Raspberries, black 80.8
Muskrat, cooked 67.3 Raspberries, red 84.2
Mussels, meat 78.6 Rhubarb, raw 94.8
Mustard greens, raw 89.5
Nectarines, raw 81.8 Rice, brown or white 12.0
Octopus, raw 82.2 Rutabagas, raw 87.0
Rye flour 11.0
Okra, raw 88.9
Olives, green 78.2 Salad dressings
Onions, raw 89.1 French 38.8
89.4 Thousand Island 32.0
Onions, green Mayonnaise 15.1
Opossum, cooked 57.3
Oranges. peeled. raw 86.0 Salmon, raw 63.6
smokcd 58.9
Orange peel 72.5
Sardines, raw 70.7
Oysters.. raw 84.' Sausage, bologna 56.2
Pancakes, enriched flour 50.1
Papaws, raw 76.6 Frankfurters 55.6
Scallops, raw 79.8
Papayas, raw 88.7
Parsley, raw 85.1 Seaweeds, kelp 21.7
Parsnips, raw 79.1 Shrimp, raw 78.2
Snail, raw 79.2
Pate de foie gras 37.0
Peaches, raw 89.1 Spaghetti, cooked 63.6
Spinach, raw 90.7
Peanuts, raw '.6 Squab, raw 58.0
Peanuls, roasted 1.8
Squash, raw 94.0
Peanut buller 1.8
Pears, raw Strawberries, raw 89.9
Peas, raw Sweet pot~oCs, raw 70.6
83.3 TangerineS, raw
P""'ffi Tapioca, dry 12.6
Peppers. hot, chi Ii 88.8
75.7 Taros, raw 73.0
Perch Tea. dry powder 3.8
Persimmons, raw 78.6
Pheasant, raw 69.2 Tomatoes, ripe, raw 93.5
Pickles, dill 93.3 Tornato calsup 68.6
Tuna, raw 70.5
Pic, apple 47.6 Turkey, raw
46.6 64.2
Cherry Turnips, raw 91.5
Chocolate 48.4
Pumpkin Turnip greens, raw 90.3
59.2 78.5
Pig's feel, pickled 66.9
Turtle, raw
Warnes 41.4
Pineapple, raw 85.3
Pizza, fro7..en 48.9 Walnuts, black 3.1
Plums, raw 81.1 Watermelon, raw 92.6
Whale meat, raw 70.9
Popcorn, popped
Pork, country style 42.0 Wheat, hard red winter 13.0
Yams, raw 73.5
Potatoes, raw 79.8 89.0
Potato chips 1.8
Zwieback '.0
Pretzels 4.'
Prunes, dried 28.0
Pumpkin, raw 91.0
Quail, raw 65.9

1. What arc somc limitations of a steam distillation?
2. Why is watcr preferred for a "slearn" distillation?
3. What would you call the point where the vapor pressure ofa solid equals the vapor pressure of its same liquid?
4. At aboul99 "C, water ( Cw. = 18) has a vapor pressure of544 torr and dicthylaniline (f.w. = 149) has a value of
1510rr. How many grams of dicthylaniline would steam distill if 100 grams of water were collected?
56 Techniques

5. Go to Figure 5·2, p. 50. and plollhe following dala on it for nitrobenzene (f.w. = 123).
Pressure lorr Temperature ~C Pressure lorr Temperature "C
I 45 100 140
10 85 400 185
40 115 550 211

a. At what temperature would you predict a mixture of nitrobenzene and water would steam distill?
b. If 10.0 grams ofnitrobcnzene is desired, how many mL of water would also distill?
6. What might happen irthc safety valve tube were omitted?
7. Why not fill the steam generator 3/4 or more full of water?
8. Suppose you connected your steam distillation apparatus to a water aspirator that reduced the pressure to 250 mm
a. What would happen?
b. What would be thc ratio ofeugcnol (f.w. "" 154) to watcr lUlder these conditions?
9. Why is the sample flask tilted 30-40"1
10. What do you belicve would happen if the burner is removed from the steam generator and the stopcock on the
trap is left closed?
II. Sometimes solid materials arc steam distilled. Iflargc amowlts are used,the solids may collect in the colder parts
of the condenser. If the condenser gets plugged, a dangerous situation can exist. Can you suggest a simple way
to unplug the condenser without laking the system apan or shulling it down?
12. For breaking an emulsion. acid usually docs a much better job than a base. How can you account for this?
13. Phase separation paper is filter paper treated with a silicone. Water will not pass through, but organic liquids will.
How do you explain this?
14. What happens when anhydrous Na1S04 is used to remove water from an organic liquid?
15. What is the difference betwccn a Barrett trap and a Dean-Stark trap?
16. How many grams of a polalo sample will you need to obtain 10.0 grams of water? Refer 10 Table 5·1. p. 54.
17. Why do we weigh these water-containingsamples only to:l: 0.001 g when most ofyou will have a balance that
will wcigh lo:f: 0.000 I g?
18. Why is stopcock grease not used on the joints during this distillation?
19. Is there a situation in which the usc of stopcock grease on thcjoints would be acceptable?
20. What is the difference between a West condenser and a Liebig condenser?
21. Emulsion formation is generally nevcr a problem in immiscible solvents distillation. Can you explain why this
is the case?
22. Determine the % water in the following chocolate iced cake doughnut:
Weight of doughnut and AI dish 66.217 g
Weight of AI dish 2.186
Weight of weighing bollle, lid. and water 34.755
Weight of weighing bottle and lid 20.660
23. Plotlhc following data for benzene along with the data for water found in step 30 oflhc directions in Experiment
Pressure Temp. "C
760 tOIT 80.1
400 60.6
100 26.1
40 7.6
10 -11.5(,)
Determine the partial pressures ofwater and benzene that will produce a boiling mixture and estimate the boiling
temperalure at 760 IOIT total pressure.
24. Use the data obtained in problem 23 and determine how much benzene (m.w. = 78, density"" 0.879 g/mL) would
be distilled if 14.095 g of water was distilled.
25. In the example calculations in step 4 of the example on p. 52, the expected weight of the dried orange section
was 2.217 g, yet it actually weighed only 2.170 g. Was this an analytical error or could there be another reason
for the difference?
ThL'fe arc many times when distilling compounds that it becomes impossible at ahnosphcric pressure because they
must be heated to such a high temperature thai they may polymerize, react with other compounds in the mixture.
explode. decompose 10 an unidentifiable mass oreontain an azeotrope. A way to reduce the temperature ofa distillation
is to reduce the atmospheric pressure of the system. Any distillation below atmospheric pressure is called a vacuum
di~t;lfa';on.By reducing the pressure, you minimize all ofthe above difficulties and may well break up any azeotrope.
In addition, although the boiling points may be too close together 10 get a good separation al atmospheric pressure, the
difference in boiling points often increases at reduced pressures. See Figure 6-1. p. 58; compare horizomally at any
This chapter will describe brieny what a vacuum is, how it is produced, and how it can be controlled to produce
a quality separation.
According to Aristotle some 2,000 years ago, ''That in which the pressure of body, though not actual, is possible [is)
void." A void was a place with nothing in it, but into which something could be put The Random House Dictionary
defines vacuum as "an enclosed space from which maUer, especially air, has been partially removed so that the matter
or gas remaining in the space exerts less pressure than the atmosphere."

The international unit of pressure, the Pascal, Pa, is seldom used in this country at this lime, mainly because it
has inconvenient numbers that are not related to the common measuring devices. A person can visualize 10 mm of
mercury, but not 1330 Pascals. Nonnally, mm Hg is used with coarse gauges, such as the V-tube manometer. For
pressures obtained with mechanical pumps, the tenn lorr is common (I torr = I mm Hg). and the tenn micron (I x 10.(,
atmosphere) is used with diffusion pumps. We must eventually switch to Pa~cals, so the pressure in Pascals or kilo
Pascals (kPa) will be included. where convenient, in parentheses. A person's lungs produce a vacuum ofabout 300 torr,
and the tentacles ofan octopus can attain 100 torr.
An example of how the boiling point decreases with a deerease in pressure is shown in Table 6-1, p. 58, for
m-nitrotoluene. By lowering the pressure to I tOIT(0.13 kPa), which you will find is very easy to do. the boiling point
was lowered I62"C. As a general rule, the boiling point will decrease about IS"C each time the pressure is reduced by

58 Principle.

Ir ~~t.~liQ~int~~
pressure for m~nitrotolucnc

Pressure. torr (kPil) B.P. "C

160 101.3 231.9

100 13.3 156.9
40 5.3 130.7
20 2.66 112.6
10 1.33 %.0
Figure 6-1. Changes in boiling point diffCl"Olccs with 5 0.67 81.0
reduced pressure. I 0.133 50.2

Vacuum distillation can be thought ofas fractional distillation under reduced pressure. Figure 6-2 shows a block
diagram of the equipmenl needed for distillation down to about 0.1 torr (0.0 133 kPa).

v_ I-- U-lUbe .......... I-- M<L<OO

'Y"= """'"" "'P

""""'""" gauge


pump I--
V."" I--
tower '"
. .gc

Figure 6-2. The components for a vaeuwn distillation. The surge bulb is optional unless working at low

Figure 6-3. p. 59. is called a nomograph. A nomogrnph is used for quick calculations that need not have great accuracy.
The nomograph in Figure 6·] is used to gel an approximate idea ofwhcre a compound will boil at reduced pressure.
All thai is needed 10 use a nomograph is a ruler or the edge of a piece of paper.

.Column A of Figure 6-3 teJls what the new boiling point will be. Column B list! the boilingtempcratures of our
material at some pressure (usually 760 torr. 101.3 kPa). Column C lists the vari9us-pressurcs that you might want to use.
Dibenzyl ether. a solvent in perfumery. readily decomposes at. its nonnal boiling point of298 "C. What would be its
boiling poillt at 20 tOIT (2.66 We). If we assume ideal behavior?

Place a ruler so it lies across colwnn B at 298 "C and cotumn C at 20 (()IT (2.66 kPa). .Rcad the expected boiling point
!!lWlumn ~ whichJ;.a1:lQut 168 "C. The ~p,le aet:H!l1y.1?o.i1s ~ 173-17..4....CC at2.1.1~r t:?..67 kPa)~ _
Vacuum distillation 59

• .
13ol1q .......


AoI\iniI f'WlI

·c ", .,l\>ttown Il~

"'" ·c .,
"" "00

"" "'" "00

"'" '''''' ,

V_ _

''''' ""
"" ""

"" "'" ..."

,.. "'" '''''
"'" ..

Figure 6-3. A pressure-temperature nomograph.

(Courtesy· Matheson Gas Products. Inc.• Montgomeryville, PA)

TigHc acid ( Intns-2-mcthyl-2-butanoic acid), fonned during the charcoaling of maple syrup, is used to bn.>ak
emulsions. It nonnally boils ~ 200 "C with some decompo.!.ition. Y,ou <;Iedde,lo reduce its boiling ~int t9:·50 "C. About
what pressure would you have to use to distill this material?

~et tl!e ruler at 50 °C on column A and 200 OC on column B. Read the desired pressure on coJumn C. which is
about 2 torr (0.266 kPa).

1. Always wear safety glasses.
2. Wear a lab coat or a long-sleeved shirt or blouse
3. Never make sudden movements.
4. Never tum a stopcock until you detennine what will happen when it is turned.
5. Always tum stopcocks slowly.

Pyrex glass tubing up to 25 mm in diameter can stand internally applied positive pressures of3-5 atmospheres
(aim). maybe up to 10. Therefore. a negative pressure of I atmosphere. which is the best possible vacuum, is generally
quitc safe. Big flasks usually arc cnclosed in a screen wire cage or wrapped with tapcjust in case of an accident
60 Techniquel

Two types ofvacuum pumps commonly are found in a laboratory. These arc the mechanical pumps, often called
Jorepumps. and diffusion pumps. There are sevcral more types of pumps, but they are used for specialized high vacuum
Mechanical Pumps (Forepumps)
The basic concept ofa mechanical pump is to produce a chamber at a lower pressure than the vacuum linc.let
it fill with molecules from the line by molecular collision, then force the molecules out of the chamber into the
Two common types of mechanical pumps are the Duoseal and the HyV3C. 11lese arc shown in cross section in
Figures 6·4 and 6·5. Each works by trapping some of the gas from the system to be evacuated. compressing it., and
forcing out the compressed gas.
The seal between the vane., rotor, and the frame is maintained by a thin film ofoiL This is shown in Figures 64
and 6-5 to the left. This oil must be kept c1can, if the pump is to work at its best.
The oil should be changed every 3 to 4 months ifthe pump is used daily. Most pumps have a small window on
one side to serve as an oil level gauge. Do not overfill the pump with oil. The extra oil is just thrown out.ljyoushut
offa vacuum pl/mp. be sure to first open the system to atmospheric pressure or the pump oil may be drawn out o/the
pump into the system.
There are three main purposes of the oil. Lubrication and scaling are obvious. bUI the oil also is necessary to help
provide the very high compression ratios required at low inlet pressures. At low inlet pressures the exhaust valve may
not open because there is dead volume between the valve and the rotating vane. However, if there is oil in the
compression/exhaust chamber the dead volume is reduced, sometimes eliminated, just before the gas reaches exhaust
pressure. Continued movement ofthc piston then forces the oil and the small volwne of gas through the exhaust valve.
Too little oil and the compression ratio is not obtained, 100 much oil and the oil takes up space that would otherwise be

Diffusion Pumps
Both Hg and oil diffusion pumps will be discussed in Chapter 7, Molecular Distillation.

Exhaust Oil splash

OUllet ~ ball1cs Inlet lube

Flap valve
backing plal~
(A) Induction (8) lsolalion
nap vollie Jr""'=l~ Inlet pon
Exhaust pon
Top seal (C)Start of Compression (U) l:::xhau!>I

Rotor -====

- ,--- -----
_. __ ._--.

Figure 6-4. Cross section of a rotating vane vacuum pump and how it operates.
(Counesy- L. Ward and J. Bunn, lnlroduction folhe 1heoryandPractice.o!High Yocuum Techn%gy. Butlerworths, London, /967)
Vacuum distillation 61

v~ (A) Inductioo (B) Isolation

Inlet pori Stalor
(C)C~ (0) Exhaust

Figure 6-5. Cross section ofa sliding vanc vacuum pump and how it operates.
(Courtesy - L. WW'd und J. Bunn. Introduetionto the Theory and Practiceo/High Vocuwn T«hnology. Buttcrworths. Loodon.

A pump is only as good as the purity of the oil in it A new mechanical pump should be able to reduce the pressure
in a systcm 10 about 0.1 torr (0133 kPa). Ifsolvenls or other low-boiling compounds get into the pump oil during thc
pumping operation. then the pump may be able to pwnp down only 10 20-25 torr (2.6 - 3.3 kPa). Ifcorrosive chemicals
get into Ihe pump, then Ihe melal parts can be damaged. In order to protect the pump and the pump oil, a trap is placed
in the line. Figure 6-06, p. 62, shows the most comtrlOf1 type.
Notice that thcsc traps appear to be connected backwards compared 10 ordinary water-cooled traps. The reason
for this is as follows. Material coming from the system will condense along lhe sides of the tmp (B-E) and, irnot
solidified, will run down and collect at A. Irthe dry ice - isopropanol level drops from C to 0, as it can during a long
distillation, then the material at B can evaporate. If the trap is connected properly, this vapor must go farther down the
trap before it can gel 10 the pump. When it docs this, it refreezes and is again tmppcd out of the system. Irthe trap is
connected incorrectlY,then the material at B can get into the pump bcc3use there is fl() place for refreeoting. These traps
must be checked after each distillation, and ifthcre is an appreciable amount of material at A,then it must be removed.

CAUTION: Nevcr turn on a vacuwn pump just to see ifit works, unless cooling material is present in the trap. This
can cause immediate contamination of tile oil.

These arc "1bennos" bottles made out ofhcavier glass than your coffee Thermos and arc evacuated 10 about 10·'
atmospheres. Houschold type vacuum bottles should not be used around vacuum lines, because the temperature
differences encountered are sufficient to cause most to crack in a short while. The common cooling material is dry icc,
and the cooling solvents are isopropanol (·89.5 "C) and acetone (-94 ''C), isopropanol being preferred because it is not
as combustiblc and is less likely to dissolve the synthetic materials from which clothes are frequently made.
Liquid nitrogen (b.p. -209 "C) also is used, but liquid air should not be used. The nitrogen in liquid air boils away
first,leaving thc oxygen behind. Ifany organic vapors gct into this liquid oxygen, an explosion can result.
., T«hrtlqUei

Polystyrene Conlainers as "Dewan"

To pump Adds are shipped in containers conLaining six 5-pint
A 8 bottles surrounded by molded polystyTenc. This container
TOpwl..! can be sawed into six pieces to make six quite suitable
RDcwaf Oasks". Acetone is nol used as the liquid, because
n6k acetone dis.<;oIves polystyrene. Isopropanol and dry icc work
quite well in these "[}ewars M •
Filling Technique
1llc proper way to fill a Dewar is to add the powdered
dry icc fin..... and then the solvent. The reverse order, which
produces large gas bubbles in the liquid, often causes the
liquid 10 overflow. A part of Experiment 8 in Appendix A
will have you lest the differencc.

Handling Dry Ice

You can pick up small pieces of dry icc with your
Figure 6-6. A vaportrap. (A) Connected correctly. fingers. if the pickup and release is done quickly. The film
(D) Connected incorrectly. ofair between your fingers and the dry ice will prolect you
for a few seconds. If dry icc is held for more than a few
seconds with bare fingers. thell freezing ofthe fingers can occur. It is recommended that a towel or gloves be used when
you handle dry icc. About 3/4 Ib (340 g) is required for a one pint Dewar. The dry ice is wrapped in a towel and crushed
to marble-size pieces with a hammer before it is placed in the Dewar.

A drying tower, ifused. is placed between the bleeding valve and the pump to remove any water vapor from thc
air during the initial pressure adjustments when the pump is first [umed on. Potassium hydroxide was the old~timc
favorite desiccant, but today, indicating Oriente (CaSO~ with CoCliH:z0) or Anhydronc [Mg(Clq h 21) OJ is used more
oftcn because these desiccants do nOlliquify when moist.


This is sometimes omiued. Its purpose is to keep the pump side of the manostat below the system pressure even
when the pump is disconnected for a short time, such as when you change fTactions. The tank is a large bulb, usually
2-3 liters in size. It should be taped 10 keep glass fragments from nying around jfjt breaks under vacuum. It also can
be enclosed in a screen wire cage as further protcction. Figure 6-7 shows how this is done. It also can be coated with
a "paint-on transparent plastic" which gives excellent protection. The photo at [he extreme right shows how well the
tape worked on a 4 L bulb whose contents exploded.
Remember - you arc our nation's most valuable resource· we want to take good care ofyou.

Figure 6-7. A screen

wire cage, a taped bulb,
and the effect of taping.
Vacuum dislillation

A bleeding valve is used to release the vacuum in the system quickly and in a controlled manner (I) during the
early stages of pumping so that the system doesn't pump out too fast, (2) when a new fraction is to be collected, and (3)
when the distillation is over. Ifit pumps out too fasl,the dissolved gases in the sample ean cause severe bumping.
TIle fraction colleclor probably will have a bleeding valve on it.lfit docs not, then the bottom ofa Bunsen burner
or any naturnl gas burner can be inserted in the line.


The three most common methods for measuring pressure in systems in the region of 0.1 torr (0.013 kPa) or
above are the V-tube manometer, and the Zimmerli and Mcleod gauges. Digital gauges are beeoming available.

U-Tube Manomelers
A V-rube manometer, shown in Figure 6-8, is quite easy to operate. The pressure is measured in the open tlIbe
type by measuring the diffCTences in height between the two columns ofHg. In this case. the height difference increases
as the pressure decreases. The closed end type requires that the Hg be boiled undcrreduced pressure until the dissolved
gases are removed before you fill the tube. (fthis is not done,
then an air bubble eventually fonns at the top of the scaled
end and ruins the measurements. In this type, the differences
in mercury height decreases with a decrease in pressure. This
typc of manometer can be u.<:cd to measure pressures from
atmospheric down to about I to 2 torr(0.13 - 0.26 Wal, but
the accurncy decreases below 5 to 10 tOIT (0.67-1.3 kPa).

Zimmerli Gauge
Figure 6-9 shows a Zimmerli gmlge ( Zimmerli, A.,
Anal. Chem., 10, 283, 1938) which allows you to easily
remove a trnppcd air bubble. This type of gauge is used for
pressures ITom about 20 torr{2.6 kPa) down to about 1-2 torr
(0.13 - 0.26 kPa) where dissolved gases are more likely to be
a problem. Larger gauges require too much mercury to be
convenient to opcrnte. Figure 6-9A shows it filled with
mercury, and Figure 6-9B shows how you read it. When used
the first time, the gauge should be filled as in A, then the
mercury ''boiled'' by heating it with a hair dryer or placing the
gauge in boiling water. In all subsequent measurements. the
Figure 6-8. U-Tube Manometers. Opcn end (left)
gauge simply needs to be tilted clockwise to remove any
and closed end (right).
trappcd air bubbles through the capillary. Neither the V-tube
(Courtesy - Ace Glass Co., Vineland. Nl)
manometer nor the Zimmerli gauge is truly satisfactory below
5 torr (0.67 kPa) because of the large error in reading the

Tilting Type MeLeod Gauge A B

The original gauge was developed in 1884 (Mcleod,
H., Phil. Mag., 48, 110) and the tilting modification was
developed in 1938 (Flosdorf, E.W.,/nd. Eng. Chem., 10, 534
). For pressures between 5 torr (0.67 kPa) and 0.01 torr (I .33
Pal, a tilting McLeod gauge, Figure 6-10, is used. The gauge
is nonnally in position A. Notice that all portions above the
mereury arc at the same pressure as the system being
measured (PIV l ). When a pressure is 10 be measured. the
gauge is turned clockwise until the mercury level in tube A is
just to the top oftube B or a calibration mark ncarthcre. This
seals a volwne of gas in the bulb and capillary on the right
(P2V2)' The pressure is read on the scale at C, which has been Figure 6-9. A Zimmerli gauge. (A) Hg position with
calibrated based on PI VI = P2V2. This is an absolute gauge, no vacuum applied. (B) Position with a vacuum
meaning that it can be calibrated by measuring the volume applied.
64 Technlquel

Figure 6-10. Tilting McLeod gauge. (A)

Starting position. (B) Reading position.
«(ounes)' - Ace Glass Co., Vineland, NJ.

of the bulb and needs no other gauge to calibrate it. These gauges can measure down to 10-4 torr and arc used with
diffusion pumps.
Most McLeod gauges arc calibrated with a quadratic scale. Tilt the gauge until the level ofthe Hg(A in B above)
so it is jU~1 to the top of ann C (in B above) and read the pressure at B. This is a quadratic calibration and follows
equation 6-1.


where: P .., pressure in em afHg; r = radius ofthc capillary in em; L '"' length oflhe air space above the Hg
(V}); and V = the volume or the bulb and capillary in em) (V,),

A student made a McLeod gauge in glass blowing class. The volume was measured to be 6.6 em). The diameter
of the capillary was 2 mm. What pressure would be read if the Hg was 9.2 em ftom the lOp of the capillary'l.

Using eq':l'ltion 6-1
p • 3.14 x (0.1)' x (9.2)'
P=O.4cm ""4mm
Hgor4 torr


A motlOSlot (onc pressure) is a device for maimaining any pressure
desired from 760 10 2 torr with an accuracy of I 102 lorr. Suppose you had
prepared m·nitrotoluenc and wanted to purify it. At 20 lorr.lhe compound boils
al 112.8 "C. How can you maintain a pressure of20 lorr in your system during
the entire distillation so that you can be sure that you collect only the pure
malerial? A manoslal is a device Ihat allows you to do this. The two most
common types are Ihe Cartesian diver and Ihe Lcwis~Ncsttt.

Cartesian Diver
The Cartesian type (Figure 6-11) operates as follows. Mercury is placed
in (A) umillhe diver (B) noats but does not quile touch the capillary tip (C).
Stopcocks 0 and E are opened. and the system is pumped close 10 the pressure
desired as detennined by a manometer. Stopcock E lhen is closed. which slows Figure 6-11. Cartesian diver
down the pumping rate. When you get about 1 to 2 torr above the pressure you manostat.
Vacuum dilltillation 6S

want, stopcock 0 is closed, trapping this

pressure in the diver. If the pressure in the
system is less than in the diver, the diver rises
and closes off the capillary. If the pressure in
the system is greater than in the diver, the diver
sinks and the vacuum pump remOves the excess
gas. This type requires only 10-15 mL ofHg. It
is critical Ihat the top of the diver be flat and
- ,-
clean or the manostat will leak.

Lewis-Nester Manostar
Because the diver-capillary interface is so
critical in the Cartesian diver manostats, a
simpler method was developed by Lewis and
improved by Nestcr (Figure 6-12). No rubber
is used, and the large area of the glass frit
pennits a fine control (± 0.1 torr). In this case,
the mercury at A acts as the di\'er and closes off
the glass frit. The manostat is filled with clean Figure 6~12. A Lewis~Ncster type
Hg, so that Ihe Hgcomcs as close to the frit as manostat.
possible without touching it. All stopcocks are
opened. Suppose it is desired to hold a
pressure of 20 torr in the vacuum line. The
vacuum pump is turned on, and the pressure Table 6--2. Symptoms of metallic Hg poisoning
adjusted to 20 torr with lhe bleeding valve.
Stopcock D is closed, trapping a volume of Chronic Acute
gas in B at 20 lorr. Stopcock E, for faster
pumping, is closed also. If the pressure at C
lowers 10 16 torr, the Hg rises and closes off Innammation of mouth and gums Vomiting
the frit. Ifthe pressure at C raises to 22 torr, it Excessive salivation Abdominal pain
pushes the Hg away fTom the frit and the gas loosening of teeth Bloody diarrhea
is pumped out. This type of manostat is less Jcrky gait Kidney damage
troublesome than the diver, but it requires a Personality changes Death in 10 days
large amount of mercury (aoout 1,800 g). Depression
Often a vapor trap is placed between the line Irritability
and the manostat (0 keep the mercury clean. Loss of memory
Another safely recommendation is to place a
small tray under the manostat to catch the Hg,
in case the manostat should break.

Mercury Poisoning
Mercury is a very useful chemical. and
if handled properly, can be used routinely
without fear. There is no need to shut down a
laboratory because of a mercury spill. Clean it
up immediately and continue. However, if
spillage is not cleaned up, the vapors can
eause chronic metal poisoning after prolonged
exposure (Table 6-2). An extreme example is
the old-time Hatter's disease. This occurred
when hat makers treated beaver fur with
Hg(NO,h to pennit the fur to kink inlo felt.
After continued exposure, the hatters oftcn got
the shakes. Anyone who shook was mad as a
hailer. Mercurous compounds arc much less
soluble than mercuric compounds. In fact, a
Figure 6-13. Mercury cleanup kit.
spoonful ofcalomcl (H&2CI2) often was given
(Counesy - Lab Safety Supply. Janesville, WI)

as a dose ofsa/Is to cure whatever ailed you.

Organic mercury compounds are much more toxic. because some havc the
ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier and react with brain cells. These
mU.f! be handled with care.
The nx:ommended limil of mercury vapor in air where people are
continuously exposed is 0.1 mg/m'. The equilibrium concenlralion in air from
spilled mercury is about 200 times this amount, and reducing it 10 safe limits
only by opening the doors and windows is difficult. It has 10 be cleaned up, but
panic is unwarranted.

Cleaning Up Mercury Spills

Mercury scoops should be used to clean up larger amounts. Ifmercury
spills into cracks in the noar, then a disposable pipet connected to a vacuum
pWTlpcan be used. Nitric acid will dissolve it. and powdered sulfur will slowly
react with it to reduce the vapor concentralion in the room. Many commercial
kits are now available to handle Hg spills. The one shown in Figure 6- I3, p. 65,
contains a scoop, a powder 10 amalgamate the Hg, four jars of absorbent for
Figure 6-14. Pinholing small drops, a vapor absorbent for areas not reachable, and an indicator to
mercury. indicate places that may have been missed.

Cleaning Metallic Mercury

None orthe pressure rneastlring or regulating devices described above will
work correctly unless clean mercury is used. Metallic mercury has become vcry
expensive, so it is best to fCroVCf and recycle as much as possible. Although
only freshly distilled mercury is rerommended, usually mercury recycled by
pinholing is used. Before mercury is distilled it should have a preliminary
cleanup to keep the still from getting dirty too quickly. Oils and liquids float to
the top and can be absorbed with paper toweling. Many metals will dissolve in
mercury and are slowly converted to oxides. These oxides are lighter than
mercury and noat to the top. This is the scum you see. It can be removed by
what is known as ~pinholing" (Figure 6-14). A small funnel is used, and a piece
ofmter paper is folded in the normal manner. A large pin, or end ofa paperclip,
is pushed through lhe bottom ofthe paper to form a small hole. The mercury is
poured through this system, and the metal oxides stick to the paper. The paper
also removes small quantities ofoil and water.

Figure 6-15. Distilling receiver, During a distillation, it is desirable to collect liquids that boil at different
udder type. temperature. These are called fractions. At atmospheric pres.<;ure, this is no
(Courtesy - Ace Glass Co., Vineland problem, because the receiver is changed ea<;ily. Howcver. when the system is
NJ) under vacuwn, the receiver cannot be removcd without firsl shutting off the
vacuum. This is very inconvenient, so multiple receivers. called fraction
collectors are used. The one shown in Figure 6-15 is thc udder type, often called
a cow. It is quite u.<;eful, ifonly three or four fractions are needcd. The collector
is lurned, and a new receiver is movcd intO position for each fraction without
breaking lhe vacuum. If morc than a few fractions are 10 be collected or the
fractions are quitc large, then the distilling head, fraction culler shown in Figure
6-16 is used. It is designed so that the rest of the system can be kept under
vacuwn and the rettiver raised to atmospheric pres..<;ure, removed, a new one put
in place, and then re-evacuated. A bleeding stopcock is also included.


Ball and socket joints are prefcrred for vacuum systems because (I) they
Figure 6-16. Distillation
don't freeze as easily as standard taper joints, and (2) they can be twisted and
head. fraction culler.
(Coonesy - Ace Glass Co.• turned so the apparatus is Ies.<; likely to break irbumped into. A baJJ and socket
Vineland. NJ) joint, a joint clamp, and the joint greasing technique are shown in Figure 6-17.
Vacuum distillation 67

Figu rc 6·17. Ball and
socket joints and
clamps. (Counesy - Ace
Glass Co., VillCland NJ)

Ball and socket joints ground glass joints will

leak unless scaled wilh a vacuum grease. Place four
strips of grease on Ihe ball lengthwise rather than around
the ball. When the ball is filted into the sockellcss air is
likely to be trapped and the desired pressure can be
attained quicker. II. technique thai is common for- joints Figure 6-18. Tcsla coil leak detector.
that cannot be greased is to place an O-ring between the (Counesy - Fisher Scienlific Co.• Pittsburgh, PA)
ball and socket section.; of the joint. The i.d. of the
O-ring must be somewhat larger than the orifice
diameter of the joint A spring clamp is used to hold the
sections together. &'Uoon
nlt.. og.n
Glass tubing often gets pinhole leaks in il. and
these can be hard to find. About 10.000 volts is required
for a spark to jwnp across I em of air at atmospheric
pressure. A Tesla coil (Figure 6-18) can produce 20 to
30,000 volts al a few microamperes and is used to Icst
for leaks of this type. The system is pumped down. the
Tesla coil is turned on by adjll<;ling the knob al the back
of it. and the spark·producing tip is passed slowly over
the glass. If a leak is found, the diverging sparks will

"'p." -

come together and point in the direclion of the leak. A

luminous area will fonn inside the glass tube. This is Figure ~19, Air bubblers and providing an inert
easier to sec if the lights are out. The holes then are almosphere.
either sealed with Apiezon black wax or closed by glass
blowing techniques.

A means of providing stirring and also inlroducing an inert atmosphere into the system is a bubbler, two types
of which are sho\\ll in Figure 6-19.
Disposable pipets also can be used for these purposes. Be sure to close Ihe pinch clamp at the end of the
distillalion before the pump is shut ofT, or the material in the flask can come out of the bubbler onto the floor. heating
mantle. and stirrer.
Figure 6-20, p. 68. shows a minimum component vacuum system for doing distillations. It is mounted on a cart
on wheels so it can be moved out ofthe way when nOi in use or from room 10 room.

I. N, N-dimethylaniline boils with decomposition al 192 "C. If you wanted to distill it at 100 "C. whal pressure
would you use?
2. When benzaldehyde is distilled, some of it reaClS with the oxygen in the air and is converted to benzoic acid.
Benzaldehyde boils at 179 "C. What pressure should il be distilled at in order 10 have it boil at 60 ~C?
68 Techniquts

Figure 6-20. Minimum-<:omponent vacuum distillation

apparatus. (A) pump. (D) and (C) Variacs, (o) support
plate, (E) terminal strip, (F) slirring motor, (0) heating
mantle. (1-1) r. b. flask, (I) Vigreux distilling column, (J)
distilling head. (K) lhcrmomclCf, (Ll Liebig condenser.
(M) manostat. (N) stopcock, (0) stopcock, (P) t:lee<ling
valve, (Q> drying lower, (R) U-tube manometer, (5) trap.
(T) Dewar nask, (U) support plale, (V) r. b. flasks, (W)
cow, (X) vacuum adapter, (V) stopcock, (Z) Hg
overflow, (AA) trap. (DB) Dewar Oa<;k. (CC) Mcleod
gauge, (DO) cork rings.

3. Styrene has a boiling point of 146 "C. Irit is healed althis temperature for short period... it polymerizes into
polystyrene. The pump you have will produce a pressure of9 torr (1.2 kPa). What boiling point would you expect
for styrene allhis pressure?
4. Strychnine was found to have a boiling point of270 "C at 5 torr (0.67 kPa). What would you el<pect its boiling
point to be at room pressure?
5. Table 6-1. p. 58. shows the m-nitrotoluene has boiling points of23 1.9 "C at 760 torr and 130.7 "C al 40 torr (5.3
kPa). At what temperature docs your nomograph say it should boil when it is distilled at 40 torr?
6. Why are vaeuum distillations sometimes necessary?
7. What is the purpose of oil in a mechanical vaCUwn pump?
8. Why does a volatile organic solvent ruin pump oil ifit gelS into the oil?
9. What is a Dewar nask and how does it function?
10. Why should liquid air be avoided as a cooling agent?
II. Docs it make any difference whether the solvent or the dry ice is added first to a Dewar nask? Please cl<plain.
12. What is the chemical reaction that cau.<;es dry-indicating Orierite (blue) to change to pink when it gets wet?
13. Why tape a ballast bulb?
Vacuum distillation .9

14. What is an implosion? How does it differ from an explosion? This is one you have to research.
15. Mercul)' boils at 357 "C at 760 torr(101.3 kPa). Ifyou want to boil out any trapped gases and you wanted to use
a steam bath at 100 "C, what pressure must the system be pumped to?
16. Sketch a Zimmerli gauge and explain how it works.
17. Sketch a Nester~lype manostat and explain how it works.
18. Normally, a manostat will hold a pressure to:l: 1~2 torr. How might you modifY it to make it as sensitive as
possible, say :l: 0.5 torr?
19. What do we mean by "pinholing" mercul)'?
20. Why place four strips of grea<;e lengthwise on a ball joint rather than one strip around it?
21. What is the technique for greasing a ball and socket Joint?
22. Look up Nicola Tesla in an encyclopedia and learn something about who he was and what he did. I believe you
will be pleasantly surprised.
23. The name "Apiezon" is a trade name for all types ofvaeuum waxes and greases. One of these waxes is known
as black wax. It is applied by heating it with a burner and then applying it to the glass where the leak is. Find out
something about what black wax is made of and what it will dissolve in so it can be removed.
24. Why not use boiling chips in a vacuum distillation?
25. Which is correct; desiccam or dcssicant?
26. A Mcleod gauge is to be designed so that it<; highest pressure to be read is 8 torr. If a 2 mm capillary is used and
the length from the top of the bulb to the top of the capillary is 10 mm, what must the volume of the system be?


Many liquids are too viscous to be distilled in an ordinary vacuum distillation apparatus, because they will
condense and plug lhe column. They also may decompose thermally at the high temperatUres required for their
distillation. In cases like this, a molecular distil/alion is performed. A true molecular distillation employs a sufficiently
high vacuum so that the mean free path ofthe molecules 10 be distilled is greater than the distance from the sample
surface to Ihe condenser surface. Ideally, this means thai molecular distillation has no refluxing. In practice. this goal
is seldom reached, bUl even then, molecular distillations can be useful. Because oflhe low pressures, boiling points are
usually 200 - 300 "C lower than oormal, so thermal decomposition is,at a minimum. A molecular distillation is about
as good as a batch distillation with a 50"(: difference in boiling points. Molecular weights are limited to between 1000
and 1500. I.N. Bronsted and G. Hevesy (Phi/os Mag. 43,3 I, 1922) arc given credit for making the first molt..'CUlar still.
They used it to separate isotopes ofHg.
One type of laboratory-scale molecular s(iJI is called a batch or pot stilt. Batch stills have too Iowa capacity and
arc too slow for most industrial needs. A continuous operation is required. Industrial models arc u'iually of the
centrifugaJ or the cylindrical flowing film type depicted later.
The batch still shown in Figure 7-1 (Wiberg type) operates as follows. The sample is placed in A. The collecting
tubes are placed in B and connected to C. Cold water is pumped in at D and flows out at E. A good vacuum is applied
at F. A metal heating block or a heating mantle (with a hole punched in the bottom) is placed under the sample. The
sample distills and condenses on the sides of the condenser (called a coldjinger) at G, runs down the sides and collects
at H, where it fmally drips into I. Solids simply stay on the surface at G.
Equation 7~ I is Langmuir's method to determine the maximum amount of material that can distill (Phys. Rev., 8,

N • rii',=,P~;:;;: = moleslsecondlcm 2 (7-1)


However, the pressure is given in dynes/cm? which is inconvenient. Equation 7-2 revises Langmuir's equation to have
the pressure in torr and the amount distilled in grams:

72 Principles


,. T
, '"


c ~j.

14r20 ST
Hokb four
2-dr vials
1 Figure 7·1. A combination molecular still- sublimatOl".
(Courtesy - Wiberg. K.• Laboratory Techniques In Organic
ChemLstry, McGraw-Hili. NY. 1960)

w. p x 1.013 x 1()6 x 1M '" gramslsecondlcm1

760 2 8.314 x 107 X tt (7-2)

where W "" amount distilled in grams/sec/em'; p "" vapor pressure (torr) of the compound being distilled;
M ,. m.w. oflhe compound being distilled (g); and T ... temperature (OK) of the distillation.

The above equation expresses what should happen theoretically. The problem is that few molecules go directly
from Ihe evaporating surface to the condenser in a straight line and at a 9ft' angle. A correction factor. f. called the
evaporative coefficient. developed by Burrows (Molecular DistIllation, Oxford Clarendon Press, 1960) considers three
factors: (I) Ihe fTaction of molecules reaching the condenser without collision. (2) the fraction that collides first and how
many reach the condenser, and (3) those that have collided and reach the condenser by random motion.
By combining Ihe constanls in equation 7-2 and adding f. the following equation is obtained:

W "" 0.0583 P ~f gl'flmslsecond/cm 1 (7-3)

A nomograph to estimate the rate of molecular distillation (Gokarn, A.N. and Paul. R.N.• NCL Communication
1686, 1973) is shown in Figure 7-2. p. 73. An eltample of how it is used follows. Notice the magnitude of the fvalues
in particular and that the temperature is in oK.

tXAMPL"E A· TlO ' • .

What will be.the moleallar distillation tale ofa substance at 600 OJ<, wbc!rl M "" 700. P = 1~ and f" 1(tc7 lFrom
G"",",,,i'!d Paul) .
Molecular diSliUalion and sublimation 73

Referring to equation 7-1, p. 71. you can see that the relative amount of materials distilled varies according to PI
and not directly with vapor pressure as in other distillations.

P, P, (7·4)
1M, {fiT,


w. I' f

"'" "',
-'-- --. -
:<:~.'. 400 - .-.-.. --


P _f_..

CL_ A-We


Figure 7-2. Nomograph to detennine the rate ofmolccular distillation.

(Courtesy· A.N. Gokan.and R.N. Paul. National Chemical LaboralOf)'. Poona, India, Communication No.
1685, 1973)
74 Principles


or 1.4 l 1.2 : J.O'

The basic differences between a molecular distillation and a regular vacUWTI distillation arc (I) the liquid
condensed in the column is not allowed to flow back into the sample, (2) the pres.<;ure in the system is reduced to such
a low value that a molecule of the !\affiple has a good chance of reaching the conden<;er surface without hitting another
molecule first, and (3) the ratios at which different component molecules distill is propor1ionallo the partial pressure
divided by the square root of the molecular weight.
An entirely different equation to more closely represent what adually takes place was developed based on work
by Luchak and Langstroth (Canad. J. Res. A., 28. 574, 1950).

1.6 x 10-5 P M D
w· Td (7-5)

where D = diffusivity of the organic molecules in an air atmosphere. Values from 0.01 to 0.1 are typical. 11le
lower the applied vacuum, the higher the D. d = distance in em from the evaporation surface to the condensing surface.

Compare the resuits between the Langmuir and the Luchak-Langstroth equations. Lauric acid, C1,I-!:.t0z, has a
m.w. of200 and a m.p. of48 "C. At 200OC, it has a vapof'pres.ture of40 torT. A$sw;ne'D- p.05 and d - 3.5 em. How
much material would you expect to distill'per ern!! of surface?

Modified Langmuir equation. equation 1-3. n() tterm applied:
W - OjlS8J x 40 hOOl473
.... J.5 v}secJcm2
Luchak~La"$stroth equa6on:

W .. 1.60 rIO" ;r 40 x 200 x 0·95

473 x 3.5

The rate of distillation depends on how fast material from below the surface can get to the surface. Therefore. a
device to keep a fresh surface exposed, aflowingfilm slill is used in commercial apparatus. Flowing films can either
fall by gravity or move sideways by centrifugal force, just as long as a Ihin film is produced.
A molecular distillation can occur at any temperature, in fact. many organic compounds are purified in the
laboratory using no more Ihan a water aspirator to reduce Ihe pressure. However, if the molecular weight gets large and
high efficiency is desired, then the pressure must be reduced so that the mean free path of the molecule to be distilled
will be longer than the distance between Ihe evaporator and the condenser. This prevents the distilling molecule from
striking anolher molecule on the way 10 the condenser and, thus, not. being distilled. The colder the temperature ofthe
condenser surface, the less likely the molecule is to rebound back to the evaporator.

Mean Free Path

Air molecules have a mean free path of about Ilr em at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. Molecular
stills have distances of I0 to 12 mm. Therefore, some changes in bolh lempernture and pressure must be made to have
a mean free path Ihat long. The mean free path. L, is calculated by the following equation:
MoiKular db.illalion nd sublimation


where 0 = Distance separating. the centers ortwo molecule,; (em). 0 for several molecules is:
Nl "'" 3.5 x 10-1 em NH) - 3.09 x 10"
COl "'" 4.2 x 10-1 CO = 3.16 x 10-1
N10) = 8.5 x lo-t ~ = 3.44 x lo-t
H1 = 2.l x 10-1 01 '"' 2.93 x 10-1
Tocopherol = 22 x lo-t He = 2.38 x 10-1
n = Number of moleculeslmL. n is calculated by the following equation:


OiJcuJate the mean free patJfat th&-fol1owing conditions: 25 "C (29B "K) and 160 ton, n'" 2,46 x 10"; 25·°C'(298
OK) and lSO'torr, n'" 4.86 x 10"; 125 "C (398 oK) and 0.1 tOITt n -242 x lOIS and at200°C (473 °Khnd 6.0001 torr,
- 2.()4 X 1011 •

~t"2.s "C(298 "1<.) and 760 torr, n - 2.46 x 101'

I 1.32 x 10- 5 em
L • ----,7-----", •
2 (l.S x 10-')2 lC 2.46 X 10 19

Al25 'c (298 OK) and I SO torr. n - 4.86 x 10"

L - 6.7 x 10·' em.
At \25"C (398 OK) and 0.1 torr. n ~ 1:42x \0"
L - O.OO4cm
&_ AJ.2QO OC{473L"K)
- and 0.0001 tqn',.I1.-2.04 x 10"
9.8<;111' _

The main thrust ofa commercial still is to provide a huge evaporating surface
and a continuous process. Batch stills first were rotated to increase the surface area,
but several developmenl'i since then have occurred. The falling film method, the
centrifugal method. the ",;ped film method, and the fmctionating method are all now

Falling Film Stills

The distilland (sample) is added to the lOp and allowed to flow by the force
ofgravity down the surface in a thin film. The still usually consists of two vertical
concentric cylinders, one being the evaporator and the other the condenser. Most of
the sample is stored at low temperature and only the portion that is in immediate Slill wall
contact with the evaporator is heated and then only fora few seconds (10-50). Moo
falling films are from 0.1 to 2.0 mm thick. The efficiency is better than that ofall but
the smallest batch apparatus with f values approaching 1 and having one theoretical
plate between the evaporator and the condenser. A value of 5-6 vsec/m1 is Figure 7-3. Falling film stills.
(Courtesy - Pope SCientific Co..
reasonable with small units. From 5-10 % of the sample is distilled in one pass. Such
Menomonee Falls, WI)
a still is shown in Figure 7-3.
76 Principles

Figure 7-4. A multistage

wiped-film processing plant.
(Courtesy - Pope Scientific Inc.,
Saukville. WI)

An improvement in increasing the surface area is the wipedfilm still. figure 7-4 shows the Pope Scientific Inc.
multi-stage, turnkey wiped film processing plant. It includes a degasser/devolatilizcr (I" stage), 12" molecular still (rt
stage), liquid and vacuwn pumps. multiple cold traps, heat recovery exchangers and a complete control system. This
system is capable of conlinuou'i operation to I millitorr, 375 "C and up to 200 kg/h feed rate. The basic prt'lCCSS is shown
as a schematic in Figure 7-5. Their system employs a wiper blade that mo\'cs each plug of material downward as shown
in Figure 7-6. Thin films are preferred for a variety of reasons. Some listed by the manufacturer are
I. Turbulence created by a rapidly moving wiper or controlled clearance blade assists in heat transmission, thus
lowering the temperature needed on the inside evaporator wall for a given system pressure.
2. A maximum surface area per unit volume of flow is generated facilitating rapid evaporation.
3. The liquid exposure time to the elevated wall temperature can be controlled within seconds or less. This
minimizes product degradation of heat sensitive materials by controlling the wiper assembly speed.

NtW ~)f
flllalll£l ~'.
......;'<.....; .. . "" ·0

\ ..'IJ,' .. ;,} -----
Figure 7-6. Fluid flow through a
Figure 7·5. Schematic of the process ora wiped-film still.
wiper blade.
(Courtesy - Pope Scientific Inc., Saukville, Wt)
(CourtCS)' • Pope Scientific Inc..
Saukville. WI)
Mol«ular dis.i1lation and lublimalion n

4. I-ligh viscosily materials can be lransported Ihrough the syslem for distillation or solvent stripping.
5. Pope slotted .....iper blaoo promote plug flow wilh lillie back mixing. This minimizes dwell time distribution.
ensuring that materialllllwing through the system has a uniform exposure 10 process conditions.

Figure 7-7 is a photograph of a 2" laboratory size wiped fihn slill and is sho.....n as a diagram in Figure 7-8.

Cenlrifugal Stills
The centrifugal still is the most refined (and expensive) oflhe commercial stills. A cross-sectional diagram is
shown in Figure 7-9. p. 78. and a bank ofthcm is shown in Figure 7-10, p. 78. The excerpt from Barrows
explains the operation ofthe cenlrifugal molecular still. "The degassed liquid to be distilled is introduced continuollSly
allhe bottom ofthe inner surface oflhe rotor. a rotating conical shaped surface. The rotor may be as large as 1.5 m in
diameter at the top and may revolve at speeds of400 to 500 r/min. A thin layer of liquid to be distilled. 0.05 to 0.1 mm
thick. then spreads over the inner surface and travels rapidly to the upper periphery under the action of centrifugal force.
Heat is supplied to the liquid through the TOlor by radianl electrical healers, and the vaporized material is condensed


Figure 7-7. A 2 inch wiped film still. Figure 7-8. Diagram of the commercial
(Courtesy - Pope Scientific Inc., Saukville. WI) molecular still shown in Figure 7-7.
(Courtesy - Pope Scientific Inc., Saukville.
18 Techniques

. _.•
....... 1

Figurc 7-9. Schematic section of a Hickmam style Figure 7-10. Commercial 36 inch molecular distillation
centrifugal molecular still. unils.
(Courtesy - MoICClllar Distillation. G. Burrows, Oxford (Courtesy - Molecular Stills, P.R. Watt, Reinhold Publishing
Clarendon Press, 1960) Co.. New York., NY, 1963).

upon the water-cooled louver-shaped condenser. This is maintaincd at temperatures sufficienlly low to prevent n:·
evaporation or reflection of the vaporized molecules. The residue liquid is caught in the collection gutter of the top of
the rotor. and the distillate is drained from the collection troughs on the condenser. Each product is pumped from the
still body. which is evacuated to the low pressures necessary for molecular distillation. and the time of residence of the
substances in the still may be as low as I second or less. Such a device is capable of handling 5 x 10·j to 25 x 10-' ml/s
(50 to 250 gal/h) of liquid to be distilled and gives a separation of80 to 95 percent,"

Some Commercial Applications or Molecular Distillations

Removal of odors and colors from plasticizers
Vitamin recovery
Isolation of natural oils
Purification of drugs
Distillation of waxes and fatty acids
Isolation of perfumes
Deodorizing oils
Solvcnt stripping
Remove color bodies from materials of high molecular weight
Stripping monomer from polymer
Stripping frcc fally acids from fats and oils
Distilling fats and oils
Concentrating heat-sensitive phannaceuticals from their substrates
Concentrating fruit juices
Isolation of aromatic compounds

Diffusion Pumps
The vacuum pumps discussed in Chapter 6 arc capable of reducing the pressure to about 0.1 torr when they are
new. are wellirapped, and have clean oil in them. This is not a sufficiently low pressure to pennit a high efficiency
molecular distillation. A previou... example calculation indicated that 10" torr or Its... is nccessary. The most common
method for reducing pressures from 10. 1 to 10" torr (13.3 - 0.013 Pal is the diffusion pump. Multiple stage diffusion
pumps are capable of reducing pressures to 10-' torr. A diagram ofa downjet diffusion pump is shown in Figure 7-11,
Moleeular dis'iIIation and sublimation 79

Mercury (I O~ torr) or a low vapor pressure

oil (Myvoil, 10. 1 torr; Octoil, 10-1 torr) is used as
the liquid. This liquid is heated, boils up the left
side (Figure 7-11) and comes down the right side.
These heavy gas molecules produce a jet effect as
they pass through the opening (A). Gas molecules B
rrom the line to be evacuatt:o ~Ill <:ct trapped in this
jet stream and are carried into region C. Then: can
be about a 10000fold difference in pressure
between points B and C before the pumping action
stops. A mechanical pump, like a Hyvac 01" a
Duoseal, is connected at point 0 10 remove the
evacuated gas so the pressure does not build up.
The mechanical pump used this way is called afore
pump. The mercury oroil is condensed by a water D
condenscr at E to be recycled. The vapor pressure \LfY-
ofthe diffu."ion pump liquid sets the lower pressure
limit lhat the pump can reach.
Figure 7-12 sho""'S a three stage oil diffusion
pump which ean reach a pressure of 7 x lit" torr
without a cold trap. It costs about S 2,250. Figure
7-13. p. 80. is a photo ofa combination fore pump
and diffusion pump made of metal for rugged usc.

Devices for Measuring Low Pressure

When pressures gel below about 10-- torr Figure 7-11. A down jet Hg diffusion
(0.013 Pa). Mcleod gauges are not practical. There pwnp.
are several types of gauges that can be used. Two (Counesy - Ace Glass Co., Vineland, NJ)
of the most common gauges that cover the range
from 10·· to 10-1> torr are (I) the Pirani gauge, and
(2) a thermocouple gauge. These arc both reliable
and can be obtained for about $500.00. Figure
7-14, p. 80, is a diagram of the detector portion of
a Pirani gauge, Figure 7-15, p. 80, is a diagram of
a thermocouple gauge, and Figure 7-16, p. 80. is a
photo of a commercial thennocouple gauge.
A current is passed through a small filament
of wire to heat it. A vollage is obtained based upon
Ohm'!: law (E ~ IR). ffthe sunounding pressure is
decreased, there are fewer gas molecules striking
the wire and it is cooled less. The wire heats. the
resistance increases, and the voltage increases.
This vollage increase is related to pressure by
calibration with a Mcleod gauge. The description
of the operating pcinciple of the thermopile gauge
Figul'"e 7-12. A three slage oil diffusion pump.
(Figure 7-15) as provided by Matheson Gas Co. is:
(Coonesy - Ace Glass Co.• Vineland. NJ)
"Operation is based on a low voltage at bridge
noble metal thermopile circuit. A change in
pccssure in the tube creates a change in the thermal conductivity of the gas cooling the thennopile, which in tum causes
a temperature shin of ac thermocouples A and B. This shift results in de\·iating the de output from the two
"The dc thermocouple, C, is unheated and in series with the indicating meter circuit. Ambient temperature
variations will develop voltages in all thermocouples; however. the transient effects in heated and unheated clements
are equal and opposite; therefore the unheated couple compensates for transient temperature changes.·
Figure 7-16 shows a commercial gauge connected to a vacuum line.
80 Techniques

Figure 7-13. A fore pump ~ diffusion pump combination

(Courtesy ~ Van Waters & Rogers SCientific Co., McGaw Park, IL)


- - I- -
VDl:""" I;",
Figure 7-14. Diagram ofa Pirani gauge.

Figure 7- 15. A thennopilc circuit.

(COtIrtesy - Matheson Gas Co., Montgomeryville, PAl

Figure 7-16. A commercial gauge

connected to a vacuum line.
Sublimation and tntniner 5ublimalion 81


Sublimation is a process in which a solid becomes a ga~ withoot first becoming a liquid. A solid will sublime if
its vapor pressure reaches <lh·lo<.phcric pressure below its mclting poin!. Figure 1·17, a temperalure·pressure diagram
ofa general substance. will be used to illustrate how this can happen.
Normally. most compounds behave as shown starting at point A. As the temperature increases, the compound
melts to a liquid and then vaporizes to a gas. However, if the pressure is lowered below the triple point pressure,to point
B, the compound can go directly to a gas when the temperature is raised. Ifthe pressure is kJwered from A or B to point
C, thc compound will vaporize witllout a change in the temperature. Tneoretically. all compounds can be sublimed.
Howevcr, for most compounds. the triple point is at such a low pressure and temperature thai SUblimation is not
practical. Fortunately, there are still several hundred compounds with characteristics such that they can go easily from
the solid to the gas form. If the gas is then cooled, it resolidifies and can be collected. This material is usually of very
high purity, because few compounds sublime under the same conditions. The material to be sublimed is called the
sub/imand, and the product is called the sublimate.
Iodine, dry ice, camphor, and arsenic readily sublime at room temperatures and pressures. Sulfur. benzoin. and
NH.NO, arc obl:ained readily in pure form by sublimation. Saccharin, quinine, cholesterol, and atropine arc additional
examples of compounds lhat are conveniently separated by sublimation.
The subliming temperature at reduced pressure is usually several degrees below the melting poihl of the
compound, so less compound destruction occurs during a sublimation than during a distillation.

NaphtJlalcne m.p_ 19"C Sublimes al25 "C at I tOrT (0.13 kPa).
Urea m.p. I32"C Sublimes at 50 "C at I tOrT.

TIle apparatus for a sublimation can be the same as that shown in Figure 1·1, p. 12. All of the material collects
at surface G, and the collection chamber for liquids (8) simply is not used.

Entrainer Sublimalion
A simple sublimation can be speeded up in many cases by passing an inert gas called a carrier or an enlrainer
over the sublimate. The purpose ofthis gas is to reduce the partial pressure ofthe sublimate below the triple point
pressure. This is similar to a bceeze blowing over you in the summertime when you are sweating. The breeze feels cool
because it reduces the partial pressure of the water droplets on your body. and they evaporate faster. Compared to a
nonnal sublimation. therefore. a compound will sublime faster atlhe same temperature or at the same rate at a lower
Figure 7.18, p. 82, is a diagnun ofa simple entrainer sublimmor. Ifthe tube that collects the sublimate is cooled
to different temperatures at successive regions along the
length, th(.'O it is possible to fractionally sublime a mixture
of compounds. The separation in this case is usually not
clean, but it can be used in some situations. Commercially, "\ ,
coffee is decaffeinated by elltrainer sublimation.
The basic differences between a molecular
distillation and a sublimation at low presswes are that (I)
\f' Q

the molecular distillation goes from solid to liquid to gas,

which usually requires more energy than a sublimation
t \
that goes fium the solid directly to the gas, and (2) the j - --
surface of the subliming compound is continuously
renewed by evaporation, convection, or diffusion. As a

result, a sublimation in many cases is faster and more
economical. •
Figure 1·19, p. 82, shows the components required
for a regular sublimation and Figure 7-20, p. 82, shows the
components needed for the simplest type of entrainer Figure 7-11. A temperature-pressure diagram of a
sublimations. compound
81 Techniqllt:s

Figure 7-18. Entrainer sublimators:

Top, air cooled. Bottom. liquid cooled
multiple condensers.
(Courtesy - E. W. Ekrg. Physicol olld
Chemical Methods of&poration. M<::Graw-
Hill, New York. N.Y. 1963)

, 'I

-;: -;:-.- ~

".,'" G 0 II
::: f II
,II,. -II

• Figure 7-19. Apparatus arrangement
... 11 for a regular sublimation.

,.- -

- ,

,.• ,

- • Figure 7-20. Diagram of an
entrainer sublimation apparatus.

I. How does a molecular distillation differ from what would be considered a regular vacuum distillation?
2. Why do you not want a gas bubble to fann under the still (C of figure 7-13, p. 80)?
3. What are three factors considered when evaluating the cvaporalive coefficient?
4. Use the nomograph (Figure 7-2, p. 73) and determine the distillation rate ofa substance ofm.w. 350 if the
temperature is 500 nK, the pressure is 5 x 10", andfis estimated at 0.05.
Sublimation and entniner sublimation 83

S. The following three compounds have boiling points of 100 "C at I torT. In what ratio would they distill in a
molecular still?
2-nitrophcnyl acetate C.H1NO.
2.3,4.6-tetrachlorophenol CifJ2C1.O
Champacol CI~~O
6. The following three compounds have boiling points of 130· at40 torr.
a. Triethyl hcxylsilane CnHvSi m.w.: 200
b. Pivalophc'l1Ofl(: C ll H I40 m.w." 162
c. Unknown
They distilled in the ratio 1.00 : 1.15 : 1.28, rcspeclively. Eslima!c the m.w. of the unknown compound.
7. How many molecules are there in 1.0 em) of air a! 220 "C and 10') tort?
8. Calculate the mean free path for alpha tocopherol a! 220 "C and ) 0') lofT.
9. What is the main thrust of a commercial molecular still?
10. What is an average film thickness in an um.,,-iped falling film still?
II. What is the purpose ofbru.sMs or scrapers in a "'-iped film still?
12. What is the purpose ofspinning a centrifugal still?
13. About how fast does a centrifugal still tum and what is a typical capacity?
14. Draw a single-stage diffusion pump and explain how it operates.
IS. TIle Pirani gauge was discussed as a dC\ice for measuring low pressures. Discuss another type of gauge thai
can be used.
16. What is sublimation and how does it differ from a molecular distillation?
17. Refer to Figure 7-17, p. 81. Change the line D-F for water to line ),11. Suppose)'oo ha\'e an ice surface: at
point I. If the pressure is increased at COOSlaflt T to point J. what will happen? What happens under the
runners of a pair of ice $kales?
18. You have just received a new T-type manometer. How do you fill it with mercury?
19. Is there anything you need 10 do 10 adjUst a T-type manometer when making a reading?
20. What is a healing tape?
21. Would Ihe cnlTainer apparatus work for tea leaves?
22. What it is the difference between sublimate and sublimand?
23. Whal it is the purpose of using an cntrainer gas during a sublimation?


Lyophilization is a process of drying materials by subliming the water fmm a frozen sample. This works well for
materials thai are heat sensitive and would be wholly or par1ially destroyed if dried at atmospheric drying conditions.
The basic process is to first freeze the sample, then apply a vacuum so that the ice will sublime without melting - hence,
the more common name· freeze drying. Figure 8-1, p. 86. is a diagram of the phases of water. From this it can be seen
that water will sublime at any combination oftempcrdtures below O"C and pressures below 4.57 tOrT. Commercially.
freeze drying is considered 10 be any process oflliis type operating below 100 Pa (0.75 torr).
A photograph ofa commercial laboratory apparatus is shown in Figure 8-2. p. 86. (A) is the sample holder. (il)
is a special holder so that a sample can be added or removed without breaking the vacuum on the other sample
chambers. (C) is a large trap to collcctlhe sublimed water, (D) is a Mcleod gauge to measure the pressure, and (E) is
the temperature gauge. The pump (F) may be a simple mechanical pump, but is more likely a mechanical-diffusion pump

It is known that the Incas prepared their food for long-term storage by drying it on mountain tops. This provided
a cold tempenlture, low pressure, and radiant hcat. They were "freeze drying", although they probably didn't call it that.
Many of you have freeze dried foods unintentionally without knowing it. Freezer burn is caused by a combination of
the slow sublimation of water from foods stored for long times in freelers or the freezing compartment ofa refrigerator
and the destruction of the cells by the large ice crystals formed by slow freezing.
R. Altman was the first to report microscopic investigations of freeze-dried tissue in 1890. Arrhenius, and later
Becquerel, proposL-'d that life originated by freeze-dried organisms that arrived on this planet from outer space and then
were reconstituted by water. BecqUl.TCI calculated Ihat if a dehydrated organism could live for one year at 10 "C, then
it could live for 70 billion years at -270 OC, the temperature of outer space.
The process of fTeeze drying WdS developed on a large scale during WWII (1942) for processing blood plasma.
This made it easier to ship overseas because the water was removed, and the material would last much longer without
spoiling. Freeze drying was proposed for foods in 1949 but really didn't get started until 1964. It has evolved into a
process having important commercial applications in the preparation of vaccines; antibiotics; pharmaceuticals; virus
cultures; and foodstuffS such as meat, fish, milk, fruits and vegetables, and coffee.
A freeze-dried material undergoes fewer adverse changes than those preSL''Tved by pickling, salting.. canning. or
normal heat dehydration. The product requires simpler storage and transportation systems, and if scaled under vacuum
or an inert gas., usually retains most of its biological and physical characteristics indefinitely.

The material to be freeze drk-'d is first frozen to a temperature just below its lowest eutectic. A eurectic is the
lowest temperature at which a mixture of two or more components will melt. This eutectic temperature can be
determined in an unknOwn system by measuring the clectril.:al resistance between two probes in the sample or by


performing a dijJerenrial thermal analysis (DTA). When the

c system undergoes a phase change, the resistance and the
temperature change significantly. Figure 8-3, p. 87, shows a
DTA for orange juice at several concentrations.
......, A
Bx = Brix, a measure of sugar concentration based on
" ..I....
density. A hydrometer is used. One degree Bru equals the % by
weight ofsucrose in a water-sligar solution.
A vacuum of from 4-6 torr (0.53 - 0.80 kPa) is common,
and the heat loss by the subliming water usually will keep the
material frozen. During small-scale laboratory operations the
c>-ro mm . !?_~~ 0
sample holders arc left in the open air, but in largc-scale
commercial applications, heat mu<;t be applied lo provide the

" 0.0099"
sublimation energy al the rate just below lhat required to keep
the material frozen. To sublime I g of ice at 0 "C requires 666
point boillllll: point 1~lJ.l", calories (2.78 kJ). This heat is provided by wann-water Irays
T _..lJ.lre en"" to .... le,
placed under the sample trays, by radiation ITom healed walls
surrounding the sample trays, or by microwavc warming.
Figure 8-1. A tcmperature-pressure diagram of Sublimation from commercial warm watcr-hcatcd trays occurs
water. at the rate of 0.1-1.0 kg H10lhr/m l • Few systcms are cooled
(Courtesy - F. Daniels, Oulfine.' ofPh)'$ir:al Chemi.'try. below -30 "F, because the vapor pressure is then too low for
J. Wiley & SOO!i. New York, NY ) rapid sublimation.
The process at this stage will have reduced the water
content about 90 %, but the 5-10 % of bound water is difficult
to remove. If it is necessary to rl.'1flove this bound water as well,
then the temperature is raised 10 30-)5 "c and the vacuum
reduced to a few lenths of a torr. This combination of
temperature and pressure also will remove 0l and this aids in
preserving many matcnals. To remove this last bit of walcr is
expensive in that it takes 25·30 % ofthe lotaltime.


Slow freezing produces large ice crystals thai may rupture
lhe cells, but this may be desirable if fast rehydration is
necessary. Fast freezing produces tiny crystals, and, in some
cases, this produces undesirable color and texlure changes in the
final product. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully control the
( freezing rate ifthe product must have eye appeal. Figure 8-4, p.
87, shows representative types of crystals.
If cells undergo slow cooling, ice crystalli7.alion stans in
the external medium and there is a gradual dehydration of the
cells. However, more rapid cooling. rcsulls in intmccllular
crystallization. With very rapid cooling, the crystals thus formed
are usually quitc small and ultm rapid cooling can produce
crystals so small that the inlmcellular water appears glass like.
1bc combination ofthe supply ofwater molecules fTom the liquid
phase and the mte of removal of the available free larent heat
determines how the ice crystal grows Ollce a mlcleus hasfOrmed
Molecular molion plays a major role for the convcn;ion from a
liquid into a solid. particularly SO as the tcmpcmture is lowered
and the viscosity decreases.
Several melhods can be used lo rapidly freeze foods. The
most efficient is to immerse lhe prodUCI in a very cold liquid.
Figure 8-2. A bench-top freeze-drying apparatus. This pennits a liquid-solid interface for rapid heat transfer.
(Courtesy - Labconco Co., Kansas City, MO) Liquid nitrogen (LNJ Wld liquid Freon frcczant (LFF) are the
most commonly used. the lalter being the most popular because
LyophiliuliOfl 81

it is easier to reclaim. LFF is dichlorol1uoromethanc (Frcon-12)

whieh boils at -30 "C. It was approved for usc in 1967
and can still be used because it can be reclaimed, but it is being
phased out because ofpotential upper air ozone reactions. Peas

1 -- - - .. ~
. ,-\'- •,

can be frozen solid in 20-30 seconds. Strawberries freeze so

fast that they will crack, so they must be sprayed rather than
dipped. Examples of the use of this process are: shrimp, diced , ---- \
cooked chicken, fried onion rings, sliced beans, breaded '-
scampi, hamburgers, and com on the cob. The Freon rapidly
evaporates from the food at room temperature and is not
considered to be a contaminant. Porous products, which can \
absorb large amounts of liquid, such as bakery goods, arc not ; '--!. IP
suitable for this process. :
11 ,
~ 1\
Figure 8-3. DTA oforangejuicc: (A) 10"Bx. (B)
Sample nolder 20 Bx, (C) 30 "Bx. Freezing rate 6 "amin to-l20

Figure 8·5 is a photo of one type ofsample holder. They "e. Healing rale 1 "CImin.
arc usually oftwo-picce ronstruction and have either on O-ring (Courtesy - Freeze Drying and Advanced Food
or grease seal between the parts. The top end of the lower part Technology. S.A. Goldblilh, L. Rcy, and W.W.
is usually a wide opening to facilitate the easy removal of the Rothmayr, &Is. Academic Press, New Yon:, NY 197:i)
dried product. They come in sizes from 25 to 1,000 mL.
The technique of filling the sample holder is to fill it 113 to

1/2 full of liquid. Place the lower end into the dry icc-acetone or
isopropanol container, and tilt the holder to about a 60" angle or
as flat as possible without spilling the liquid. Slowly tum Ihe
holder so a film of solid sample freezes around the inside of the
sample holder. Freeze the sample for a few minutes longer,
connect the lOP section and then connect it to the conden.ser
before it begins to melt. This rolation lechnique increases the Figul'"C 8-4. Free growth of icc crystals in waitT.
surface area, and the water in this Ihin film, about I em thick at increasing supercooling from left to right.
most. call be sublimed rapidly. (Courtesy - Freeze Drying and Advanced Food
Technology. 5.A. Goklbtith, L. !ky, and W.W.
Connecling Valves ROlhmayr, FA Academic Press, New Yori(, NY. 197:i)
This valve (Figure 8-6, p. 88) attaches 10 the main
condenser. It pcmlits attachment of a sample to the condenser
without breaking the vacuum seal on the other sample holders.
Samples also can be removed in the same way. The white valve
slem on the front is turned to control the operation. The valve
usually is made of a rather hard rubber wilh a plaslic inner stem.
h also includes 8n i11lcmal baffle to prevelll cross contaminalion
from one sample to another. It can be laken apart for cleaning.

figure 8-5. Freeze-drying sample holder.

(Courtesy - Labconco Co., Kansas City. MO)
88 Techniques

Figure 8-6. Freeze drying Figure 8-7, Multiport Figure 8-8 Backup condenser.
connecting valve. condenser. (Courtesy - labconco Co., Kaosas City,
(Courtesy • labconco Co., Kal1Sas (Courtesy. labconco Co., Kansas MOl
City, MO) City, MOl

MuUiporf Condenser
Shown in Figure 8-7 is a 12-pon drying chamber. It is made of stainless steel. usually weld free to minimize
vacuum leaks. and contains an inner chamber about 7·10 cm smaller in diameter. The inner chamber is filled with dry
ice and acetone or isopropanol and is the chamber usually used to freeze the sample when it is firsl prepared. It is about
30 em high and 22·25 cm in diameter. The progress of the sublimation can be followed roughly by watching the dry
icc-acetone (isopropanol) mixture. As the icc conden~. the coolani will boil off the COl in it - sometimes so vigorously
early in the process thallhc pressure may have to be incrcac;.cd a bit to slow down lhe sublimation.
A second backup condenser often is used as a backup for the primary condenser and to prote<;l the vacuum pump
in case the primary condenser exhausts ilc;. refrigerant. It is aboUI 20 cm tall and 22 cm in diameter. This is shown in
Figure 8-8. The pressure is measured with a tilting Mcleod gallge having a mnge from 5 to 5.000 millitorrs. 1llc pump
is usually a combination ofa mechanical fore pump and an oil diffusion pump.
Figure 8-9 shows a simple noncommercial arrangement thai works very well for small scale laboratory

" L
c ' I,

Figure 8-9. Simple

freeze..<frying apparatus.
Lyopbillzation 89

I. Compare dry ice acetone and dry ice isopropanol in the following categories:
a. Temperature attained.
b. Flammability at the dry ice temperature.
c. Solubility of cJ...., each mixture,
d. Solubility ofpulys.. ..ontainers.
2. What are some reasons why SOl, amplcs should be lyophilized?
3. What is the purpose of the backup condenser?
4. Why is the sample frozen to just below the solution eutectic rather than lfcczing it to a steady low temperature?
S. Commercial freeze driers usc a refrigerator unit rather than dry ice acetone or dry ice isopropanol. Why is this?
(Hint - refer to qucstion 4)
6. What is the effect of slow freezing?
7. A sample that is freeze drying will usually stay frozen once the vacuum is applied. Why is this?
8. How much water is usually removed by nonnal freeze drying?
9. What is the technique used 10 freeze the sample in the sample tubes for laboratory preparations?
10. How can you detennine the maximum eutectic temperature of an unknown material?
II. It requires 666 calories (2.78 kJ) to sublime 1.0 g of icc. How many calories (and kilojoules) docs it take to
evaporate 1.0 g of ice by nonnal heat application? Assume the iee is at -10 "C initially.
12. In the process offreezc drying coffee, it is said that the Original 2()..2S % material is concentrated to 30-40 % by
freezing. How docs Ihis proccss work? (Hint - what happens if you frcczc a bucket of muddy water?).
13. Several years ago, Ihe author thought it would be nice to freeze dry a boule of wine and take it on a hike. The
sample froze as expected, but after a few hours, the sample melted and was never satisfactorily refrol'..en. While
it was drinkable it was disap(X)inting. What happened?
14. What is the principle of operation of a DTA?
IS. The first attempt at a commercial freeze drying process was in Florida in the late 50's to store fruit juices. The
process was a failure at that time, because the product became quite gummy. Can you suggest a possible
explanation for this, knowing that fruit juices contain sugars?
16. Why do people place foods in plastic bags filled with water before they store them for a long time in a freezer?
17. What does 10oBxmean?




I Solid

Li(Juid 10 Liquid Solid Solid
10 Countercurrent In to 10
Li(luid Solid

ID"'d r,_.,_,pc_"'_"_lica_,..,vapor
Theol)' CI"T1lrifugc W
Ito Coil Plall<-'l I Solid Pha.-;c
(SPE) ~ CO''';"OO",
(Soxh1ct) fluid (SIT)
Chllpter 9 Chllplcr II Chapl<-'l' 12 Chapl<-'!" 10 Chapl<-'!" 13

&-,IvCllt Heavier
ChapK" 10

Solvent Lighter
Chapter 10

Liquid-liquid f!)(traction is a process by which one or more components of a mixture, usually in water, are
selectively transferred to another, usually organic liquid. Liquid·solid extmction involves the use of a liquid to
selectively remove componenl" from a solid. The majority of laboratory scale extractions arc batch extracti()n.~,
involving separatory funnels. The theory and gcneraltechniqucs arc discu...scd in Chapter 9.
The ratio of thc amount extracted to the amount remaining is called the distribution ratio. There arc many
situations in which thc distribution ratio is low. which would require large amounts ofsolvent ifscparatory funnels were
used exclusi....ely. This cun be very expensive in both chemical and labor costs, and the additional cost ofsolvt:nt disposal
is now oftcn prohibitive. Conrinuolls extractors, in which a small volume of solvent is used to extract a portion of the
compound, then evaporated, condensed, 8I1d used again, arc an ideal solution. This process can be repeated for days if
necessary; and at the end, there is only a small volume ofsolvent to remove and dispose of. Continuous extractors that
involve solvents both heavier and lighter than water arc di~usscd in Chapter 10. A widely used apparatus for extracting components from solids is the batch extractor developed by Soxhlet. The sample is placed in
a porous papcrthimblc and then placed in a horizontaltubc with a closed bottom. The extraction solvent is dripped onto
the top of the solid, percolatcs through it, and siphons offafter a short time, the process is repeated as often as necessary.
Soxhlet extraction is covered in Chapter 10.
A fUMer improvement is to move one solvent past the other in the opposite direction. This countercurrent
technique can not only separate several compounds from a sample but can separate them from each other at the same
time. This is then a combination of an extraction and a chromatographic separation. The coil plane' centrifuge,
developed by Ito, is discussed in Chapter II.
A somewhat recent advancement is to usc the same types of surface coatings as arc used on high pcrfonnancc
liquid chromatography column packings but to make the panicles larger. These arc then placed in a porous matrix in
the fonn ofadisc from dime to halfdollar size. and in a 1-3 em long column, 1·2 em in diameter. This is known as the
solid phase, and when a liquid containing the desired components through it. they arc cxtracled from the liquid.
These componenls can then be stripped away later by using a different polarity solvent. This is known as solid phase
extraction (SPE), and the details arc presented in Chapter 12.
One of the problems with using a liquid as the extraction solvent is its removal when the extraction is finished.
The most recent way to eliminate this problem is to usc a $,tpercriticld gas. CO! being the gas ofchoice at the moment.
A gas in the supcrcritical state has solvent properties comparable to a liquid; but it is less viscous, so it can penetrate
the sample faster. When the extraction is complete. the pressure is released. and the gas evaporates away from the
extracted components. CO 2 is nonpolar so more polar compounds such as methanol arc sometimes added in small
amounts. This excellent supercritiCLlljluid extraction (SFE) technique is described in Chapler 13.
An extraction is the selective transfer ofa compound or compounds from one liquid (usually water) to another
immiscible liquid (usually organic) or from a solid to a liquid. The former process is called a liquid-liquid extraction
and the latler is called a liquid-solid extraction. More recently, with the development of reactive solid phases. materials
arc extracted from liquids by a solid. This is called solid phase extraction and is discussed in Chapter 12.
There arc various types of extractions. They range from food, drug. and cosmetic extractions, which separate
several compounds at one time. to the more sophisticated analytical extractions., which arc designed to cleanly separate
a selected compound or compounds from a complex mixture.
A food extract. such as a lemon extract. is really nOI a chemical extraction but consists of the essential oils that
are mechanically pressed out of lemon skin and then kept in a 45% solution of alcohol. A drug extract is called a
tincture. Tinctures are usually alcohol solutions and arc liquid-solid extractions. Examples are the tincture of iodine,
oil of wintergreen. oil ofclove, and oil of pcppennint. Cosmetic extracts such as ambergris, musk. castor. and benzoin,
arc called essences and arc used to make perfumes.

Refer to Figure 9-1, p. 94. Suppose you had four compounds (A. n. C. and D) dissolved in water, and you
desired to remove A and leave the others behind. If a suitable immiscible organic solvent could be found to dissolve
A. and you could either adjust the chemistry orB. C. and 0 so they would not dissolve in the organic layer or adjust
A so it would. (A(x». then to pcrfonn a liquid-liquid extraction you would just have to shake the two layers together
and allow them to separate
Figure 9·2. p. 94, illustrates how an extraction can be used. One method for dctennining the wear on engine rings
is to measure the amount of vanadium in the crankcase oil by visible spectroscopy. However. iron interferes. The oil
first is digested with HCI04 • When HC! and diethylether arc added, the iron transfers to the ethcr layer. leaving the
vanadium in tht: water layer. The water layer can be drained and analyzed. Notice that two layers arc fonned that can
be separated easily.
The principle that controls a liquid-liquid extraction is the Gibb's phase rule:

F=C-P+2 (9-1)

where F = degrees of freedom. These are the variables you ean change. This is usually the composition ofeach
material being extracted. C = number of components. P = number of phases. 2 = temperature and pressure. At
constant T and p. which is usual for room temperature extractions, then F = C - P

94 Principles

" D

Figure 9-1. Diagram illustrating the basic

principle ofliquid~liQuid extraction.

Based upon the properties of the compound and how it interacts
• with each liquid phase and assuming the system is not saturated. then
each compound will distribute itsclfbetwecnlhe water and organic layer
in a definite ratio. which will remain constant until one phase becomes

I X, I (9-2)

For example; if you had 100 molecules and 90 went into the organic
layer, then if you had 1000 molecules, 900 would go into the organic
layer, and this ratio would remain constant until one layer becomes
Figure 9-2. Separation of Fe from V by
a liquid~liquid extraction in a scparatory
From the above examples. it ean be secn that an extraction is the
transfer of a compound from one liquid to another or from a solid to a
liquid. This transfcr is seldom ever complete in a single opcr8tion. Generally, a small amount of the compound is always
left behind. Because the compound divides bct\.veen the two layCf"S, it is called a partllion. The usual way to express the
extent of this partition is the partilion coefJbent. p. or the distribution ratio, D.

glm! solute in the orgQnic (upper) phase

D (9-3)
glmL solute in the wQter (lower) phase
Eltraction - batch theory

700 mg. ofanlimony (V) was dissolved in 100 m'L ofHCI, an equal volunie ofisoprop)'tether W8$ ~
the systenl thoroughly shaken. The layers wen: JCtWB1ed; aDd the elber, evaporntcd. ihe ~ Was fduDd to ~uli
685 mg of antimony. What is the.distributiOn ratio?

D .. plmL in org~niC .. ."-:2°".68"",51,,.1,,00""=7 ~ 45.7

glmL 1-" Water (0.100 ~ O.68S}llOO

The distribution ratio shows greater restraint than the phase rule. because now the ratio of concentration is
constant (provided if has the same m.w. in each solvent). This takes into account all reactions that take place. If no
reactions take place, then D = Ko-

(This example was developed by Prof. HCroy Freiser, Univ. of Arizotla.) Gi,,'ef\ the following data, develop aD
equation.IO d<:termine D for'the distribution of o~ (B-tiydrOxyquinol!nc) between CHel, and Hz<). .
Ionization equilibrium

[HOx][H'J .. '8 X 10-06


K; • [Or l[H1 • 1.4 X 10-"



[HOr]. - [HO.J. K.D • [HOrJ. ·720



• Total organic .-: -,...,.....,.._[~n:,:&:,:.':').L-,._

[HOx]. Total wmer [H,Or1 + [HOr)• • [ex )

divide by (HOx],.,

D.'. _ _~-'.[n:.:(4.,.:g.",._~~.. Xv
[B,Or-] ~ IHOxl~ [Q...] '.l!Q + +..fL.
[HOr) [HDx] (HOr] fC, fH'J
96 Principles

A quantitative prediction of what a D will be for any given system is not possible unless all of the various
equilibrium constants arc known, but for a substance to be eXlracted, it mU$t be neutral. There are three basic ways to
prepare a neutral molecule; (I) chelate fonnation. (2) ion association, and (3) micelle formation.

Chelates (Key-Iales)
If a metal ion reacts with another ionic compound (ligand) to form one or more rings, the resulting compound is
called a chelate (Gr. Ke/o$ - claw). Two such chelates are shown below.

Extracts into CHCI). TIte two negative ligands neutralize

the +2 charge of the central ion.

This chelate extracts into t-hexanolto separate uranium from thorium and

Ion Association
In this case, two or more ions associate to neutrali7£ each other's charge.
a. Incorporation of a large ion.
ZncV + 2(C,H SCH!»)NH" -_.>
b. Oxonium
The solvent oxygen atom takes part in the coordination sphere.

'" I
c. Mixed
The Wlpaired clectrons oflhe N on I, JO-phcnanthroline (diagram to
'" )J F/.
. ao• the left partially neutralize the iron's charge. and the CIO; completes

"'" N
the process. This complcx will extract into nitrobenzene.

'" Mi«lles
A micelle (diagram, lower Icft) is a complex molecule that may be
colloidal in size. Metal ions are incorporated into salts of high molecular
weight that dissolve in organic solvcnts the same as soap in water, that is.
by forming colloidal aggregates. The organic part is turned out, and the
ionic parts arc hidden. In the case shown at the left., the polar aminc end
with its nonbonding electrons surrounds the Cu'! ion and effectively
isolates thc charge. Also: U. Mo by amines in kerosenc. CU'l caproate
(C1o-COOH) in CHCll •
Research donc in the author's laboratory indicates that the processes
described nearly, but IlQl: completely, neutralize the metal ion's charge.
Polar water molecules are added as adducts around the chelate. the ion
association complex or the micellc as necessary to complete the charge
neutralization process as shown in the diagram at the top of the next page. This produces a neutral molecule that is
hydrophilic and tends to stay in thc aqueous layer. If a suitable organic liquid is added, these molecules usually can
Extraction - batch Ihcory 97

0<3 f:C, 1>0

I"'~'." I'~'''''''''''''

displace a portion of the water molecules. thus making the total species hydrophobic and extractable. Thc distribution
ratio depends on the relative amounts of water displaced. This lack of organic solvent adduct fonnalion may be why
charged particles do not extract. Charged particles hold more water molecules and tend to hold them so tightly by
ion-dipole bonding that they are not replaced by the weaker dipole-dipole bonds between water and the organic phase


One of the surprises in predicting an extraction is that you cannot go by solubilities alone. This is believed to be
due to (I) a change in activity coefficient of the solute in each phase (when saturated then solubilities hold) and (2) the
effect of the second solvent upon the first. Because the layers are immiscible, you generally assume there would be no
effect due to the second solvent. However. since the concentration of the extractable species is quite low. even a small
solubility ofone solvent in the other provides sufficient molecules to alter the distribution.

- 85% in waler Expect a D nearly I, yet you get a D of 100

- ~ fniotuene
l--J~~ ..~~ilti. rol''!;,-&tIl!Y~l!!lUi.~~.'"!l;jl!'!ll!l~e ~~.)'-"'-- .....

Electrostatic bonds
These bonds involve electrostatic forces., such as those between two ions. an ion and a diJX>le. or two diJX>lcs. The
ratio of the cation (r,.)to the anion (rJ is called the radius ratio. As the ralio of the cation to anion decreases below J,
the lattice energy remains about the same at firsl and lhen decreases
rapidly. Because the sum ofthe magnitudes of the solvation energies of
r, • , I
the gaseous ions rise steadily (smaller r), a sail will tend to be more
soluble as its radius ratio becomes smaller than I.

Generally, the solubility ofa substance in water or alcohol is governed more by the ability of tile substance to
fonn H bonds (han by its "polarity" as measured by dipole moment.

Chemical bonds.
Chemical bonds include acid-base interactions. 11 extracts into mesitylene > xylene> benzene because ofpi bonds
and sigma bonds.
98 Principles

If the effect of two components in a mixlure is grealer lhan the sum of each componenl individually, the effect is
called $ynergi.~m. For example: One solvent exlracts a certain amount ofa compound, and another solvent extracts a
certain amount. But a mixlure oflhe solvents may cause a IOl l0 l()l increase. Synergism is very important with
tribulylphosphate extractions.


Equation 9-4 is used 10 calcubue the percent of a
compound that can be extracled if the D and the volume of

j'0 each phase are known.

..... _.~---~-~
~ 1
% £.x:r,aet;on '"
100 D (94)
01 D + V.lV"

0.001 ~o-------tSO'----"IOO~
where: V... volume of water layer (lower). V. '=
Yo Extraction
volume of organic layer (upper).
Figure 9~3. A plot of D \IS % extraction
Figure 9-3 shows how the percent extraction varies with the
distribution ratio. Notice lhat this is a log plot on the Y axis.
The effect of varying the amount of extraction solvenl is presented in the following example calculation.


,Iron-forms a chelate thai. "ill eldraet into nitrobenzene With a D of 3. Tell
mL.f ~ IOlution is extracted with

ofnilrobenzenc. Asccond l~mLalUWtis.....-l

. . with U mLof~DocS it.
. ' ~
. . .'diffim)<:<
~Iume of ext~D8 solvent ls usc:41 . •

Part A
IQO x 3 ,
·60%. %.. 100 x 3 -; 82..%
j " rOl~' ~l • 1llIIS

y... ii ma1<... d i t f _ ~ ~O\I weyld ~ I!mr ~ac p 1aI<cn oT, dI~ Is ~ I8IeT inv<1 .,
quatibn 9-5, .99 . - . ,

In order 10 rapidly separate two componenlS, not only must they have different distribution ratios, but Ihe
distribution ratios must have the correct range. Referring to Figure 9-3, it can be seen that for the best separations
between systems with similar IYs. values between I 10 IDare besl The following examplecalculalion will illuslrate this
Exlraction - batch Ihl"Ory .
100 X I • SIi% 1.00 x 100 . ,.. 9.9.00/0
• % A • °'1 10110 "9x=
100 • 10/10

% B· tOO x 10 r ... 9O.~10 100 x ,1000

10 .. 10/10 1000 • 10/10

B ~ not completely extracted. Both are almoSt completely extracted, and

but it is aepwating from A. 00 .separation takes place. Even after a dozen
After three or fQl1f extractions. it extrae,tions. little separation will take pJat':~
vill be fwd w.1I sep~-~u,.. _

Most labonllory eXlractions are done wilh a separator)' funnel and done one or more times. changing the extracting
solvent each lime. These are called balch extractions. For the following equations. let D "" distribution ratio; A -
amount of solute originally present; X "" amount not extracted; V.,2 volume nfwater; and V.. = volume of organic.

A - X
V V•. (A-X)
o Then: DXV~ '" AV.,- V"x
D· •
-V. DXV~+ V,.x-AV.
X(DV" + V,) - AV.

X • • (9-5)
0 V" +- V...

For a second extraction, X of the first"" A of the sttond.

Vo •

If you use a volume twice as large

V• . (9-7)
X. A
[ 2 D V" +- V. J
A common mistake is made when an analyst gets in a huny. The dirttlions call for three 10 mL extractions, but
time is short, so one 30 mL extraction is made. That is assumed to be the same; it is not. Equation 9-6 provides the basis
for the answer.
100 Princ:illics


A faHs to be removed from '8 mea1 sample by an ethcr·exO'8Ction. Three 30 ,roL 'exttsetions are recQmrnended to
i'emove O.I.P g of fat from 1,0 g of meat disperse~ in 30 mL of 'wal~. Assume D = 2, Whiql is best.• one 9O-m
extraction or three 30-mL ex)ractiomi1

For a single'9() mt extrBctK>n; For diree 30 mL ~iom:

X .. O.J( 30
. j.2.90]"·30
J' '" 0.0.14 g

awosh 4·fola i!nProv~

The simplest type of extraction vessel is a separatol)' funnel; several types are shown in Figure 9.4. l1ley are
usually either cylindrical (A), globe shaped (8), or pear shaped (C. D). They may have either glass or plastic stoppers
and stopcocks and may have a standard taper joint althe bottom. They usually are made of borosilicate glass. but the
wine red colored "low actinic" also can be oblained for use with light-sensitive compounds.

A c •

Figure 94. Various types of

separalory funnels. (A) Cylindrical.
(B) Globe. (C) Pear. (0) Standard
taper bottom.
(Courtesy - Ace Glass Co., Vineland, NJ)

The more commOn si7.£s can be obtained made from plastic (usually polypropylene). The usual capacities are from)O
mL to 2 L. Figure 9-5. p. 101, shows the proper way 10 hold a separatol)' funnel.
I. Separatol)' funnels should be rinsed with the extracting solvent before usc.

2. The funnel should be inverTed by rotating your wrist. Vigorous shaking is"ot necessary to anain equilibrium and,
in fact, may cause the formation of an emulsion, which will delay the final separation.

J. When two immiscible liquids are mixed. thcre is still a small amount of each liquid that dissolves in the other,
and the heat of solution Ihat may develop can cause a pressure buildup. Figure 9·5 shows how this is vented

Choice ofsolvenl
a. Watch the density. Large density differences arc desired.
b. Because of cost, toxicity, nammability, or density you may want to mix solvents.
EJ:lractiofi • batch theory ,.,
Removal ofthe extracted solute from the organic layer is called stripping. It occurs
if D <:I. Add a few mL of water to hold the solute and then evapordte off the solvent.
You may need to add H2S04 or HCI04 to remove the organic solvent in the water layer
by evaporalion. Uthe solvent is nonvolatile (boils higher than water), shake with strong
acid solution to destroy the chelate, and the metal will go into (he aqueous layer.

Backwashing is used with batch extractions. The combined phases of several
extractions are washed to remove impurities. Because the D ofthe impurities is usually
much less than that of the metal extracted, this removes impurities much (he same as

Figure 9·5. Separatory
Emulsion fonnation depends on viscosity, density difference, and drop size. To funnel venting technique.
prevent, reduce, or break emulsions refer to Chapter 5, p. 51. (Courtesy. R.J. Gullette, c.A.
a. Invert the layers slowly; do not shake vigorously. Bonn, lS. Swenlon. S.
b. Use centrifugation for small volumes. U is the best and fastest way. Experimental Chemistry,
c. Use mixed solvents. Harper & Row, New York,
d. Add neutral salts, which increase the density and change the surface tension. 1975)
e. Use only a small amount of water with a large amount of organie solvent.
f. Filter through a porous substance.
g. Filter through phase separdtion paper (silicone treated).

Use of masking and sequestering agents

A masking agem fonns a complex (no rings) with the material to be extracted; a sequestering agent forms a chelale.
Masking agents arc charged complexes that do not extract. (See Chapter 40.)
A. Several cation masking agents that are used include: CN", tartrate, citrate, P, EDTA. SCN', S20}·2. These are
generally used with chelate extractions, because the more acidic pH's used with ion association systems will not
allow the association to form.
AI + Fe + oxine •__•••> Fe(CNh,·J and does not interfere.
Ni + Co + Dimethylglyoxime
Add CN', then H 20 2, Ni(CN)4· 2 Co(CN)/
The Ni complex is destroyed by Hz0 2 or fonnaldchyde, but the Co complex is not.
B. For anion masking. EDTA fonns anionic chelatcslcompJexes with quite a number of metal ions., including the
alkaline earths. P interferes with U02~2 extractions and can be removed by adding B or AI to mask the fluoride.

SalCing.ouc agents
a. Use ammonium salts, if possible, because these can be removed from the aqueous layer for work later on.
b. AI and Fe salts are strong salting-out agents because of their high charge, but they are difficult to remove.
c. As charge increases, the salting-out effect increases, probably because more solvent molecules are
102 Principles

When trace quantities ofmaterials are extracted, it is necessary to evaporate most of the solvent to concentrate Ihe
desired compound for further analysis. This can be difficult to do withQut losing the desired compound as well. The two
most common ways of removing large volumes of solvent without appreciable loss of the desired compound are a
Kudema-Danish concentrator and a rotary evaporalor. The fonner is preferred for low-boiling solvents « 100 "C.
acetonitrile. aceione, methylene chloride), and the lalter for higher·boiling solvents. A Kuderna-Danish concenrrafor
is shown in Figure 9-6.

~ ~
•f1 """"
c....... •

~ •
J MIle:>
Figure 9-ti. A Kudema-Danish
_ -4- (COUr1esy • Ace Glass Co., Vineland, NJ)
SM(ll~ Colleeu H~re

The bottom collector is held in place by

two small springs. The extract is placed in the flask, and the Snyder column attached. llle apparatus is placed in a steam
bath, so that the collector is in the steam and hot water. If the solvent boils at a low tempeTllture, do not increase the heal
at a later time or it may bump vigorously and come apart. (fyou add fresh solvent to wash the Snyder column, add a
fresh boiling chip. The boiling chip is not a problem laler on. The solvent is evaporated to very near dryness, and then
any solvent desired is added by a microliter syringe to the volume desired.
With a fatty compound and/or a large amount of solvent, use two Snyder columns placed we on top of the other,
because the sample may foam out the top of a single column.
A rolary evaporator is shown in Figure 9-7, and severallllT8J1gements are shown in Figure 9-8, p. 103. The
complete apparatus consists ofthe rotary evaporator, a healing bath, a cooling bath, R refrigeration Wlit or coolill£ water,
8 pressure gauge, and a vacuum pump. The rotary evaporator itselfconsists oftwo mond bottom (r.b.) nasks. a hollow

rotating lube, a motor, and a condenser. The extracted sample is placed in the r.b. nask on the right, which is Ihen
attached to the rotnting rube. TIle condenser and collecting nask are
attached and refrigerant (cooling water) is passed through lhe
condenser. The entire apparalus is lowered until the r.b. nask
containing the sample is immersed in a water bath with the water
heated to some low lemperalUfe (35 "C for loluene). Vacuum is
applied; and the apparatus, turned on. The nask in the waler bath
slowly rotates, and a thin film of the solvent and sample coats the
inside of the nask. This coating provides a thin layer and a large
evaporating surface. The vacuum reduces the pressure 10 enhance
Ihe evaporalion rate. The condenser liquifies the vapors thai are
collected in the collector flask., which can be immersed in a
refrigerant as well. Apply the vacuum slowly at first until the
sample is degassed and low boilers are removed. Increase the
vacuum until a steady CV8JX.117ltion is taking place. For reproducible
Figure 9-7. A Buchi type rotoevaporator.
results, a pressure gauge is recommended.
(Courtesy· Thomas Scientific Inc., Swedesboro. Nl)
Elltnu::tion • h~lch lheory ,.3

_]A~j _J,~j _,'jc~j

Figure 9-8. Several configurations for a Buehi/Brinkman rOlocvaporator. (A) Diagonal

condenser. (B) Vertical condenser. (C) Two-piece cold-lrap condenser. (S) S~ial distribution
(Courtesy· Fisher Scientific Co., Pittsburgh, PA)

Referring to Figure 9-8. Assembly A has a sturdy, diagonally positioned, tap water-cooled condenser. This is
the mosl versatile arrangement and ideal for simple distillation ofsolvents. Assembly B has a vertical tap, water-coolcd
condenSC1", ideal for higher boiling solvents. It is more compact than assembly A. Assembly C features a tw()-pilXe, cold-
trap condcnscr that uses coolant (dry ice/acetonc or mechanical refrigeration). It is particularly well suiled for low
boiling solvcnts and for conditions in whi<:h a tap water-cooled condenser is insufficient. Assembly S is equipped with
a vCrlicaltap water-cooled condenser and special stational)' distribution head with a polytctranuorocthylcne (PTFE)

This technique was developed primarily to help identify pesticides in foods. There is no reason why it could not
be cxtcndcd to other compounds found in foods or even other malcrials.
Sometimes, Ihe gas chromatographic retention times of two or more materials are so close that an identification
is difficult., even iflwo different columns have been used. A thin layer chromatography separation (Chapter 22) then
can be used, but this generally requires a lengthy cleanup and concentration because of the small (nanogram) samples
involved. A much quicker method is the use of P-values. This method is based on the distribution of the pesticides
between two immiscible phases.
The procedufC ofBeroza and Bowman, Anal. Chern. 37, 291, 1965, which follows, shows how it is done. Assume
a hexane-acetonitrile system. A 5.0 mL aliquot ofthe upper phase containing a given pesticide is analyzed by gas-liquid
chromatography. To a second 5.0 mL aliquot in a graduated, glass-stoppered, 10.0 mL centrifuge lube is added an equal
volume of lower phase, the lube is shaken for ahoul I minute, and the upper phase is analyzed exactly like the first 5.0
mL aliquot. The mlio of the quantitative results of the second analysis to those ofthc first (peak areas or heights) is the
P-value. This is the amount of the pesticide in the upper phase (second analysis) divided by the total amount of
peslicide (first analysis). Table 9-1. p. 104. shows how valuable this can be; o.d-DDT and TDE have identical retention
Aliquols of the equilibrated phases arc measured with volumetric pipets, and the phase volume is noted before
and after equilibration. Emulsions are separated by centrifugation. After the distribution, the upper phase is passed
through a 2.5 em layer of anhydrous Na~S04 to dry the solvent.
The P-value is quite reproducible (±O.02), providing the two phases arc saturatcd with each other before
distribution. Table 9-2 shows P-values ofseveral insecticides (Beroza and Bowman).
104 R"iew questions

Table 9-1. P·values of two insecticides having indistinguishable retention times

TDE = !etr1lchlorodiphenylethane)

Extraction Systems

Hexane I"""",,~

Cyclohexarte 90"-' Dimelhyl 80% Dimethyt

Compound Methanol SulfoxKle Formamide

a,o'-DDT 0.61 0.55 0.44

TOE 0.37 0.08 0.16

Table 9-2. P-valucs ofscvcral insecticides

I-Iexane 85 %Aq. 01· lsooctane
I-Iexane 9O%Aq. Dj- _yl Dimethyl
PeSlicide Acetonitrile ITlCthyl Sulfoxide Formamide Formamide

Aldrin 0.73 0.89 0.86 OJ8

Carbophenolhion 0.21 0.35 0.27 0.0<
Gamma Chlordane 0.40 0,45 0.48 0.14
p.p'-DDE 0.56 0.73 0.65 0.16
a.a-DDT 0.45 0.53 0.42 0.10
p.p'-DDT 0.38 0.40 0.36 0.08
Dieldrin 0.33 0.45 0.46 0.12
Endosulfan I 0.39 0.s5 0.52 0.16
Endosulfun II 0.13 0.09 0.14 0.06
Endrin 0.35 0.52 0.51 0.15
I-Icptuchlor 0.55 0.77 0.73 0.21
I-Ieptachlor epm:ide 0.29 0.35 0.39 0.10
I-I-Iydroxychlordune 0.Q7 0.03 0.06 0.03
Lindane 0.02 0.09 0.14 0.05
TDE 0.17 O.OR 0.15 0.0<
Telodrin 0.48 0.65 0.63 0.17

Many variations and special apparatus have been developed over Ihe decades to solve specific problems and to
do exlraetions more efficicntly. Several of lhcsc are solvent heavier than water (Chapter 10); solvent lighter than water
(Chapter 10); continuous countercurrent (Chapter 11); solid phase extraction (Chapter 12); liquid-solid cxtraction,
microwave heatcd solvents (Chapler 10); and supercritical fluid extraction (Chapter 13).
Ellracdon • hatch theory lOS

1. What is a tincture?
2. What is C in Ihe Gibb's phase rule?
3. Whal is a partition cocfficicm or Ihe distribution ratio?
4. TIle Aldrin in 8 sample orslrawberrics was exlracled with hexane and concentrated 10 5.0 OIl. Five OIL of9O"1o
dimcthylsulfoxide (DMSO)(consider as the waler layer) was added, and it was found that 83% ofthe Aldrin was
in the hexane layer. What is the distribution ralio oflhis compound between Ihese solvents?
5. Whal is the one basic requirement for a compound to be extracted?
6. What is the difference between a chelate and a complex?
7. Is it possible to predict the D ofa system if you know the solubilities of each componenl?
8. What is synergism?
9. Iron ronns a chelate that will extract into nitrobenzene with a D of3. What % of the iron will be extmcled from
a 25 mL sample if 10 OIL ofnitrobcnzene is used?
10. In problem 4, it was found Ihat83%. ofthe Aldrin was ex:tracted in one e"'traction whcn the volumes were equal.
Assume you wanted 98% oflhe Aldrin to be extracted into the hexane in one extraction. I-Iow many total mL of
hexane must be uscd? (DMSO is the water layer.)
I I. Suppose you know that cholesterol in egg noodles can be c",tracted with ethyl acetate. The D is 0.3 (llSSl.JJI'X:d).
How many 50 mL extractions will it take to remove 95% orthe cholesterol in a batch of egg noodles (20 mL
HP), if they contain 2.0010 cholesterol? Assume a 10.0 g sample.
12. The iodine residue from a water purification compound can be detedcd qualitatively by exlraction into CCI•. If
you have 10.0 OIL of water and 12 has 8 D of 4. what would be the volume of CCI. necessary for a 50010
extraction? What would be the volume ofwalcr necessary for a 98 % extraction if 5.0 mL ofCCI 4 were used?
Is Lhis practical?
13. Iron intcrferes with most analyses for vanadium, chromium, molybdenum, and titanium and must be removed.
Femc iron can be extracted into ether from a 6 N Hel solution with a D of II O. If 0.3 g of iron were present in
150 OIL ofHCI solution (water layer), how many mL of ether would iltake to ensure lhat no more than 1.0 mg
of Fe remained aftcr one extraction?
14. Arsenic compounds are very good as sprays for apple trees. " is desired to perfonn a quantitative extraction (1.0
mg left) ofa 0.2 & sample of arsenic as the dibenzoylmethane chelate. What must be the panition coefficient. if
not more than three exlr'dctions can be performed and the volume ofCHCl l is 25 OIL for cach 50 OIL of H20?
15. Bismuth alloyed with tin or cadmium is used as a low melting alloy in automatic sprinkler systems for fire
prevcntion. A typical alloy conlains 30% Bi. If an 0.80 g sample is dissolved in 50 mL of acid and a chelate
fonned. how many extractions employing 20.0 mL ofbcnzene will be required to reduce the Hi concentration 10
0.0001 g? Thc chelate has a D of 1.4.
16. How much more effective will four extractions using 5.0 OIL of I·hexanol be than using one 20.0 mL portion?
Assume a 10.0 mL volume orwater, a D of2, and a sample of 0.5 g.
17. What is siripping? What value of D do you want 10 do this?
18. What is an inversion when referring to 8n extraction?
19. What is the difference between a masking agent and a sequestering agent?
20. What is the purpose of a Kudema-Danish apparatus?


Many materials have such low distribution ralios that neither separatory funnels nor the"older, no longer
commercially available, Craig apparatus are praclicallO use. What is needed is a continuous extraction with an apparatus
that can be left unallended for long periods of time. Several different approaches arc described in this chapler.
To have a high efficiency in a OOnlinuous extraction, the following factors are beneficial:
8. A large surface area of contacl between Ihe two phases.
b. A long contact time.
c. A high relative volume ofextractant 10 solvent.
d. A high D.
With low Os, a large volume ofextracting solvent is needed. However, it can be Ihe same solvent used over and
over, ifit is evaporo:ltcd from the extract between uses. A 50 mL sample may have 50 mL of extraction solvent initially
employed for an aclual ratio of I: I. Ifhowevtt, the solvent is redistilled and reused 20 times, then the relative volume
is 1,000 10 50 or a 20: I ratio. A high 0 is desirable, but if you had a high D. then a continuous extraction probably
would not be necessary.

Continuous EXlractol'" Efficiencies

TIle efficiency of conlinuous extractors is measured by the halfextraction volume. determined as shown in Figure
10-1, p. 108. This is the volume of extracting solvent required to reduce the amount of the desired compound in the

sample to one-half of its original concentration. A distribution factor, k, can be used to evaluate individual systems.

0.693 IV

Concentration ofsolutc in the extracting solvent

where k,. ~-~-_.~----~---.------------~'c--,-­
Concentration of solute in the original solution
w= the original solution volume and V= the half extraction volume.

Although k often is close to D, k is seldom cqualto D because the extraction conditions for continuous extractions
are not as easily defined or controlled as wilh a single extraction system, and in many ca"es, true equilibrium is not
attained. k more often approaches D when D is small.

EXAMPLE CALCULA:A.TI~:OnNN'------~--~rr------""'-"'---"",-,
A comparison d( m'o extractors is to be made. SO mL ofsmnpJe soLution COIltafning S.O mg of caffeine require~
900 mL ofCCI. to J"Cduce the concentration to 2.5 mg 10 extractor A. Extrnctor B requires 1275 mL ofte\. 1O:reduct
6.0 mg to;:to mg in a 7.5 mL sample. Whi,ch extractor is best and what is the k. for.each system?
. ' . .
lOS Technique

• 18 tnJ:JtnL. .

B IS slliNlY'bel1et•

5.0 B" 1/2 A IUld V is the
difference In \'Olume.

.• - . ! • • _ • • • • _ - . - . - B

, ,

· Figure to-I. Diagram showing
how the halfextraction volume is

Commercial Extractors
A true continuous extraction requires that fresh solvent continuously flow through the sample and lhal fresh
sample be continuously flowing in the opposite direction. Iftne system is designed pwpcr1y. the compound of
interest will be completely extracted from the sample just .... the sample reaches the end of the appanllus, and the
extracting solvent will be saturated with the extracted compound when it reaches the end oflhe apparatus, Sevenll
such continuous countercurre1lt extractors are shown in Figure I()..2,

LOOiM """Ill .....

Figure t6-2. Continuous
countercurrent extractors -
(Courtesy - R.E. Kirk and D.F,
Othmer, Encyclopedia ofChemical
Technology. John Wilcy & Sons.
New York. NY, 1980)
Conlinuous utraClion 109

• " II

Figure to-3. Continuous countercurrent

extractors - mechanically agitatcd.
(Courtesy - R.E. Kirk and D.F. OIhmcc-.
Encyclopedia 'If Chemico/ Technology. John
Wiley & Sons. New York. NY. 1980)
..... 0kllI'uI- _ _

The following diagrams are hopefully self-cxplunatory. To improve the efficiency of the extraction. mechanical
agitation often is added. Figure 10-3 shows sevend arrangcments of these types of exlractors. These arc divided into
rotary and reciprocating types.
According to the authors in thc EncyclopediaqfChemical Teclmology. "The Scheibel column (A) was developed
in 1948. Alternate compar1ments are agitated with impellers. whereas the others are packcd with an open wovcn wire
mesh. Columns up 10 2.6 m in diameter are in service.
"The fOwting disc contactoc (B), developed in me Nelherlands in 1951, uses the shearing aelion of a rapidly
rotating disc to interdisperse the phases. These have been used in Ihe petrochemical industry for furfural and SOl
extraction. propane deasphalting, sulfolane extraction for the separalion of aromatics from aliphatics. and caprolaelam
purification. Columns up to 4.3 m in diameter are in service.
"The Oldshue-Rushton column (C) was developed in the carly 1950s and has been widely used in the chemical
industry. It consist.. essentially ofa number ofcompartments separated by hori7.ontal stator-ring baffles. each fined with
ver1ical barnes and a turbinc-type impeller mounted in a central shaft Columns up to 2.7 m in diamcter have been
"The reciprocating plate extractor (D) is a vibrating Iype developed in the 1940's. TIle Open perforated
reciprocating plate columns consist ofa stack ofperforaled and baffle plates with a free area ofabout 58%. The central
shaft suppor1ing the plates is reciprocated by means of a drive mechanism
located at the top of the colwnn. These columns are used in the
pharmaceutical. petrochemical and waste water Ireatment industries and
columns up to I m in diameter are in service."

Laoo.-atol')'-siz.e Extnctol"S c
The industrial-scale apparatus shown in Figures 10-2. p. 108. and
10-3 are excellent for applications involving large volumes of sample.
However, most laboralory eXlraclion problems involve extractions of a
limited amount of sample - a botch extraction. The apparalUs described in
this chapter are simple. efficient, and economical for laboratory use and
require small volumes ofsolvent. Small solvent volumes are advantageous
because of (I ) lower initial solvent costs, (2) less time spent removing the
solvent when the extraction is finished, and (3) less solvent to worry about I" Solvent
disposing of according to EPA regulations. F
With low CIs, a large volume of extracting solvent is needed.
However. it can be the same solvent used O\'tt and over. A typical
laboratory-scale extractor for use with solvents heavier than water is
shown in Figure 10-4.
An extractor that operates on lhe same principle. but for microscale
extractions. is shown in Figure 10-5. p. 110.
Referring to Figure 10-4. the solvent is placed in the flask, A, and
heated. The vapor rises to B and then up to C, ",,'here it is condensed. The Figure 10-4. A continuous solvent-
liquid cannot get back in the flask because of the seal at B and runs into heavier-than-water extractor.
110 Te<:hnique

the extractor, D. The liquid drips through the water layer (sample), E, and collCCls
at F. The excess solvent containing the extract runs out the bottom at F and
back into the flask. This is a continuous process with the extract collecting in the
Oask. If chlorofOfTTl is used. caffeine can be extracted easily from cola beverages in
aOOul45 minutes to an hour.
Figure I ()..6 is a photograph of a continuous heavier-than-water extractor with
a built-in concentrator.


Figure 16-5. Microscale
Continuous extractors using solvenls lighter than water follow the same
(Courtesy - Ace Glass Co., principles as described in the abovc section, except that the apparatus must be
Vineland, NJ) modified to handle the less dense extraction solvent. Figure 10-7, p. I J I, shows
several types of apparatus: Refer to the right apparatus. The sample, usually
dissolved in water. is placed in the reservoir at A to fill it to less than half full. The
extraction solvent, usually diethyl ether. is placed in flask B. Flask B is healed by a
heating mantle wilh the temperature controlled by a variable tmn...fonner. When the
solvent is heated. it cvaporates and goes up through the apparatus to the condenser
(C). where it is condensed. The condensed solvent drips into the collecting funnel
(D) and gradually fills the tube. When the solvent level gets sufficiently high to build
up enough pressure., it will force the solvent out of holes in the bottom of the
collecting tube (E). TIle solvent. being lighter than water, will slowly rise up
lhrough the sample. extracting compounds as it rises. To prolong the rise, the drops
ofsolvent are forced around lhe spiral on the collecting tube. The solvent and extract
collect on top of the water layer. Eventually. enough solvent will collcct to fililhe
tube, and it will drain (F) back into flask B. where the process continues. There are
two problems. One, if too much sample is placed in A, the weight of the solvent
might no( be enough to force droplets out the bottom of the colleclor tube. Two, the
refractive index of dicthyl ether is about the same as that of water, so it is hard to
determine if the extraction is actually working. Look closely. If the solvent starts to
run over the funnel at D, then remove some of the sample.

Some applications ofseparations involving these extractors are the separation
of henna from hair dyes with ethyl acetate. the isolation of lacLic acid from rOUen
eggs with diethyl ether. the removal of excess iron from sleel samples as FeCl~',H'
with diisopropyl ether, and the removal oflhe aeids from the hydrolysis of rosins
with diethyl ether.
Figure 10-8, p. J II. isa diagram 0 fa microscale continuous extractor. Figure
10·9. p. III. i!> a diagram of an extractor lilat ean serve 3.<; both a solvent-heavicr or
a solvent-lighter continuOu... extractor by merely switching the solvents in the left·
Figure 10-6. Cominuous
and right-hand flask!>. For a solvent-lighter extraction, "An aqueous mixture is
heavier-than-water extractor
placed in a two liter fla!>k on the lower side ann. A lighter than water solvent is
with built·in cOllcenlrator.
(Courtesy - Kantes Glass Inc., placed in a one liter flask attached to the upper ann. Both liquids are heated to
Vineland. NJ) reflux, vapors arc condensed and passed through the capillary tube. The solutc is
tlllIlsferred to the solvent and both liquids are returned to their original flask. In some
cases it may be
necessary to wrap the side anns to prevent premature eondcnsation. Ifa heavier than
watcr solvent is used, you need only reverse the position of the flasks (Ace glass)."
Continuous utracllon III

r Figure 10-8. Microscale

COnlinuous extractor for
solvents lighter than water.
A (Coones)' - Lab Glass Inc"
R Vineland, NJ )
E •

Figure 10-7. Continuous extrnetors using

solvents lighter than water,
(Counesy - Ace Glass Co.• Vineland. NJ and Lab Glass
Inc.• Vineland. NJ)

Figure 10-9. Solvent heavier-

solvent lighter continuous
(Courtesy - Ace Glass Co.• Vineland NJ)

In ancient times, water was used to remove alkalies (KOH, NaOH) from wood ashes. a process known as
fixiviorion. Later on, the process for partially dissolving a solid material to remove a desired component wa!\ called
leaching, a tenn still used by industry. Chemists prefer the tenn liquid-solid exfraction to distinguish the process from
liquid-liquid extraction,
The major difliculties with a liquid-solid extrnetion were that the distribution ratios of the desired products were
low; the process was slow; and large amounts of solvent were required, which then had to be removed. What was
desired was an apparatus that could (I) hold finely divided solid particles so a large surface area could be exposed, (2)
112 Techniques

continuously pass solvent over those particles. and (3) somehow

use a small amount of solvent over and over.
The most convenient laboratory-size apparatus for
Iiquid·solid extraction in the one developed by Franz Ritter von
Soxhlet (socks-let), a Gennan agricultural chemist (1848-1926).
This is shown in Figure 10-10.
This apparatus can be made in several sizes from 125 to
5000 mL. It is commercially available. costing from $100 to $BOO
for a complete glass portion of the apparatus.
The apparatus consist" ofa heating device (A) and a solvent
reservoir and extract flask (B), which will be a round-bottomed
flask ifa heating mantle is used. 01'" a flat-bottomed Florence nask
if a hot plate is used to supply the heat. The healing mantle's
temperature is controlled by a variable transfonner (C). An
extraction chamber (D) is placed on lOp of B and contains a
porous paper extraction thimble (E). Figure 1Q..11. Porous ceramic
extraction thimbles are also available. The sample (F) is placed
inside of the thimble and covcn:d with a small amount of glass
wool (G) to spread out the extraction solvent and reduce
channeling during the extraction. A condenser, usually an AlIihn
type (H), is connected to the top of the extraction chamber.
J When the solvent is heated. it will go up the side ann (I). be
E condensed, and drop onto the sample. When the solvent level
reaches (J).the solvent and the matenals it has extracted then will
siphon back into (A), leaving a few milliliters at the botlom of
(D). The process then repeats it"e1f. The solvent is distilled from
F the extracted material, so fresh solvent is always dripping onlO the
sample. After each cycle, the extract becomes a little more
concentrated in the flask. Figure 10-12 is a pholo ofa commercial
multiple unit for the extraction offat.

c I. Never fill the reservoir flask more than two--third.'l full at the
start. The expansion and boiling can cause spillover
2. Place a plug of gla"s wool over the top of the sample after
it has been placed in the thimble. This spreads oul the
dripping solvent for a more uniform extraclion and also
Figure 10-10. A Soxhlet extractor. prevcnts some samples from floating.
(Courtesy - Ace Glass CO., Vineland, NJ) 3. 00 the ether evapof<llion in a hood. so the dense ether
fumes are drawn away from the hot plate. Rarely if high
concentrations of the fumes come in contact Wilh the
heating coils. a fire may start. Have a fire
eXlinguisher h..'lndy· just in ca."e.

Ifyoo have many liquid-solid extractions to perform and can
afford more expensive apparatus. then microwave-as.."isted
extractions should be seriously considered. The sample is placed in
a sealed Teflon container and heated with microwave energy. The
figure 10-11. Extraction thimbles. increased temperature andpressure permiJ a vary rapid extraction.
(Courtesy. Ace Glass Co., Vineland, NJ) l.J. Barnabas, J.R. Dean. I.A. Fowlis, and S.P. Q\.\.·en.
Continuous extraction 113

Figure 10·12. A Buchi model8JO

multiple-unil Soxhlel extmClor.
(Courtesy - Brinkman Instruments. Westbury.

Analyst, 120, 1897 (1995) slate, "Microwave energy is a non·ionizing radiation thaI causes molecular motion by
migration of ions and roration ofdipoles, but does not increase changes in molecular slructure. It has a frequency range
of 300 - 300,000 MHz with four frequencies u.'>Cd for industrial and scienlific purposes, the most common being 2.450
MHz which is used in all domestic microwave units.
"In organic microwave sample preparation, dipole roUltion refers to the alignment, due to Ihe electric field, of
molecules in the solvent and sample that have pennanent dipole moments. As Ihe field decreases. thennally induced
disorder is restored which results in thermal energy being released. At 2,450 MHz. the alignment ofthc molecules
followed by their return to disorder occurs 4.9 x 10~/second, which results in rapid heating. The polarizability of the
solvenl molecules obviously depends on the nature of the solvent and its relative permittivity. Therefore the greater the
relative pennittivity the more thennal energy is released and thc more mpid the healing is for a given frequency. Non-
polar solvents. such as hexane and toluene, with low relative pennittivities are not affecled by microwave energy and
therefore require polar additives if they arc to be used as solvents in microwave extraction.
..Polarizability: Some molecules in Ihe presence of electric fields (E) can have a dipole moment (m) induced.
m= a£ (10-2)
"The proportionality constam, a, is called the molecular polarizability. E has the dimensions q (charge) x em'?
and m is q x cm so a is a volume measurement and is of the order of 10.24 cm).
"Permittivity: In Coulombs Law relating the force of repulsion between two charges:

e is the absolute pennittivity ofthe medium and the ratio e/€..
= K or the dielectric constant."
114 Tec:hniqucs




• ·
• 8 10 It l'

Figure 10-13. Microwave heating of Figure 10-14. A CEM Co. model MES 1000 microwave
CH 2Cl1 in a closed vessel. extraction unit.
(Courtesy - CEM Co., Mathews, NC) (Courtesy - CEM Co.• Mathews,. NC)

"A typical Soxhlet extraction, by conductive healing will be completed in 5-6 hours. Alternatively, closed vessel
extractions by microwave heating can be completed in 15 minutes. The difference is due to the sample heating method.
[n conductivity heating. vaporization at the liquid surface causes a thermal gradient to be established by convection
currents and only a small portion of the liquid is at the temperature of the heat that is applied to the outside of the vessel.
I~owever, microwaves heat all ofthc sample simultaneously without heating the vessel. Therefore. with microwave
heating the solution reaches its b.p. very rapidly. Also, because the solvent is in a seared system, it is capable of reaching
a far greater b.p. than at atlTlospheric pressure. Polar solvents, such as acetone and dichloromethane. arc heated to
approximately 100 "c above their nonnal b.p.s. It is these high extraction solvent temperatures combined with rapid
heating which increase extraction efficiency and therefore greatly reduce extraction time."
Figure I0-13 shows how fast dichloromethane (b.p. 40 "C) can be heated and its final tempermure at 200 psig.

Figure 10-14 shows a 12-position unit. Figure 10-15 shows the
units in more detail, Figure 10-16 shows a cross-sectional diagram ofa
prcssurc-and-temper<lture sensitive cell, and Figure 10-17 shows the
details of the infrared optical temperature probe. The vessels are
normally Tenon lined. of 100 mL volume, and capable of operating at
200 °c and 200 psig. Typical sol\lent systems are hexane-acetone (I: I).
hexane-methanol (I: I), and dichloromethane. TIle fiberoptic tell1pcratW"C
control is constructed of high-purity fused silica.. is microwave
tmnsparent, and is thcnnally and electrically nonconductive. The
tempcmtures can be set over a 0-2oo"C range with an accur<lcy of 1%
full scale. 11 is immersed directly into the reaction process for quick
response. Either the tempemture or the pressure is set as a limit. and thc
hcating will shut off when these levels are altained. In addition. the unit
has a ruptUI"C membrane as an additional safety fcature.
Figure 10-15. Twel\le lined \lessels. Microwave heating requires less sol\lent 10 purchase. ooncentrdte,
containment holder. and temperature and and discard. Tests have shown Ihat 530 microwave extractions can be
pressure probes. perfonned with the same amount of sol\lent a<: J2 Soxhlet extmctions.
(Courtesy _ V. Lopez-Avla, R. Young, and
Using 16 L of acetone at a cost of $125. 32 Soxhlet extractions cost
W.F. Beckert, Anal. Clu!m., 66 (7). 1097,
$3.90 each. whereas the 530 microwave extractions cost $0.24 each.
Continuous ~:llIracrion lIS

Figure 16-16. Lined vessel with temperature and Figure 10-17. The CEM fiberoptic
pressure control. probe.
(Courtesy - V. Lopez-Avila. R. Young. and W.F. Beckl"l1. (Courtesy - CEM Co., Mathews., NC)
Anal. Chem., 66 (7), 1097. 1994)

I. Explain how anyone of the agitating extractors operates.
2. What factors arc necessary to have a highly efficient continuous extraction?
3. If a continuous extraclOr operates for 2 hours at a distillation ratc of2 drops/second of fresh extracting solvent,
what is the halfextraction volume, if we assume the sample is halfextracted in 50 minutes? Assume I drop = 0.05
4. If the original sample volume in problem 3 was SO mL, what is the k value?
S. Refer to the cola nut analysis in Ex~riment 13, Appendix A, and detennine what the concentration ofcafTcine
is in ppm.
6. Ustthree solvents other than chlorofonn that could be used in a heavier-than-water extractor.
7. What is the solubility ofcaffeine in water? (Merck Index or CRe Handbook)
8. What is the solubility of caffeine in chlorofonn? (Merck Index or CRC Handbook)
9. The absorbance of 5.0 mg of caffeine standardl2S mL of acetone had an absorbance of 0.225. The absorbance
for the extracted caffeine from 50 mL of a cola soft drink diluted to 25 mL is 0.532. What is the concentration
of caffeine in ppm, ifyou assume 1 mL of the soft drink = I g?
10. A mocha raw coffee is estimated to contain 1.1% caffeine. Fifty mL of hat water is used to extract the caffeine
from the coffee along with several other compounds from a 10.0 g sample. If 5.0 mg caffeine125 mL of acetone
produces an absorbance of 0.225. what size aliquot of the sample extract should be taken to provide a final
absorbance in the 0.225 range?
II. A common problem with this type ofapparatus is that too much sample is placed in the tube. If this is the ca."e,
what will happen when the solvent is distilled?
12. What is the purpose of the spiral glass on the one type of apparatus shown in Figure 10-7, p. III?
13. What are three other liquids lighter than water that could be used with this type of extractor?
14. Examine the right extractor in Figure 10-7, p. 111, and explain how it works.
15. Examine the extractor in Figure 10-9. p. III, and explain how it works.
16. In the early days of anesthesia, diethyl ether was a favorite. Can you suggest an explanation as to why people in
Ihe operating room had to wear shoes that could be grounded?
t 16 Techniques

17. The following has happened enough times in the evening to make it worth discussing. Proper laboratory safety
procedures will eliminate this problem, but it still seems to happen occasiooally. Dieth)'1 ether was used during
the day and the excess poured down the sink. Sometime later, a cigarette butt was thrown into the sink. often by
janitors. and there was quite an explosion. Expillin how this could happen? Usually no one gelS hurt badly, but
hair is sonletimes singed, and the noise scares the - - out of you.
18. A 10 mL sample of IpecllC was treated as in Experiment IS. For the titration, S.OO mL of 0.1500 N H2S04 was
added. which then required 31.60 mL of 0.02S N NaOH 10 reach the endpoinl. The blank was 2.20 mL. How
many mg of Ipecac alkaloids, calculated as emetine, ",,-ere present? This bottle had the same label as that in the
example calculation. What are your conclusions?
19. What is leaching?
20. Why is a piece of glass wool placed over the sample during the extraction?
21. What causes Msiphoning"?
22. What are two characteristics that make microwave-heated extraction faster than an ordinary solvent-heated
23. What is the most common frequency used in most domestic microwave units?
24. How fast do the average molecules restore themselves after being disordered in an electric field?
25. Why is acetone or methanol added 10 hexane as an extraction solvent in microwave-heated extraction?
26. What is meant by polarization?
27. What is meanl by penninivity?
28. What prevents a microwave-heated vessel rrom exploding?


Note: TIle diagrams and lext for the following discussion were abstracted from lhe many papen OrOT. Y. Ito; from the text
by Y. Ito and N. Mandaya, Countercllrrent Chrommography, Theory and Practice (Marcel Dekker, New York. 1988); and from
discussions with Dr. Walter Conway of Stale University orNew York at BuITalo.

Countercurrent extraction is a liquid~liquid partition system in which no !;(llid matrix is required to hold the
stationary phase. R.E. Cornish, Archibald, R.C., Murphy, E.A. and Evans. H.M., Ind. Eng. Chern.• 26. 397 (1934) are
credited with the first successful appanllus. In 1966. Ito, Y., Harada. R., Weinstein, M.A.• and Aoki, I. in
/kakilwigakuzaski, 36, I (1966) and in Nature 212, 985 (19M) developed the first coil-planet centrifuge. This was
fotlo\VCd in 1981 by a multilayer ammgement (Ito., Y, J. Chromatogr., 214, 122), which is the centerpiece oftoday's
apparatus. The coil-planet amlngemcnt (Figure 11·1) sets up an unsymmetrical centrifugal force, which can cause
immiscible liquids in the coil to counterflow and produce extensive nlixing in sections of the coil. While it may have
only 500 plates compared to the several thousand of a high perfonnance liquid chromatograph, it has a much larger
capacity; and because the stationary phase is so large, it can provide a sharp separation with a wide variety of partition
This technique usually is nol as good as high perfomlance liquid chromatography, but if you need mg to g
quantities rather than nanograms, then this is a technique to seriously consider. It has been applied to all types of
compounds. To quote Dr. Walter Conway, ..It is good for both polar and non·polar organic materials as well as
inorganic mixtures such as the rare earths. U has been applied 10 many classes of compounds., including agricullural
chemicals., alkaloids, amino acids, peptides, proteins, antibiotics, drug metabolites, dyes, food products, flavonoids,
glycosides, herbicides, pesticides, phannaceuticals, optical isomers, saponins, tannins, metals and Olhcr inorganic
"Basically, the method retains a stationary phase in a coiled column by centrifugal means while a mobile phase
is passed through it. Highly efficient mixing is accomplished by rOlating the column within the centrifugal force field.
In other words, there are two distinct motions. re"aimionary and planetary, working in synchronization. The
configurntion of the multilayer coil creates force field gradients that allow faster now rates and rapid separation oflarger
volume samples. A seal-free flow-through systCffi facilitates a simple leak·frce continuous elution process.
''The instrument consists ofa motor and an oIT·axis column that rotates in a particular mode of planetary motion.
In this mode, the two liquid phases establish a hydrodynamic equilibrium wherein the stationary phase dominates the
total volume ofthe coil, often exceeding SOO/o ofthe total column volume. Under this equilibrium. the introduced mobile
phase moves with relatively high speed through the column.
"The apparatus can rotate up to 1200 rpm, but speeds in the region of800-1000 rpm are sufficient to maimain
good retention of tile stationary phase. TIle column is "'Ound in layers to provide a centrifugal gradient that further
enhances stationary phase retention. The multilayer coil consists of One continuous winding ofpolytetrnfluoroethylenc
(PTFE) tubing. In some apparatus, the spool cootains more than One coil and these may be connected in series to provide
larger capacity. The columns are easily interchangeable and balancing is easily accomplished with a set of aluminum
and brass discs provided with the system.

118 Principles

"Typically. the two phases of the solvent system are

mutually saturated by shaking in a separatory funnel. The
chosen stationary phase is loaded into the coil in the absence of
rotation. The sample is then injected as a solution in either one.
Or a mixture of both phases. Rotation is then started and the
mobile phase is pumped into the coil. Some stationary phase
will be displaced and the sample constituents will be sepanlled
and eluted in the order of their partition coefficienls. Mass
transfer ofthe solule is promoled by a tmin ofdynamie mixing
Figure 11·1. Diagram of a horizontal flow· zones, generated by the planetary motion of the coil as il rotates
through gear-driven coil-planet centrifuge. on its own axis while traversing a planetary orbit. h
(Courtesy - Mandava, N. and 110, Y., COllnlcrcwrenf On each half orbit as a planet, the stationary phase is
Chrommography. Theory and Pracrice. Marcel Dekker. fon;ed across the tube. This provides for substanlial mixing of
New York, 1988)



Figure 11·2. Components needed for

centrifugal countercurrent
(Courtesy· P.c. Inc.• Po(Omac. MOl

the IwO phases and rapid partitioning. During thc next half
1/2 orbit the stationary phase returns to its original position.
Figure 11-1 is a diagram 10 illustrate Ihc principle ofthc
flow-through coil planet cenllifuge. "The coil holdl.'f revolves
Iwice on ils own axis for each circuit of ils orbit al the same
speed. This planetary mOlion allows continuous elution
through Ihe rmating column and the anti-twisting lnmion
eliminates the use of rOlary seals. h
5/4 Figure 11·2 is a diagram of the component parts needed
for an analysis. There are two main instrument syslcms in
3/2 countercurrent extraction: (1) the hydrostatic equilibrium
syslem and (2) the hydrodynomic equifibrillm system. In the
hydrostatic equilibrium system (HSES). a stationary coil is
placed in a horizontal pOsition. In the hydrodynamic
equilibrium system (HDES), the coil rotales around ils own
2 axis These will be discussed individually in more detail. but
• first, what happens when two immiscible liquids are placed in
a tube and the tube rotated slowly will be examined.
figure 11·3. Countercurrent process of two Refer to Figure 11-3. "The coiled tube at the top is filled
immiscible liquids in a rotating helical coil. with the upper phase (clear) at the head end and the lower
(Courtesy - Mandava. N. and Ito. Y., CollnterCllrrent phase (shaded) in the tail end fonning an interface at the
Chromatography. Theory and Practice. Marcel Dekker, bottom of the coiled tube. When the tube is subjected 10 a slO\\'
New York, 1988) rotation under a gravitational field as indicated. the two phases
Continuous (ntraetion) chromatography '19

Iw ....Jl II...I.... o o
/'i /'i • •
... JI...
"" ""

figure 11-4. TIle HSES system with a high wall Figure 11-5. The HSES system with low wall
affinity. affinity.
(Courtesy - MandavI!., N. and Ito, Y., Coulllet'Cllrrenl (Courtesy. Mandava. N. and Ito, Y.• COlinterClirrent
Chmmalo/?Tophy. Theor)' and Practice, Marcel Dekker, Chromatography. Thcoryolld Practice. Marcel Dekker,
New York, 1988) New Vorl.:, t988)

begin to interchange through the interface. In each half rotational cycle ofthe coil, a new interface is formed 81 the
bottom ofthc adjacent coil loop through which thc countercurrent process continues. The process occurs four times
during two complete rotational cycles when the two phases finally establish the hydrodynamic equilibrium state. At this
stage each coil unit is occupied by approximately equal volumes of the two phases as illustratcd, and thc whole length
ofthc tube contains alternating segments, each about haifa coil unit in length. of the two phases.
"If the sample solution is introduced beforehand at the intcrface of the two phases the solulCS are subjected to an
cfficient continuous partition process and eventually distributed throughout the length ofaltemating segments of the
two phases in thc coil according to their relative partition coefficicnls."


"A model of this basic system is shown in Figures I 1-4 and 11·5. Figure 11-4 shows a system offive coils. The
stalionary coil is first filled with the lower (heavier) phase ofan equilibrated two-phase solvent system and the upper
(lighter) phase is slowly introduced through the end of the coil. The upper phase then pushes the lower phase downward
in the first coil unil IUltilthe interface reaches the bottom of the coil, where the upper phase starts to percolate upward
through the lower phase affected by the gravity. This retains the lower phase in one half of the first coil unit. This
process is repeated in each coil unit to prrxluce alternating segments of the upper and the lower phases throughout the
coil. Once this so-called hydrostalic equilibrium state is established, continued flow ofthe upper mobile phase results
in the replacement of the upper phase only, leaving the lower phase stationary in each coil unit.
"Figurc 11·5 illustrates the similar process when the lower phase is used as the mobile phase. The stationary ooil
is first filled with the upper phase and the IOllier phase is slowly introduced at one end ofthe coil. In this case, the lower
phasc immediately starts 10 percolate dowmwrd through the upper phase by the effect of gravity and quickly reaches
the holtom of the first coil unit. T11e 10Yoocr phase then pushes the upper phase upward until the interface reaches the top
of the coil. This process is repeated in each coil unit to produce alternating segments ofthe two phases throughout the
coil. After this hydrostatic equilibrium state is established, the mobile Im..'Cr phase displaces the lower phase while
retaining the stationary upper phase in each coil.
120 Prindplell

Figure 11-6. Severnl schemes based on the HSES

(Courtesy - M:mdava, N. and Ito. Y.• CounrerCllrrent
Chromarograpny. Theory and Pracrice. Marcel Dekker,
New York, 1988)

"Solutes locally introduced at the inlet of tile coil are subjected to a partition process between the flowing mobile
phase and the retained stationary phase in each partition unit and finally eluted out with the mobile phase accon:ling to
the order detennined by their relative partition coefficients. If the partition process in each partition unit is highly
efficient, this model is expected to yield a partition efficiency close to five theoretical plates.
"Figures 11-4 and 11-5 also illustrate the effects of liquid-wall interaction. When the mobile phase has a strong
wall surface affinity, it flows smoothly along the wall of the tube to form a continuous stream (Figure 11-4). When the
mobile phase lacks the wall surface affinity. it forms multiple droplets into the stationary phase segments (Figure 11-5)."
Figure 11-6 illustrates severnl arrangements based on the HSES system.


This system is the same as the HSES system, except that the coil is slowly rotating around its own axis. This
simple rotation introduces a new feature to the system that involves complex hydrodynamic interactions of the two
solvent phases in the coil. Referto Figure 11-7. (a) "Consider a coil filled with water into which some glass beads and
a few air bubbles are added. A rotating coil exhibits an
Archimedean screw effect. Any object., either lighter (air
bubbles) or heavier (glass beads) than the water. moves toward

- one end of the coil. This end is called the head and Ihe other
end, the tail of the coil."

-- (b) "A similar phenomenon is observed with the two

immiscible solvent phases. such as chlorofonn and waler. A
small amount of the lower (heavier) phase suspended in the
upper (lighter) phase trevels toward the head (lOp) while a small
amount of the upper phase suspended in the lower phase also
travels toward the head of tile coil (bollam). This suggests that
the relative volumes oftlle two phases govern their behavior in
• the rotating coil."
• (c) "A two-phase solvent system introduced in a slowly
rotating coil soon establishes a hydrodynamic equilibrium state
whereby each solvent phase occupies nearly equal space in each
helical tum and any excess of either phase remains al the tail of
the coil."
Now refer to Figures 11-8 and 11-9. p. 121. "In 11-8 lhe
coil is first filled with the heavier stationary phase or the lighter
" slalionary phase (II ~9) and the mobile phase is introduced at
the head of the coil while the coil is slowly rotated around its
own axis (lop). As soon as the mobile phase meets the
Figure 11-7. Motion of various objects in a rohlting stationary phase in the coil, a hydrodynamic equilibrium is
coil. established between the two phases (middle). This process
(Courtesy· Mandava, N, and Ito. V., Countercurrenr continues until the mobile phase reaches the tail of the coil.
Chromatography. Theory and Proclice. Marcel Dekker.
Thereafter, the continued elution results in the displacement of
New Vori.:., 1988)
Continuous (extraction) chromatography 111

Figure 11·8. Coil first filled with lower phase. Figure 11-9. Coil first filled with upper pha<;e.
(Courtesy· Mandava, N, and 110, Y" COlmtercllrrenr (Courtesy. Mandava, N, and Ito, Y., Countercurrent
Chromatography. Theory and Proctice, Marcel Dekker, Chromatography, Theory and Practice, Marcel Dekker,
New York, 1988) New York, 1988)

the mobile phase only and a large amoont of stationary phase is pennanently retained in each helical tum of the coil
(bot/om), Consequently, solutes introduced locally at the head oflhe coil are subjected to an efficient partition process
between the mobile and the stationary phases and separated according 10 their partition coefficients,
"As soon as the mobile phase reaches the first coil unit, the two phases interact to establish the hydrodynamic
equilibrium where one phase with less wall surface affinity is split into multiple droplets which oscillate synchronously
with the coil rotation. While continuous pumping ofthe mobile phase keeps breaking this equilibrium state at the head
end of the coil, the two phases C<'ln quickly react to restore the equilibrium by readjusting their relative volumes in each
coil unit. Thus the stationary phase pushes newly introduced excess amounts orthe mobile phase toward the tail end
of the coil.
"The hydrodynamic system has an advantage over the hydrostatic system in that the rotating coil has no inefficient
free space which is completely occupied by the mobile phase and therefore every portion ofthe coil is considered to
be efficient column space. At any portion of the coil, one of tile phases forms droplets regardless of the choice of mobile
phase. Each droplet becomes an efficient stirrer ofthe other phase by the violent local oscillation."

Resolution is a measure of how well two components are separated, In later chapters, you will learn that it
involves primarily three faclors: k, the capaciJyfactor, «, the selectivity, and N, the number ofplates. In counterCWTCnt
extraction, another tenn is involved, Sf> the fraction ofstationnry phase in the column. Equation 11-1 shows how these
are related. Equation 11·2 is easier to use in practice and gives nearly the same results.

R .. 0.25 (a - 1),fN :::K'-,_-;;----;'"7 (II-I)

(1 S,)
0.5 Kl (<< + t) f- -'-..,,-""'-
122 Principles

where a =- klk, (peak 2 and peak I), K .. (V,,· V..YV•• V..). V R = retention volume in mL. V.. ;;: volume of
the mobile phase in the column in mL. V. =- knO\vn column volume in mL. N'" 16(V/w)', we baseline peak width
in mL (4 0), S,= VIV,.. V, - volume of the stationary phase in the column in mL.

, .
"'101l~,nu..tiallilo_~ .. ~.,...~):lo'+6,:,1~6ori1ll44-9 ',135. There Is ••1i
li!:1"'-*,JI!!l~~ . •


where Vr, and Vr, '" the retention time of the first and second peaks.. respe<:tively. W =- 4 a base width of the

.. ..
Using tHe same data as'in me above example, calculate the resolution.

According to 110.. "CCC is governed by the same equations that apply to all fanns ofchromatogrnphy but., because
the phase volumes are known in CCC.. it is simple to express the equalions in terms of Ihe partition coefficient K =
CIC... where C represents solute concentration in the stationary phase. S, and mobile.. m, phases., rather than the capacity
factor k' = K(VIV..J, where V represents the volume orthe stationary, s, and mobile.. m, phases. Because there is no
supporting matrix, and the column VOlume, V. (column) is known, Inc stationary phase volume can be obtained from
Continuous (extraction) chromalography 123


where the initially displaced stationary phase. Prn' is used to estimate V... The retention equation is

where VR is the retention volume.

"The relationship between K and the cc chromatogram can

be discemed visually from Figure 11-10. TIle universal K- 0 2 3
chromatogram shows the elution of hypothetical solutes with K =
O. I, 2, and 3. When K = 0, the solute spends no time in the
stationary phase and emerges as the mobile phase front, V.... Any
solute with K = I emerges at the column volume, V._ Note that
lhis is the focal point of the countercurrent chromatogram and is
independent ofthe phase volume mtio. This follows directly from
the retention equation; when K = I, V R = V.. + V6 = Vc' Solutes
with higher K emerge at multiples of V•.
"Because V._ will be known, its position on the
chromalogmm can be delennined from the flow rate or fraction " "
e!fluent 10' 75·mI column end S, • 0.67
volumes. It will be a fixed point, but the K = 0 point will depend
on the mobile phase volume. which can be estimated from eilher , I

V". or the emergence of an unretained solute or as simply the first o 6.25 18.75 31.25 43.15
peak or baseline aberration on the chromatogram. The distance "";nutes lor 4 ml/min lIow ,ale
between K - 0 and K = I gives V... which can be laid offbcyond
K = I to give the elution volumes for higher K values. K can be
calculated with the equation: Figure 11-10. Universal cc chromatogram with
volume and time scales for a 75-mL column and SF
vR - Vm (Courtesy· Conway. W.• Shanna, M., and Chen, L.,
V< - Vm (11-5) Dept. of Phannacy, Univ. of Buffalo, Amherst, NY.

A good visual estimate can be made by linearly interpolating between the alxwe index points. Thus, the peak illustrated
by the dashed line on Figure 11-10 has a K of about 0.5 whereas the doned line peak is about 1.5.
"It is interesting to nole that as V", increa<;es. V. will decrease, causing all of the peaks to emerge at the K = I peak
when V", = V" This illuslnltes that resolution depends on the volume of stationary phase retained in the column and Sf
tends to be high in CCC. which partially explains the good resolution often obtained."

EXAMPLEcALCULArION---.-----....- -....- ....- - - . . - - - - . . . ,

V.. for a 12.2 mL coil W""dS fo~ to be 2.1 rnL. The retention volumes for thymol and·carvacrol und(fr conditions.
descri~d in Experiment 16 were 14.8 rn~ and 13\1 q1L, fqI~ctivel>,. Calculate the partiti,?11 ~coeQi~ients •. K,. for each
comppWld. The sub p, refCl'$ ~' ~,~tiCm ~6icienl in~ l;1QIaf~ ,~.i$ d1e)~0l1tU'){~~ fUCtion?,

Carvacrol: K = 71",3·cO'..:mL::::-_-..:2",.I;--:::'"",L· t.IO Thim o1: K," 14.8, mL \2... ~_,. 1.28
'p 121m[ -,~I m£' 13'2-mt. -.2.1.mL
124 .Techniqlle

How can you add sample, mobile phase. or pump these materials into a rotating system without having a rotating
seal? Why would you want to anyway? Ito lisls seven reasons why eliminating a rotating seal would be beneficial.
I. The system is leak free under a high pressure of several hundred psi.
2. It readily facilitates the use ofmultiple·f1ow channels.
3. Samples are free from mechanical damage at the site of the seal.
4. It eliminates the heat dissipation problem at the seal.
S. It eliminates the contamination problem.
6. 11 permils the use of corrosive solvents.
7. It the dead space at the seal, which would cause unnt.-CCSS8ry sample band broadening.
Figure II-II, p. 125, is a diagram ofseveral seal·free designs. They increase in complexity from top left to bottom
right and are divided into three categories based upon their mode of planetary motion. They are called synchronous,
nonplanctary, and nonsym.:hronolls. The anows afe not clear. but note that in I (upper left) the angular rotation of the
planet is opposite that ofthe orbit, whereas in J (lower left), the planet rotates in the same sense as the orbit because this
planet is now inverted. "In the nonplanetary scheme, the coil holder simply rotates around the central axis of the
centrifuge as in the conventional centrifuge system. On the other hand. both the synchronous and nonsynchronous
schemes produce planetary motions of the coil holder; hence they are called coil planet centrifuges (CPC). In the
synchronous schemes the rotalion and revolution of the holder are synchronized to give rotation·revolution ratios of
I: I as in r or 2: I as in J, while in the nonsynchronous schemes the rotational rate of the holder is independently
adjustable with respcet 10 the revolution.
"In scheme I. the holder W1dcrgocs the simplest mode ofsynchronous planetary motion by keeping its axis always
parallel to and at a given distance from the central axis of the centrifuge. In order to avoid the flow tubes being twisted,
the holder synchronollsly counterrotates about its own axis while revolving around the central axis of the centrifuge.
As 3 result; the motion of the holder becomes similar to the circular motion ofa beaker observed when a chemist gently
mixes its contents by hand. This is called the jlow--throllgh CPC and is for both analytical and preparative
separations. It is also analogous to a Ferris wheel motion, since it is exactly like the motion of the cars on the Ferris
wheel. It is also the same motion generdtcd by a vortex mixer.
Scheme I-L has a tilted orientation of the holder that creates a very complex pattern. Each coil unit experiences
two effective forces: the first component acts to trap the stationary phase like the gravity in the basic HSES model, and
the second component acts 10 produce efficient mixing ofthe two solvent phases a.. in the basic IIOES model. Relative
strength of these two force components is detennined by the inclination of the holder. This type is called theallgle rotor
jlow.throllgh CPC and is used mostly for analytical scale separations.
Scheme L is perpendicular to the centrifuge axis and has two components. The second can be minimized by
proper loealion along the holder. This is called the elution centrifuge and is used primarily for analytical scale
Scheme J is an inverted orientation of the holder, the holder rotates about its own axis and revolves around the
central axis ofthe centrifuge at the same angular velocity in the same direction. This produces a quite different pattern
of the centrifugal force field compared to scheme I. displaying either a rotating or an oscillating pa«ern depending on
the location of the point on the holder.


Mandava and Ito list 11 factors that influence the separation:
1. Nwnber of coil units in which the countercurrent process takes place.
2. Internal diameter of the tube used.
3. Rotational speed ofthe coil or "contact time" (the time required for the media to pass through a given number
of the coil units).
4. Centrifugal force applied.
Continuous (extraction) chromarography 125

5. Helical diameter ofthc coil.

. :·.
6. Tubing material.

m .6
7. Sample size.
8. Molecular weighl ~md shape of the ' -'"<·
solute. -~
9. Interactions bcl\Veen two phases and I
inner surface of the tube.
10. Viscosity of the media.
II. Vibration applied to the coiled tube
during partitioning.

Number orCoH Unil~

Figure 11-12 shows the relationship
bctwL-en the number of coils and the inner
diameter of the tube in a coil-planet centrifuge.
Clearly, the efficiency increllses as the IUbing
diameter gets smaller and the number of coils

Inlernal Diameler of Ihe Tube Used

Figure 11-13, p. '26. shows the eITect of
coil diameter. In a large-diameter coil, the
droplets tend (0 accumulate on the side of Ihe
Figure II-II. A series of seal-free flow through centrifuge
coil, whereas with a !>maller-diameter coil, the
schemes and their mutual relationship.
droplet can occupy the space across the diameter
(Courtesy· Mandava, N. and Ito. Y.• Countercurrent Chromatography.
of the coil. Therefore. the efficiency rises in Theory olld P,octice, Marcel Dekker, New York. 1988)
inverse proportion to the internlll diameter.

Conlact Time oflhe Media

Contact time is related to the rotational
speed of the coil unit. As a general rule, the
efficiency rises nearly in proportion to the square
root of the contact time for a given number of
turns of the tube.

Centrifugal Force
The centrifugal force (50 x g to 350 x g)
influences the volume ratio between the upper
and lower phases in the coil unit. Under a given
Figure 11-12. Effects of number of helical turns and
centrifugal force and rotational speed, the m/flme
internal diameter of the tube on partition cOiciency.
ofthe adVllncing phase in Q coil unit decreases as
(Courtesy - Mandava. N. and Ito. Y.. Countercurrent
the tube becomes smaller and/or the Viscosity of Chromatography. Theory and Practice. Marcel Dekker. New
the media increases. York, 1988)

Helix Diameter
An increase in the helix diameter provides a larger capacity. so that larger samples can be run. For a given length
oftube. the partition efficiency decreases wiJh the increase ofthe helix diameter.

Tubing Malerial
The harder the tube, the bener the expected result is. Polytetranuoroethylene (PTFE) is preferred for most organic
solvents because few ofthesc solvents will dissolve in it.
A common coil consists ofa winding of 130 m ofpolytetranuoroethylene tubing, 1.7 nun i.d. x 2.5 rnm o.d. on
l26 Technique

a 5 em wide spool with a 10 em core and an o.d. of 17.8

em, giving a column volume ofabout 300 mL. This is used
• • with an orbital rddius of 10 em. A 15 mL column can e1ut~
a solute with a k "" I in about 10 minutes. This is good for
a preliminary cleanup. A 75 mL column is used for most
applications, and separations take 1-2 hours. The 300 mL
column is used for fine separ.l.tions and can require several
hours, depending on the partition coefficients.
Figure 11-14 is a photograph of a oommercial coil-
planet centrifuge.

Sample Size
As a generall\lle, the sample size can be up to nearly
5 % of the total volume of the media without altering the
Figure II-IJ. Motion of a two-phase solvent system as partition coefficient. The sample is dissolved in one of the
a function of coil diameter. phases and loaded by a sample loop.
(Coul1esy - Mandava. N. and 110. Y., Countert;urrenl
Chromatography. Theory and Practice. Marcel Dekker,
N~w York, 1988)

Figure 11-14. A mullilayer coil-planet

countercurrent chromatograph, model DP-
(COUrlesy - r.C. loc., Potomac, MO)

Figure 11-15 is a pholograph ofa multilayer coil conlaining three windings: 15 mL, 75 mL, and 225 mL. Figure
11-16 is a photograph ofa samplc injection apparatus used 10 foree the mobile phase through Ihecolumn. It is simply
a sample loop injector device where the syringe is used 10 load the loop, which then is injected in the mobile phase
Stream using a Rheodync 6-port injection valve.

Figure II-IS. A triple multi-layer coil. Figure 11-16. Sample injedion system.
(CoUrlesy - P.C./oc., POIomac, MO) (Courtesy - P.C. Inc., Potomac, MO)
Continuous (extraction) dtromatogf1lph)' 127

I. How does the Ito system differ from the older Cl1lig system? Do not try to answer this unless you have a diagrdm
of (l, Cr\\t~ a(l(l\\nltus.
2. What are the distinct moriom: in a coil-planet centrifuge?
J. Why is the column wound in layers?
4. I-low is tne fixed ori(,lll~jion of the helix sample coil maintained?
5. Whm is the difference bl: ',cen the hydrostatic equilibrium system and the hydrodynamic equilibrium system?
6. What causes the mobile phase to break into droplets in the hydrostatic equilibrium system?
7. Considering the rotaling coil, what is the advantage of the hydrodynamic system over the hydrostatic system?
8. What would be the resolution between two components in this case? A 75 mt column was filled with 60 ml of
stationary phase; the first compound came through with a band width ofJ ml after 25 mt of mobile phase had
passed through the column. and Ihe second component had a band width of4 mL after 40 mL of mobile phase
had passed through.
9. When using orbital turns per plate for comparing systems, what tcon is actually used?
10. As V.. increases. V, deere-dSes. What does lhis indicate?
II. V.. for a 12.2 mL coil was found to be 2.8 mL The relention volumes for two spice components were 13.8 and
165 mt-. respectively. What is the partition eoemcient, K". of each compound?
12. What is the basis fot the synchronous scheme of rotation?
13. What is the main usc for scheme L in Figure 11·11. p. 125?
14. How is efficiency related to the internal coil diameter?
15. What is the effect of helix diameter?
16. What is the maximum size sample that can be used without altering the panition mtio?


Solid phase cKlmclion (SPE) is a liquid~solid separation. II was developed commercially by the Walt...-s Co. ;n
[978 and is sold as Sep-Pak. Since Ihen. others have entered the field. The matl.Tial is eit!lt.... a small porous disc. about
Ihe size of a dime. or a small plug. about 1 em in diameter. of silica coated with various compounds. The liquid
containing the desired compounds is pollred through the disc or plug. Usually the desired compounds arc retained and
the impurities pass through. The desired compounds, now highly concentrated and in a much purer (onn, are e1uled with
just a few milliliters of solvent. The type ofcompounds retained is determined by the choice of disc nmlenal. The disc
materials are usually the same as those used for high perfonnance liquid chromatogrdphy (HPLC). but oflarger particle
size. Particle sizes for I-IPLC are from 3 to 10 IJrn in diameter while Ihose for SPE sepamtions are from 40 to 80 ).lm.
The compounds on the particles havt': various cnd caps to provide selectivity. and grdvity now is common with eitht,'f"
low pressure or low vacuum usually being applied. Columns are typically about 10 mm in diamcter and about 75 mOl
long. Figure 12-1. p. 130. summarizes Ihe process.
Solid phase extraction has several advantages over COflventionalliquid-liquid extraction when trace components
are of interest. It is faster. requires less solvent, reduces the need fOl" large concentratioo steps, and is easily automatable.
SevcrallitCfS. ifnecCSSlilY. can be poured through the column. and the trdCe components collected. These can be eluted
with only a few mL ofsolvCllt. so the solvent removal for further concClltration is nearly or completely eliminated.
Howcver. an HPLC column of30 cm can provide 15.000 plates, Where'dS a solid phase disc can provide only 10 to SO
plates. What this means is that a solid phase disc can separate classes of compounds. but I-IPLC can then separate the
compounds within that class. In fact. one of the majOl" uses for SPE is as aclC'dIl-up fOl" HPLC. The sequence is (I) select
the proper size SPE tube. (2) condition the tube. (3) add the sample, (4) wash the packing. and (5) elute the compounds
of interest.
An excellent summary of the tIXhnique and several n.'P"esentative methods arc presented in the Supcleo Guide
(0 Solid Phase Ex/rae/ion. which can be obtained from Supelco, Inc. Bellefoote, PA 16823-0048 (Telephone 1-800-247-


The staning material is usually a glass bead made with a high boron contenl This bofOfl then is leached away.
leaving a highly porotlS particle. The surface ofthis particle (silica) contains many -OH groups. which make the particle
surface quite polar. This type of bead can be used directly to retain polar compounds. However. most organic
compounds are Weakly polar ()l" nonpolar and are not retained. Advanrage is taken ofthe .()H groups to chemically bond
organic molttules to the silica bead. thus making a nonpolar surface. TIle final reaction is called end copping and is used
to aller the selIXtivity of the surface. Tablc 12-1, p. 131. illustrates some eombinations_

130 Prillcipll'$

Retain Compounds of Interest and Let Impurities Pass through Tube

.... ..••

6 ,-."
Retain Impurities and let CorllXM'odS 01 Interest Pass tt-rougtl Tube

. C·' •

..,.. Figure 12-1. A summary ofthc

solid phase exlrdction process.
o 6 (Courtesy - Supcleo. Inc., Bellefonte.

Thc following matcrial is abstr-.tctcd from an article by "'::douard Bouvicr o(Walers Corp. wilh modifications to
fit this chapter. "Can a Sep~Pak cartridge be used as an inexpensivc analytical column? The answer can be found by
cxamining thc fundam,="tal HPLC cquation (sec Chapter 19. p. 190. for ITI(lfC details) for thc resolution between two

R.' 4\l ( "-..::....'.)

k ' I

wherc a is selccfiv;ry, k is the retention factor for the morc retained component, and N is Ihc number ofplates. This
selectivity (enn is a measure of how the two dilTerO'lt components behave on the chromalogmphic site. The higher Ihe
a., Ihe greater the diffCTcncc in chromatogrdphic behavior. 11K: particle surface mat«ial and end cap influence (l. The
retention factor is a measure of how strongly retained the component is. The solution pH and ionic strength are
imponant here. N is a measure orlhe efficiency of the chromalographic system. Thc thickness oflhe disc and the size
of the particles are imponant here. lfone compared a Sep-Pak CHrtridge to a llBondapak analyticaJ colwnn, one would
find a similar a and k for both. The differencc between the twosystcms resides in the N, the number of plates. Typically
a J.lBondapak analytical column (3.9 x 150 mOl) will have approximately 7500 theoretical plates, while a Sep-Pak short-
Solid pha~t extracliOIl 131

body cartridge will have less than 50 platcs. Using the resolution equation, a minimum a can be detennincd for baseline
"Assuming a resolution (·f' .:! (lypieal value for trdSelihC resolution), one can solve the above equation for a and
find thai k = 10; a minimum a of 1.06 is required for baseline resolution on the HPLC system, whereas an a of3.9 is
necessary with a Scp·Pai-. o.:;trtridge. The IIPLC column will be: able to sepantfe componCtlts within a class, whereas the
Scp-Pak cartridge can sep"u:'le one class from aJX)(her. This explains why Sep-Pak cartridges arc used mOSI often in a
step-gradient mode. because one can elute components with high a's in relatively small volumes.

Tablc 12-1. Solid phase extmction phases and recommended uses

(Courtesy - Supclco, Inc.. Bellefonte. PA)

T,be Polarity Classification of

Group Tube Type ,"'"" Compound for Extraction

LC-S OCtyl-bonded silica

LC-IS Oclade<:yl-bondcd silica
I LC-Ph Phenyl-bonded silica Nonpolar to moderately polar
LC-CN Cyanopropyl-bonded silica compounds

LC·Si Silica gel (no phase)
2 LC-Diol Diol-bonded silica
Le-Florisi! Magnesium silicate Polar compounds
Aminopropyl-bondcd silica

LC-CN Carbohydrates, cations

LC·NH~ Carbohydrates. weak anions.
organic acids
LC-SCX Sulfonic acid-bonded silica Strong cations, organic bases
J (strong calion exchanger)
LC-SAX Quaternary amine-bonded silica Strong anioos. organic acids
(strong anion exchanger)
LC-WCX Wcak cation exchanger Weak cations

"A low value ofk (2 ~ less) means the component is not mained. A high value ofk (>10) means the compound
is difficult to elute. For HPLC scpardtions (Chaptc.- 19. p. 183), the chemist tries to alter the Conditions to provide a
k between 4 to 8. A k of 4 means that four column volumes must be:: passed through the column packing to clute that
"Most SPE applications consisl of five basic steps: (I) cartridge conditioning. (2) cartridge equilibration, (3)
sample loading. (4) intcnncdiate elutions or rinses. and (5) product elution. The first step is ofgreatcst importance with
rcvCTsed-phase adsorbents, as they are not easily wetted by water. Typically. acetonitrile or methanol is used to
complctely wet the solid phase support as well as 10 solvate the hydrocarbonaccous ligand. The equilibrium step simply
removcs the organic solvent from the cartridge and prepares il fOl'" the sample. Care must be: taken to prevCtlt the support
from drying at this point in order to keep it completely welted. For this equilibralion and the sample load step. typically
one wants to use conditions that will make the analytes ofintercst adsorb strongly to the sorbent, that is, to drive k -->
oc. (Note that in some SPE applications, loading solvents are chosen to let the analytes of interest pass through the
column unretained. while the interferences arc adsorbed. In this case, one wants 10 drive k --> 0.)
"For the case of strong adsorption. this typically means cquilibmting the cartridge with neat water or aqueous
buffer for a reverst.'<i phase Sep.Pak cartridge. or using a nonpolar solvCtlt such as hexane for a silica cartridge. In
practice, k values are finite. say 100-500. This means that for trace enrichment applications in .which large sample
volumes are passed through a Scp-Pak cartridge, one needs to be:: concerned about sample breakthrough, especially of
the least retained analytc. Consider the case in which k = 500. The retention volume of an injected peak can be
calculatcd from the relation shown in Equation 12·2, p. 132. If V.. = I mL.lhen V, = 501 mL. However, because of peak
132 Principles

dispersion, the component will stalt to elute well before

this volume. If V" = I mL, then V, == 501 ml. However,
because of peak dispersion, the component will start to
clute well before this volume.

k = (12-2)

This is shown grdphically in Figure 12-2. Note that the

more efficient the Sep-Pak cartridge. the greater the
volume one can load before breakthrough. Figure 12-2. A plot of the breakthrough profile for
"If interferences are prCSt."fIt, they can be minimized frontal loading of a sample onto a Sep-Pak with k = 500
or eliminated by implementing a cartridge rinse procedure at different cartridge efficiencies.
and/or choosing an appropriate elution solvent. The (Courtesy - Waters Column,S (I), 2, 1994, Milford, MA)
cartridge rinse step is important to rc.."fIlove more weakly
retained intc..'1'ferences from the components ofintcrest by
using a rinse solvent that is ofsufficient polarity or solvc.."fIt
strength to elute undesired contaminants without co-
e1ulion ofthe desired analytes. Typically, this means using 100,0
a mixture of water (or buffer) and a miscible organic
solvent (such as methanol or acetonitrile) for a reversed 0>,
phase cartridge or moderately polar solvent with a silica

sorbent, such as a mixture of hexane and ethyl acetate.
"For the elution step. the objective is to elute the
analytes of interest in as small a volume as possible •
without also co-eluting more strongly adsorbed
contaminants. However, keep in mind that the more
retained the analyte is, the greater is the elution volume ~, oJ,---....,-L.....J.-:-.L--CC--....,------;
, ] .
required for complete recovery. As a result. the analyte (..-_1"'1
will be more dilute and must be further concentrated, or
the 5t."fIsitivity of the analytical will be less. Figure 12-3. A plot of recovery as a function of elution
"Figure 12-3 shows the effect that k has on the
volume for different k's with N== 20.
volume required for 100010 recovery. When highly
(Courtesy - WateY3" Column. 5 (I), 2, 1994 Milford MAl
adsorbed interferences are not an issue. neat acetonitrile or
methanol can be used to clute the analytcs hom reversed-
phase adsorbcnts. Also. nonpolar solvents such as
methylene chloride can be used on these adsorbcnts for
very hydro-phobic analytes. as long as a cartridge drying
step is first employed to remove all watc..'1'. For silica
adsorbcnts, highly polar c1uents such as neat ethyl acetate,
acetonitrile, or methanol can be used.


"One kc..")' parameter is the flow rate. This is because
mass transfer resistance affects the chrommogmphic
~rfonnance of the Scp-Pak cartridges. At high flow mtes
(or more precisely high linear velocities), the number of ,:'_-,--7"-.-
-._._-~_ _ -.,
plates decreases. Typical flow rates on a Sep-Pak Plus 2J.S078010

Cartridge are 1-10 mUmin. Figure 12-4 shows the effect " - .... """'''..1
that flow rate has on cartridge pcrfonnance for two
different Sep-Pak cartridges, one a C l" the other a tC", Figure 12-4. A plot of the number of plates vs flow rate
One difference between the two adsorbcnts is the particle for Sep-Pak cartridges.
size. The C li material contains 55-105 f.lm bonded silica, (Courtesy - Waters Column,S (I), 2, 1994 Milford, MA)
Solid n:tnu:tion 133

'00' '00'
-,- •
1 !wo

00 ,

.... ,
..:l.O 0 ~ IUl

,~ :100 ~)O 100 <tJ(I )00 -"<I t(lI) Il>lO
Figure 12-5. A plot of recovery as a ftmction of Figure 12-6. A plot of recovery as a function of
volume loaded for an analyte with k = 500. elution volume.
(Courtesy· Walen- Column, 5(1). 2,1994, Milford, MA) (CourtCS)'. Waf""'$ Column, 5 (I), 2., 1994, Milford, MA)

while the fell material contains 37-55 Jlm particles. The figure shows (wo major points. First, the particle size affects
chromatographic pt.'f"formance as one would expect. The smaller diameter particle material results in a higher efficit.'Tlcy
sorbent bed. Secondly, and most important for the SPE method development. the flow ralc affects performance. One
can see from Figure 12-2 that changes in the loading flow ralc can lead to poorer reproducibility. The same is the case
for elution flow rates. Figure 12-5 shows recoveries ooe may expect at different cartridge efficiencies for the loading,
and Figure 12-6 the elution steps. In order to make a method rugged, it is necessary 10 either implement some control
on the flow rote through Ihe Sep-Pak cartridge or develop conditions assuming a maximum loading and elution flow
rate. Figure 12-7 provides a guide on how 10 solve problems in generdl. The letter.; A, B, etc. refer 10 specific
recommendations given in the Supe1co publication referred to previously.

Figure 12-7. Methods ,...

dcvdopmcnl flow chart
based upon compound
(Courtesy. Supclco Jnc., ,., ,..
Bellefonte, PAl


"The linear velocity will change at a given flow rate due to differences in inner diameters. The linear velocity is
proportional to the cross-sectional area of a cartridge or proportional to the square of the cartridge inner diameter. One
must take this into account and scale the flow rate appropriately. For example, the dimensions of the Sep-Pak light
cartridge are 5.44 x 12 mm. The Ld. is -1.9 x less than that ofthe Sep-Pak Plus cartridge, so flow rates must be reduced
by a factor of 3.6 to achieve comparable linear velocities."
114 Techniqlln

The simplest arrangement for doing a SPE is shown in Figure
12-8. A SO mL plastic syringe is fiued into the top of the Sep-Pak
cartridge, which drains into a 10 mL graduated cylinder or Kadema·
Danish bottom. The sample is placed in the syringe and allowed to
gravity flow through the sorbent or is forced through at a measured
rate by adding the plunger and applying pressure. The syringe is
rinsed. and eluting solvent then is placed in the syringe and forced
through the sorbent. This arrangement is not efficient if seveml
samples are being run. Figure 12-9 shows two arrangements. one for
12 tubes and one for 24 tubes on a vacuum manifold. The Supelco
description is: "TIle newly designed vacuum bleed valve offers better
control and sealing via a screw-type mechanism filled with a Teflon
seal. The new, stand-alone cover prevents solvent guides from resting
on the work surface and becoming damaged or contaminated.
~Precise flow control is provided through each SPE tube by
rotating the independent, screw-type valves built into the cover. This
precise control ensures the packing will not dry out in some tubes
while others finish drying."
"A larger appardtus especially designed for the SPE of oil and
grease is shown in Figur~ 12- IO. p. 135. ~This appanllus is unique in
two ways. First, the collection vessel is located outsidc of the filter
flask or manifold and uses a vacuum bridgc to connect it 10 the
vacuum sourcc. Second. a Luer adaptor is located in thc solvent
collection arm that allows thc use of an in-line Na~04 drying
cartridge. These two features allow the analysl to collect the solvent
with eluted oil and grease directly into a pee-weighed collection flask
without any disassembly or reassembly of the glassware. Thc eluent
Figure 12-8. A solid phase extf'dCtion e1eaIlup is already dried with Na~04 and can be directly evaporated to obtain
apparatus. the weight of the extracted oil and grease. It is designed to use 47
(Courtesy - FDA Total Diel Center, Lenexa. KS) olIO discs."

Figure 12-9. Vacuum manifolds for solid

phase el'itf'dction. Left. 12 port; right. 24
(Courtesy - Supcfco Inc., EkllefonlC, PAl


A microscalt: $PE technique was developed in 1992 by Janusz Pawliszyn at the University of Waterloo. Ontario
Canada. According to J. Berg of Varian Assoc., Walnut Creek. CA. the device shown in Figure 12-11. p. 135. "consiSls
ofa holder and a replaceable fiber assembly. The a!&:tnbled unit looks much like a syringe, bul in placc ofthc hollow
needle is a fiber inside a protective sheath. The fiber is attached to the holder plunger. so that it may be exposed by
moving it oul of the sheath. The fiber itself consists of a piece of fused silica rod coaled with an adsorbent.
"In usc. the fiber is exposed to a liquid sample or to the headspace above the sample [Figure 12·12. p. 136}. If.
for example. the coating is hydrophobic and the fiber is immcrsed in an aqueous solution, then organic compounds will
Solid pha5C Ulnctioll 135

--- ....
Figure 12-10. A StepSaver solid phase Figure 12·11. Fiber holder and SPME
extraction apparalUs. fiber for an Autosamplt:r.
(Courtesy • Environmental Express. ML (Courtesy - J.R. Berg. Americ,m L(JooraIOI)'.
Pleasant. SC) Nov. 1993)

migrdle from the solution to the coating. Ifthe fiber is immersed for a long enough period of time. then migration will
occur until equilibrium is reached. The length of time required 10 reach equilibrium depends upon the partition
coefficient of a particular solule and whether the solution is agilatcd or not.
"The actual sampling prOCedUfC. whelhcr manual or aUlomated. is as follows: (I) The fiber sheath pierces the
septum oftne sample vi!!1. (2) The fiber is extended from the sheath into either liquid sample or the headspace above
liquid. solid. or semisolid samples. (3) Equilibralion ofanalytcs between the fiber and liquid Ol" headspace occurs over
a period of time. (4) The fiber is withdrawn into its sheath. (5) The sheath is withdrdWll from the vial and inserted into
a hot or cold injeclion port of a gas chromatograph. (6) The sample desorbs inlo the carrier gas stream." Store opened.
but unused. cartridges in a plastic bag in a desiccator.

1. What is meant by "solid phase extmction"?
2 .What is the main difference between HPLC particles and SPE particles?
3. What are some advanlages ofSPE over liquid-liquid extraction?
4. About how many theoretical platcs does a typical cartridge provide?
5. What is a major purpose of the "end cap" on a particle coaling?
6. The « term is called selectivity. What does this mean?
7. What docs k measure?
136 Techniques

8. If a compound has a k =: I, what does this mean?

9. If you wanled to change k, what would you alter in the syslem
10. What is the surface coaling on an LC-8 particle?
II. Which rube type would be prcferred to separale a mixture of
carboxylic acids in a fruit juice; LC-CN. LC·Si, or LC-SAX?
12. A cartridge has a void volume of 0.3 mL. If a compound with
Ad...., a k =: lOis retained. how many column volumes are required to
Cycle elute this compound?
13. Why should a cartridge be conditioned before being used?
14. A compound required 2.0 mL to elute from a column with a
void volwne of 0.2 mL. What is its Ie?
15. What is the purpose of the equilibration step?
Desorb Cycle 16. Whal is the purpose of the rinse step?
17. What does Figure 12.4, p. 132, illustrate in general terms?
18. An analyst switched from using a I em diameter cartridge to a
Figure 12-12. Solid phase microcxlraclion.
2 cm diameter cartridge. What effect will this have on the now
(Courtesy. J. R. Berg. American LaoorQ/ory, NOlO.
19. Refer 10 Figure 12-7, p.133. What type of cartridge would you
consider using ifthe compounds ofinteTCSI were water soluble.
soluble in methanol. or soluble in methylene chloride, bUI not.
soluble in hexane?
20. What is the fiber in a microextraetion?
21. How should opened, but unused, cartridges be SIOred?




A slIpercriticalfluid extraction is a gas-solidextraction in which fhe extracting agent is a gas finder slIpercrificol
condirions. The low viscosity and near zero surface tension pmnil this gas to penetrate solids far better and quicker than
most liquids. and when the extraction is complete. the gas is removed from the extract by simply lowering the pressure.
Normally, if you wanl to dissolve a compound. you first select a solvent thai has a similar polarity (like dissolves
like); thell you try to get as much contact (large surface area) as possible between the molecules of solvent and the
compound to be dissolved and heat the solvent to further increase the number of collisions. One reason liquids arc
preferred 10 gases as solvents ;s that a high concenlralion of molecules attacks (he surface of the compound (0 be
dissolved. and. therefore, more solvent-solute bonds can be formed to compete wim the solute-solute borKIs of the solid
or liquid. The difficully with liquid solvents is that once the compound has dissolved, it must now be separated from
me solvent. Ifme compound would dissolve in a gas, men sepanuing me solvent fran me solute would be much easier.
However, the number of molecules of gas anacking the surface of the compound is quite small compared to that of a
liquid, and for that reason, few solids dissolve in~. What must be done is to make a gas behave like a liquid. Ifyou
could compress a gas so it would approach the density of a liquid, then you should get increased solubility and be able
to evaporate the gas once the compound was extracted. Under nonnal conditions, if you compress a gas too mUCh. it
may collapse imo a liquid.
In 1822, Baron C. Cagnaird de la Tour (Ann. Chim., 22, 410) discovered that if you heat a gas above a cenain
temperature, no mailer how much pressure you apply, yOll cannot compress it into a liquid. It was called the Cagnaird
de fa Tour point. Now that temperature is called the critical temperature, T.. and the lowest applied pressure at that
temperature is the critical pressure. Pro Any gas above these conditions is known as supercritical. This is shown in
general in Figure 13-1. p. 138.
In 1879, J.B. Hannay and J. Hogarth (Proc. R. Soc. London, Ser A 29. 324) reponed to the Royal Society of
London on their observations ofwhar happened to several inorganic salts (KI, KBr. CoCl~), not nonnally soluble in
ethanol, when they were placed in ethanol and healed to a high lemperatW"C with sufficient pressure to keep the ethanol
from evaporating. l1ley noticed that at high temperatures and pressures, the compounds dissolved. and when the
pressure was reduced, the eompoWlds precipitated. They said this was a new phenomenon. Others thought it was just
salt dissolving in a "hot liquid". This was the first recorded observation of what is now known as supercritical fluid
extraction (SFE). rt is interesting how high pressures were obtained in these early studies. Pumps were not available
nor were "pressure gauges". Mercury in heavy-walled tubes was used and provided both a high pressure and a measure
of it at the same time. In 1879 E.G. Amagat (Comples Rem/liS des Seances de L'Academie des Sciences. 88 (I). 336)
attained 400 atmospheres by using a Hg column extending into the bottom of a mine shaft. L Cailletet (Comp'es Reoolls
des Seances de L'Acadamiedes Sciences t 12,764, 1891) used the Eiffel tower similarly after it was built. Even though
the pipes were heavywalled metal (2 in. o.d, and 114 in. i.d.), they apparently had many breaks. Can you imagine what
the environmentalists would do today?

138 Principlell

-- 1.... 1



o 20 40 60 eo 100

Figure 13~1. Phase diagram showing the Figure 13-2. DilTusivity behavior of carbon
supercritical region. dioxide.
(COUrlesy - Md-Iugh. M..and Krukunis. V., (Courlesy - Mel-Iugh, M. and Krnkunis, V.,
Supercritical Fluid Extl'oclions - Principles ond Supercritical Fluid Extractions - Principles and
Pracrice, Butlerworlhs., Boslon, 1986). Practice, BUllerwonhs, BoslOn, 1986).

What is gained by using supercritical fluids? They have gas--Iike transport properties and their dilTusivities are
1~2 orders of magnitude higher than those ofliquids (Figure 13~2); therefore, extractions from solids can be fast. They
have very high "liquid-like" densities (Figure 13-3), which increase their dissolving poWCT to that approaching liquids.
TIley have lIisco~·ities nearly as low os goses (Figure 13-4), and they have essentially zero suiface tension, which allows
them to easily penetrate into microporous structures.

09 O~

2.0 '0 ~ 009

•u 00.

'0 ~ o_os

'" 00

Figure 13·3. Variallon of the reduced density of Figure 13-4. Viscosity behavior of carbon
a pure component in the vicinity of its critical dioxide.
point. (Coortesy - McHugh M. and Krukunis. V ••
(Courtesy ~ McHugh M. and Krukunis., V., Supercrilicol Fluid Extroc/ions ~ Principles
Supercrilical Fluid Exrractions - Principles CJnd and Practice, Butterworths., Boston, 1986).
Practice. Butlcrworths. Boston. 1986).
Supercritlcal nuid ClllraclilJn

-~• - ,,, .~,,-

"1- j ,-
" 'J'l

~ ODlOO 12'C
• I"

o0001 ok-"",,,,,,,,,,;;;-,oo,,>,oot.;-,,,,,~.>oo;;O;c,cl,,,,
PA£SSUR[ {alml

figure 13-5. Solubility behavior of solid figu re 13·6. Phase diagram for carbon
naphthalene in supercritical cthylene. dioxide showing the critical conditions.
(Courtesy - Diepen. G. ant.! Sheffer. FJ. Am. Chern.
Soc. 70.4085. 1948).

Af'tcrextrnclion. their high volatility at regular pressures enables them 10 be separated readily from the solute with lillie
or no residue. This is energy efficienl and safcty efficient. particularly wilh foods.
Cochran et al. (Sepll. Sci. TeeJmol.. 25 (1J·5). 2017. 1990) report that at supercritical conditions. Ihe solvent
aClually forms clusters avcraging 100 molecules surrounding the solute molecule and Ihal the solute molecules cJu.<;Ier
as well. This may explain the increased dissolving power oflhe solvents at Ihe higher pressures. Figure I)-5 shows how
the solubility of naphthalene changes in ethylene at various pressures. Advanlage often is taken oftbis ability to change
Ihe degree of solubility as the pressure changes 10 more selectivcly separate one compound from another or to separate
classes of compounds from each other.
NOIice thai CO, has easy to anain critical conditions. II is also inexpensive, nonpolar. nontoxic. nonflanlmablc.
and easy to obtain in high purity. Therefore. it is a favorile for SFE. Figure 13-6. is a phase diagram of COl'
Table 1)·1 shows the T< and Pc for several compounds. Table 13·2, p. 140, shows the type of pesticide residue
recoveries that can be obtained from foods.

Table 13-1. Some selected criticallcmperatures and pressures

Compound T. ("C) P, (Arm) Compourotl T< ("C) P< (AIm)

Carbon dioxide. CO 2 31.7 72.9 Freon 13. (elF, 28.8 38.2

Water. H~O 374.1 2183 Freon 14. cr. -45.7 39.9
Sulfur diollide. SOl 157.8 77.7 Chloroform. CHCi, 263. 47.7
Acetone, ClibO 235.5 47. f1uoroform. CHFJ 2S.7 46.9
Methanol. CH)OH 240. 78.5 Methane. CH. -82.1 45.8
Acetonitrile, CJHsN 290.8 41.3 Ethane. C1H~2.2 48.2
Chlorodifluoromethanc. CHCIF~ 96. 49.12 Propane. CJH~ 96.8 42
Freon II. CClJF 198. 43.2 Butane. C.H'lI 152. 37.S
Freon 12. CCI1F~ 111.5 39.6 HeK3:f1t'. C6 H,. 234.2 29.9

Notice that most ofthe critical pressures are below 60 atm or below about 880 .• pressures which arc easily
obtainable. l1lerefore, ifyou have a pump that can produce sevcralthousand p.s.i., you can alter the pressure to increase
the densily and the solubility of the material to be extracted should increase.
140 Principles

For those who worry about adding CO~ to the environment, if you drive your car once around the block. you will
add more CO~ to the environment than from one extraction. and the CO~ used for the extraction wa<; originally obtained
from the atmosphere.

Table 13·2, Pesticide recoveries from selected foods using large·scale supercritical
fluid extraction with COl
(Courtesy· M. Hopper, FDA Laborlltory Kansas City MO.)

Food Pesticide Fortification Recovery Mean %RSD


Buller cis..chJordane 0.10 0.095·0.101 0.099 2.2

Malathion 0.10 0.099-0.107 0.103 2.'
Cheddar cheese Heptachlor 0.001 0.0012·0.0013 0.0012 4.3
Dieldrin 0.001 0.0022...a.OO29 0.0025 10.2
Saltine crnckern Chlorpyrifos 0.0230 0.0275...a.0381 0.0291 5.7
Malathion 0.0100 0.03()().Q.0342 0.QJ16 4.5
Sandwich Malathion 0.0310 0.0350-0.0390 0.0372 3.'
Ground beef p.p'·DDE 0.0070 O.OO87...a.0093 0.0090 2.8

Table 13·3. p. 141. shows a comparison ofSFE (1.5 hrs), the AOAC Soxhlet method (overnight eXlrdction). and
the Pesticide Analytical Manual (PAM) method (4 hrs) for extracting fats from several fauy foods. These two tables
show Ihal SFE in 1.5 hours can cxtract pesticides from Ihe most diOicult samples with excellent recoveries and Ihat fat
can be removed so additional analyses can be made free of complications from fal.

Table 13-3. Comparison among fat extraction procedures (%fat extracted)

(Courtesy· M. Hopper, FDA Laboralory, Lenexa, KS)

(4 g sample) PAM I
AOAe 15th cd., (25 g sample) SFE (COl)
11960.39 211.13F,K&C (15 g sample)

M"'" Me," M"'"

Item (Nz6) %RSD (N=6) %RSD (N"'6) o/.RSD

Pork sl'lusage 30.55 4.75 29.83 1.55 29.83 1.32

Peanut butter
creamy 50.32 0.39 49.29 0.60 49.51 0.44
Cheddar cheese
sharp/mild 3J.85 3.13 33.94 3.46 33.26 1.14
Com chips 31.32 0.62 31.80 0.76 3t.5l 0.46
Supen:ritical nuid extraction 14'

'w Opo.-
The first large-scale industrial application was to
decaffeinate coffee (Zosel, K.. U.S. Palenl 3.%9,196.
'"""" .....
"",F__ eo.
8atlh lInCl Co.
1976) and was exploited by the Hag AG Corp. in HIl\nlc.r.~ now processes over 50,000,000 kg/yr.

Figure 13-7 is a list of the major industries thm " . ""'"-
I't.Ijl FIaYQI' Co.

usc SFE. American industries were late on the scene. "., 8wlhMdCo.

" ' - 0riI0IhWn
Maxwell House (1988) was the first.large scale user,
puning through aboUl25,OOO.OOO kglyr. Phillip Morris
uses SFE with COl to remove nicotine from tobacco. ,... -....,
Metals can be extracted, if th<..'Y are first chelated with
fluorinated chelating agents. Fat is extracted from
R,tpIlInCl Co.

PtII-On hb.....
bones, potato chips, and other snack foods. SFE has
been tried as a cleanser for fine electrical parts.
Several examples of laboralOry~scaleextractions
U.s. Air FOIW

... ""I'
llom bonnicItt

FobIr Q9Iic;I fOlllI

follow. (1) SFE was used in a comparison of
extraction methods for the d<..1ennination of the
Figure 13-7. Some industrial uses ofSFE.
apparent tannins in common beans. (2) Homogenates
(Courtesy - Phelps, c.L.. Smart. N.G. and Wai, C.M.• J.
of shrimp meat were extracted with ethyl acetate Chern. Ed.• 73 (12).1163.1996)
followed by prccolumn cleanup on a silica Sep-Pak
cartridge to detennine 4-hexylresorcinol, a processing
aid. Two extraction procedures were compared to
extract oil from olive foot cake with acidic hexane. An
open-air method and exhaustive Soxhlet extraction
with the latter removed about two times more oil. (3)
The fractionation of bulter oil with supercritical COl
at 40 "C and pressures of 125 or 350 bar gave initial
fractions that were colorless and consisted primarily
of glycerides enriched in short chain fany acids. (4)
Postharvest retention of the red color of litchi fruit
pcricarp was investigated; results showed that McOH
extracts of the red pcricarp absorbed strongly at 525
nm, but extracts of brown pericarp had a low peak
absorbance al 525 nm even after acidification. (5) The

Figure 1J..s. Components needed for a supercritical fluid
viscosities of milk-type falty acids and methylated
fatty acids saturaled with supcrcritical COl were (Courtesy ~ Taylor. L.. R&D Magazioc. Feb., 1992)
studied at 40 and 60 "C and 85 to 350 bar. (6)
Pressures from 3.000 to 7,000 p.s.i. and tcrnperatures from 40-55 <>c were used to study the extraction of annatto seed
pigmetlt~ by supercritical COl' Maximum solubilities were 0.003 for pure bixin and 0.26 mglg COl for annatto seed

pigment. (7) SFE with COl was used to fractionate oat lipids into polar and nonpolar components, so aqueous phase
inleractions could be studied.

A supercritical fluid extraction involves placing the sample in a hcavy-walk.-d metal chamber, which is heated
above the Te. A gas above its supt.'fcritical tcrnperature and pressure then is passed through it to extracllhe desired
142 PrincipLes

compounds. The emerging gas cools, and the pressure reduces

to atmospheric in a collecting vessel. The gas vaporizes from
the extract, leaving a deposit ofthe material behind.
Figure 13-8 is a block diagram ofthc component pans
needed for a typical laboratory-scale SFE. The most common
system al the moment is supercritical CO2 which is nonpolar.
Figure 13-9 is a photograph of the ISCO Model SFX-2-IO
supercritical fluid extractor showing two pwnps. Figure 13-10.
p. 143. is an isometric drawing of a commercial apparatus.
Pumps are usually syringe type so that a constant pressure can
be maintained.

You can alter the selectivity of the extraction by changing the
pressure, or you can add a "modifier" that increases the
polarity of the system. Modifiers are added in small amounts,
usually less than 5 %. Some common ones are methanol or
acetone to make the system more polar or propane and octane
for nonpolar effects. Experiments by L. Taylor of Virginia

... Polytechnic Institute have shown that recovenf..'S of poly-

Figure 13-9. Fronl view ofthe ISCQ model SFX·2-
chlorinated biphenyls can be increased from 50 % 10 80 % by
adding 0.8 % toluene and to 100 % by adding 5 % melhanol.
Just how these modifiers work at the molecular level is still
under investigation. Some believe they just aller the polarity of
10 supercritical fluid extractor. COl. because COl is slightly polarizable. Others believe they
are involved in the solvent sphere around the solute.

"oro .....

._- Figure 13-10. Fluid flow diagram of a
supercrilical fluid extractor•
(Courtesy - lseo. Inc., Lincoln. NE)
Supercritical fluid extraction 143

More than 10% watcr in the sample can impede CO2 interaction with the sample,
thus diminishing the extraction. Water in the sample acts as a modifier and can ruin the
extraction in some cases. lfit's a\";J;]llhlc and time permits. free7..e drying can bc used to
remove water from the sample. Rather than dry the samplc before it is placed in the
extraction tube, an absorbent is added to retain and disperse the water which sometirtl(,"S
interferes with thc extraction. At the moment, the compound of choicc is pellctized
diatomaceous carth called l1ydromatrix. It docs not cake.
For samples containing more than 70010 water, a value of 1.6 g of Hydro-
matrix/mL of water in thc sample is recommended. Therefore, a 15 g sample would
require about 16 g of Hydromatrix. For samples containing less than 70% water, a ratio
of about I: I is recommended.
Another workable drying agent is anhydrous magnesium sulfate.

C ..J
The cartridge holder must be quite strong, but the cell itsclfusually need be only
finger tightened. Figure 13·11 shows a cartridge hold<.'f that has been tested to 40,000 ,
p.s.i. Figure 13-12, shows several different sizes ofcartridgcs and the filler placement.
Mark one side ofeach filter fri,. This is to ensure that filters are placed in the
cartridge in the same direction each time. Their purpose is to filter any particles coming
from the solvent or the connecting lines. and very small particles can become trapped
inside ofttle pores with the solvent going in one direction. If the frit is turned over for
the next extraction, the particles can be dislodged.
Figure 13-11. Double-
Keep the extraction canridgefull. Void volwne should be minimal. If you only elided SFE vessel.
(Courtesy • VICI Valco
have I gram ofsample in a 10 mL cartridge., thcn fill the empty space with Hydromatrix,
Instruments Co. Inc., Houston,
glass wool. glass beads, clean sand. or Celitc. TXj

Figure 13-12. Cartridge assemblies.

(Councsy • ISeQ, tnc., Lincoln. NE)
144 Principles

Have no void IIOlume on the dawns/ream side ofthe car/ridge. If thc cartridge sits uprigtu in the holder and the
cxtractant goes in althe bottom, be sure to fill thc void space at the top of the cell.
Always use a dispersing agent. Dispersing agents are the samc as thosc used to fill the void volume. They are
mixed in with the sample as homogeneously as possible. This is to prevent channeling. Use good column packing
techniques discussed in the chromatography chapters, and you will gel good recoveries.

A pump capable of several thousand p.s.i. commonly is used. Not only is the pump needed to maintain
supereritical conditions, but the solubilizing power of the syslem varies greatly with pressure. usually dissolving more
solutcs as the pressure increases. For example, CO, at 1.23 Wcml will dissolve compolmds with Hildebrand's solubility
parameter (Chapfer 41, p. 479) from 7-10, about the same as benzene, chlorofonn. ethyl acetate. acetone. cydohexane,
carbon tetrachloride. toluene. ethyl ether, and pentane. If the pressure is reduced so that the CO, is aboul 0.9 g1cm J , then
it will dissolve compounds with parameter.; from 7-9 (solvents like cyclohexane., carbon tetrachloride. toluene. ethyl
ether. and pentane) and if further towered to 0.6 glcmJ , it will dissolve only compounds with parameters of7-8 (ethyl
cther and pentane).
Pressures of6.000 to 10,000 p.s.i. are common. At these pressures, the pump heads must be kept cool to ensure
that CO 2 stays liquid whilc the pump is filled. Ordinary HPLC pumps (Chapter 19, p. 194) can be used, but they must
be cooled. This has been done by circulating cold water over the head or by pa.<ising the gas from expanding CO~ over
the head. The ISCO syringc pump has been used up to 10.000 p.s.i. with no cooling.

Metering Deviccs
The flow of extmcting solvent needs 10 be known and monitored for reproducible results. Some pumps have
meters attached to measure the volwnc displaced at that T and P. Others have a movement guide to measure the distance
the piston travels. This is then a measure of the volume.

1be purpose of the I'CSlriClor is to regulate theflowrateand lhepressure. A 30 em length of fused silica capillary
column. 50 flL i.d.• used in gas chromatography works well. If methanol is used as a modifier, this restrictor sometimes
breaks. A better arrangement is the stainless steel restrictor sold by ISCO Inc.• Lincoln. NE. A now rate of about 1.5
mUmin is a good starling place. Beller control can be obtained with micro metering valves. but they are more costly.
Manual operation can be obtained. but the best is the computer-eontrollcd automatic type. The restrictor must be heated
or it will pillg. As a general rule; I mL o/liquid COl'" 500 mL 0/gaseous COr- Also, as a general rule; usefive to 10
column void volumes 0/ extractant over a period 0/10-20 mimltes /0 attain 100"/0 extraction

The extracted sample emerges in decompression. When the gas emerges from the restrictor and encounters
atmospheric pressure. adiabatic decompression and cooling occurs. The solute now becomes ff07..en particles. and the
rapid expansion of the solvent can cause some of the solute 10 blow away. If the distance from the restrictor is greater
than 1.5 em and there is a collecting surface. then little of the solute is lost.

I. What arc some characteristics that make supercriticaJ fluid extraction attractive?
2. What is a supercritical gas?
3. If you placed a thick-walled pipe, with a I em1 hole in it lengthwise. vertically in the stairwell ora lO~story
building (I 00 ft.), what pressure could you attain on a piston at the hallom end? (Hg = 13.6 glcm l )
Supcrcritical fluid extraction 145

4. What is a suggested mechanism for how the solvent molecules behave under supercritical conditions?
5. Freon 13 becomes supercrilical more easily than methanol and it is polar (Table 13-1, p. 139). Why is methanol
usually used?
6. How is solubility affected as you increase the pressure in SFE?
7. Refcr to Table 13-3, p. 140. Comparing the time of analysis and the resullS. what advantages docs SFE havc, if
8. What was me first large-scale industrial application of SFE?
9. What does Phillip Morris use SFE for?
10. How can metals be extracted using SFE?
11. What is the purpose ofa modifier?
12. What is Hydromatrix?
13. A 109 sample of steak (4001v waler) is 10 have the fat extracted. How much Hydromatrix would you use?
14. Why should one side of the filler frit be marked?
IS. Why is the void volume kept small?
16. What arc some subslances that can be used to fill the large voids in the cartridge?
17. What is the purpose of a dispersing agent? Why not add just the sample by itsclf?
18. How is flow rate commonly detennined?
19. How much liquid is nceded and how long would it to take to get a g<x>d extraction?
20. You have a )0 cm long rcslriclor. and the pressure is 3000 p.s.i. (fyou want to try 4000 p.s.i., do you open the
CO 2 lank valvc a little more?
21. What is a common flow rate for SFE?
22. Why is the restrictor heated?
23. If the flow mte is 1.0 mUmin of liquid COl' how many mL of gaseous COl come out the vent?


Chapter 14


Column FI"
Gas Liquid
Mobile Mooilc l\.1obilc
'''''''' """"
Grovity Gas-liquid p,,,.,.
Flow Chromntogrllphy Chromnlop-ophy
CbaplC:r 20 Chapter 21

Dbploccmcnt Size I3xclu...ion Low

Chronlill~'T1lrhy Chromatogrnphy Thin l...o)'t..'(
Chuptcr IS ChaPler 17 ChromntO{UOphy
Chapter 22

Mulllpic Column Flash Medium

Chrolllllloprnphy Chromatography
Chllptcr IS Chllptc:r 18

Affiinity HiJZh Pcrfonntllll:e High

ChromHlography Chnxlllllogrnphy
Chapter 16 Chapter 19

The separation techniques which colleclively are called chromatography are probably the most widely used
chemical separations in the laboratory. They have had a lremendous impact on the chemical sciences and finally upon
socicty. The general theories. Chapler 14. and nine variations, Chapters 15 to 22, will be discussed in this subsection.
The order of presentation is not based entirely on historical development. The first division is bctwecn thc usc
ofacolwnn or no column. The "yes" column division is based on the type ofmobile phase, liquid or gas. The techniques
involving a liquid mobile phase passing through a column are then categorized based on the amount of pressure applied.
beginning wilh gravity and continuing 10 several hundred pounds per square inch. The two main "flat" chroma-
tographies. or "no" column used, are discussed last, although the last one, thin layer chromatography, is not last in usc
but very popular.
The original chromatographic system was a glass column containing a packing of fine particles. To the top of this
was added a narrow band of sample, which was then washed down the column (eluted) with a liquid. This is described
in Chapter 15, di.~placement chromatography. In traditional column chromatography, the analyst was al the mercy of
the polarity ofthe column packing. This packing can becoatoo with a liquid so partitioning can take place. 11lC last part
of Chapter 15. multiple column partition chromatography, disClJS5eS how Il1Ol"C control over the scparation can be
obtained, and how individual compounds can be retained entirely on one colwnn, eluting the others to additional
columns. 1llC ncxt refinement was to synthesize groups Onto the surface of the column, packing particles that were
specific for a single compound or a class of compounds with a particular functional group. This is known as affinity
chromotography. and is presented in Chapter 16.
The above mentioned techniques usually all employ gravity as the driving force, although it is not mandatory.
Column packings can be made that separate compounds based on their si7-c. the very large ones not being retained at
all, the very small ones not being eluted in a reasonable time, bUlthose in between being separated based on their size.
11lC newer term for this is size exclusion chromatography, but the time-honored names are either gel filtration or gel
permeo/ion chromatography (OPe). The pressures employed are very low; a fcw inches of water is common. See
Chapter 17.
Pressures ofa few pounds are LlSCd to force the liquid through the column inflosh chromatography, Chapter 18.
This is a good technique to use ifthe n!Dnber of impurities is small, such as the side reaction components ofa synthesis.
1bc original columns were glass so the separation could be observed. However, mosl compounds are not
sufficiently colored to view, and if too much pressure is applied to force the separation. the glass will crack. To avoid
the breakage problem, and to increase the rate of the separation, the glass was replaced with a stainless steel column.
Now, pressures of several thousand pounds per square inch could be employed and the separations were excellent and
fast. This was originally known as high pressure liquid chromatography, but it was found that very good separations
could be obtained on most systems with only several hundred pounds of pressure, so the name was changed 10 high
peiformance liquid chromatography (HPLC). This is a superb technique and is described in Chapter 19.
In general. up to a point, as long as cquilibriwn is maintained, the faster the separation the better the separation,
because the molecules do not have time to diffuse. To increase the speed, and reduce the pressure, a gas can be used
as the eluent This is known as gas-liquid chromatography and described in Chap<er 20. This is also a superb technique,
and while it is limited to about 15% of the available compounds, those compounds are the ones of major interest.
After nearly 40 years of column chromatography, a bold step was taken, which was to get rid of the column and
natten out tnc packing. The best way to do this was to use a piece of paper and place the sample as a spot at onc end.
The liquid could then be washed down or up the paper. This is known as paper chromatography (Chapter 21), and a
Nobel prize was awarded for its conception.
The use of paper was a real advance over a colwnn in regard to reducing analysis time, but you were limited by
the polarity of the paper. and the paper was not uniform. The solution was to make a "paper" out ofparticlcs, usually
silica gel, alumina, or cellulose. Chapler 22, on thin layer chromatography (TLC) provides the latest techniques.

Chromatography (chroma/us 3 ' color, graphein '" to write) is a multistage separation technique based on
differences between compounds in adsorbing on a surface or dissolving in a thin film of liquid. Although Brunschwig,
a Strasbourg surgeon (1512); purified ethanol by a chromatographic technique. and Day. an American geochemist.
separated crude oils on Fuller's earth (1898-1903), it was the work of Michael Tswen, a Russian botanist (Ber. Deul.
Bolan. Ges., 24, 384. 19(6), thai was the first systematic study and is recognized as the beginning ofchromatography.
What they did is what we now call rolumnchromatograpl1y. It consists ora glass column 1-5 em in diameter and
20-100 em long, packed with a solid material (called the inert phase. although it seldom is) such as silica gel,
diatomaceous earth, or powdered sugar. The sample is placed as a lhin band on top of the packing and washed down
the column with a liquid (mobile phase). As the compounds move down the column, small differences in their shape,
charge distribution, and polarity allow them to become separated. Extremely good separations can be achieved. For
example: chlorophyll a (m.w. = 893) differs from chlorophyll b by only one methyl group. yet these two compounds
are easily separated in the simplest apparatus.
Many variations have been developed since the original discovery. The more commOll chromatographies are
paper. thin layer, high performance, gas. and gel pcnncation. 1be techniques of each of these will be discussed in
subsequent chapters. However, regardless of the type of chromatography involving neutral compounds, the mechanisms
involved in the separation are basically the same. The two major mechanisms at work during a chromatographic
separation arc displacement and JXlrtition. Few instances involve only one mechanism, but certain types ofseparations
emphasize one mechanism over the other. This chapter will describe these mechanisms, and the specific manipulative
techniques witl be described in the following chapters when appropriate.

Refer to Figure l4-IA, p. 150. A glass column is packed tightly with powdeNize dry particles, the inert phase.
A thin layer of a sample mixture of two compounds(W = weakly adsorbed, S = strongly adsorbed) is added to the top
ofthc inert phase. A liquid, which is more strongly adsorbed 10 the inert phase lhan any of the compoLUKls in the sample,
is now poured into Ihe top ofthc column. This is called the mobile phase (M) and serves to wash the sample down the
column, a process called elution.
The "inert" particles are not actually totally inert. Remember, they are mainly silicates and aluminates, and these
groups have many nonbollded electrons. When these particles are magnified, they can be seen to have comers, edges,
holes, projections, and flat surl"aces. Electrical charge distributiOn tends to be higher on corners than on edges and on
edges than onjlat surfaces. 1llese places ofactivity are called actAY! sites. Suppose oompoWld W can be held to the inert
phase only at the highly. charged corners and that compound S can be held not only at the comers, but at the edges as
well. If W is the only compound present, then molecules of it will allach themselves to the comers of the particles and
go down the column as far as necessary until all ofthe molecules are adsorbed. An equilibrium will be established-
some molecules will he leaving corners, while other molecules are being adsorbed on corners.

ISO Principles

If a second compound, S, is now present, then

there is competition for the available reactive sites.
Because S is more strongly adsorbed, it will displace
A B c the W molecules as soon as they leave during their
t' cquilibriwn process. True. the S molecules are also in
equilibrium and adsorbing to an active site and
lcaving it, but because their attraction is stronger.
M M they win the battle. It is like a game of musical
chairs, with S molecules usually winning. The only
place for the W molecules to go is on down the
s column until they can find a vacant corner ~ they
have been displaced by an adsorption process.
w The aoove sequence will stop very quickly
, unless a mobile phase is added to force the process to
cone continue. The molecules of the mobile phase are
selected so as to be more strongly adsorbed to the
active sites than either W or S. When the mobile
phase molecules reach an active site. they have two
distinct advantages: (I) they are more strongly
adsorbed to the site than either W or S. and (2) they
Figure 14-1. Diagram of the stages of displacement are much more concentrated. The net result is that
chromatography. they displace the S molecules, and the S molecules in
tum displace the W molecules. This displacement
sequence continues along the length oftne column as
shown in Figure 14-1 B. In order to complete the
separation, M is added until Wand S are eluted fiom
the column.
In order to understand the problems that often
arise with adsorption Chromatography and how to
correct them, as well as being able to compare
displacement to partition chromatography, a closer
examination must be made. Figure 14-IC is a plot of
H.." the concentrations ofW. S, and M in various sections
of the column. These data can be obtained by
.}.-"""~----;:-=----.:::,-­ pushing the packing out of the column, slicing it into
''''' 1·2 rom sections, and determining the concentration
ofeach compound in that section. This concentration
Figure 14-2. Energy distribution of a group of molecules. then is plotted along the X axis. For eadl section; Xfo
You can see that W has a small leading edge, rises to a certain concentration, essentially maintains that
concentration. then has a small trailing edge. The same general pattern is repeated for each compound; however. S is
present in its region of the column in higher concentration than is W in its region of the column. The reason for this is
that S can adsorb to comers as well as edges, so tI1ere are more places in a given section of column where the S
molecules can adsorb. The same reason explains the even higher concentration of M, because it can adsorb to edges.
comers. and flat surfaces.

Leading and Trailing Edges

Why are there leading and trailing edges rather than a sharp dividing line between the compounds? One reason
is the fact that molecules, evCl'l of the same kind, have different energies. Figure 14-2 shows a typical energy distribution
curve for a group of molecules. As you can see, some molecules have lower energy than tnc main body. When they
arrive at an active site, they do not have enough energy to react and proceed down the column a bit farther than the main
body. This produces the leading edge. On the other hand, some very active molecules can be adsorbed more strongly
than those ofthc main body. This produces the trailing edge. This is noonal and usually will be present.
Chromatography - general theory 151

A mixture of compounds in a displacement mechanism

causes a problem, because the compounds always have a small
region where they are mixed. It is for this reason that Smaller
displacement d,romal0grllrhy i '!<:ed for quantitative
separations, but can be quite uscfullOl cparativc" separations, ""'"
when large amounts of material 'lr-~ to be separated. The mixed
fraction simply is collected and rcc) ch:.'d.
How do you remove M? This is done be heating the inert
phase and desorbing the mobile phase. A few hours at 110 °C is
usually sufficient to reactivate the "inert" phase.
Why don't some molecules "fall out ofthccolumn" because Figure 14·3. Langmuir adsorption isotherm for
of very low energy? This can be explained by the LangmUir acetic acid on charcoal.
adsorption isotherm, Figure 14-3.
Langmuir did his original work with oxygen and tungsten.
A common experiment to illustrate the same principle is to
adsorb acetic acid on charcoal. A known amount ofdilute acetic
acid is added to a known amount of charcoal placed in a flask.
After thorough shaking of the mixture, the charcoal is removed
by filtration. and the acid remaining in the solution is titrated to
determine the amount adsorbed to the charcoal. This experiment Tailing
is repeated several times with increasingly concentrated acetic Ed" E<!g<
acid. The data, when plotted, resemble the curve shown in Figure
The significance is that at low concentrations of acid, the
acid is adsorbed very strongly to the charcoal (steep slope), but
" Time ----+

as the acid concentration increases, the acid does not adsorb as

strongly (shallow slope). The low energy molecules do not "fall
out of the column" because once they get ahead ofthe main body, Figure 14-4. Illustrating leading and trailing
their concentration is low and they are more strongly adsorbed.

Leading and Tailing

Sometimes the peaks are not symmetrical, being distorted on the front side (leading) or on the back side (tailing)
more than can be explained by nonnal energy differences (Figure 14.4). Leading usually is caused by 100 loose ofa
packing or channeling allowing some ofthe sample to get ahead ofthc main body before equilibrium is cstablished. It
can be cured by packing the column tighter. Tailing is more ofa problem. It can ruin a separation unless eliminated. It
occurs because the compound following the first compound down the column is close to it in polarity and does not do
a proper job in the displacement mechanism. What must be done is either to make the "inert" surface more inert or to
usc a more polar mobile phase to desorb the adsorbing molecules. The fonner can be done by acid washing or silinizing
the column to cover the active sites. The laller can be done by a process called gradienr elution (explained in Chapter
19, p. 197) whereby you start out with a mobile phase of low polarity and then slowly add to it another solvent of higher

Acid Washing and Silinizing

Figure 14-5, p. 152, is a diagram of a small section of the surface of a clay particle. Because it has been in an
oxygen environment for millions ofyears it can have places where extra oxygen is present This oxygen has nonlxJnding
elCi:trons that make it an active site and can adsorb molecules. There are two common ways to remove this problem:
(I) washing the material with an acid. so the protons react with the nonbonding electrons and neutralize them or (2)
reacting the material with dichlorodimethylsilane to react with the oxygen and neutralize the nonbonding electrons.
152 Principles

s, • c
Q ••
S1..g..SI.-d '0-6100-$1
I I • I I
oodoo FiguR 14-5. (A) A clay particle
SI...g..S1-o-Sl-o-Si-o-Si surface. (8) Acid washed. (C) Acid
wasl1ed and silinized.

The same equipment is used here as with displacement chromatography, with one exception. The inert phase is
coated with a thin film of liquid, which is strongly adsorbed to the surface of the inert phase particles. Because this
liquid docs not move, it is called a stationary phase. A mobile phase is seteacd that (I) will not dissolve or mix
appreciably with the stationary phase and (2) will not adsorb to the inert phase as did the stationary phase. Refer to
Figure 14-6A.
TIle chemical property oftlle sample molecules of importance now is their difference in ability to dissolve in the
stationary phase. Those compounds that are more soluble in the stationary phase are the ones retained the longest. Figure
14-6A shows several particles coated with a stationary phase. To make it easier to understand the partition process, the
diagram is divided vertically, the progress of one compound being shown on one side and that of another compound
On the other side. A sample consisting of two compounds is dissolved in a small amount of mobile phase and placed
in a narrow band at the top of the column. One of the compounds, MS, is more soluble in the stationary phase (P = 1)
than the other compound, S (P:& 0.67). Tn keep the numbers small, assume 1000 molecules of each are in the mixture
and begin moving down the column when the mobile phase is added.
Consider the MS molecules first. As they travel down the cotumn, they come in contact with the stationary phase.
The Second Low of Thermodynamics dictates that S)wtems tetld to maximum disorder. This means that the "high
concentration· high order" MS molecules can gain disorder if some dissolve in the stationary phase where the initial
concentration of MS is .....ero - "low concentration· high disorder".
This separation between phases is usually called the distribution rolio in extractions and partition coefficient in
chromatography. In this case, 500 molecules dissolve and 500 stay in the mobile phase. However, fresh mobile phase
continues to flow past the particle. Those MS molecules remaining in the mobile phase move on to the next particle to
be further partitioned, 250 to 250. TIle molecules in the stationary phase - again following the second law of
thermodynamics - partition themselves between the stationary and mobile phases. 250 and 250.
The same process is taking place with the other
compound. In lhis case, 600 molecules stay in Ihe
mobile phase, and 400 dissolve in the stationary
• • , phase. The 600 molecules lhat move on partition
themselves 240 in the stationary phase and 360 in
the mobile phase. The 400 molecules in the
stationary phase partition themselves in the fresh
• • mobile phase, 240 in the mobile phase and 160
remaining in the stationary phase. Diffusion in
other directions can occur. The diffusion causes the
• bands to broaden or spots to widen, the amount
• decreasing as the speed of the mobile phase
• increases. as long as equilibrium conditions are

• - established.
Figure 14-68 shows how the compounds
distribute themselves down the column. Figure 14-
6C shows the concentration profile for this type of
separation. Notice that the compounds can be
separated completely, but thai each is mixed with
Fjgure 14-6. Diagram ofthe stages of partition chromatography. the mobile phase. Partitioning chromatography is
used when a quantitative separation is requited.
Chromatography. genetllilheory 153

Practical Significance of the Partition Coefficient

Concentration o[ solute in the stlltionllry phllse

Portition Cot'ffidellt '" P :0:

Concentrtlnon 01 solute in the mohile phllse (14-1)

If a compound has a partition coefficient of5,Ihis means that 5 column volumes of mobile phase will be needed
to completely elute the compound from the column. Therefore. make the volume of the coillmn packing as .~maJl as
necessary to just separate (he mixtl/re. The less mobile phase lIlat is required, the less solvent thai has to be removed
during the concentration step which usually follo",'s, and Ihe less overall time is required.

t. What afe the two major me<:hanisms believed to be involved in chromatographic separations?
2. What docs an inert phase look like in general?
3. Where docs electrical charge tend to congregate on particles?
4. What arc two general properties of a mobile phase?
5. What is meant by a leading edge and what causes it?
6. What is the basic conclusion of the Langmuir adsorption isotherm?
7. What docs acid washing do 10 a silica particle?
8. What are some properties of a stationary phase in gencrallcnns?
9. What dire<:ts "high concentration goes to low concentration',?
10. If equilibrium can be established, why are faster separations preferred?
11. What is Ihe practical significance of a p: 10?
12. A person has h'iO compounds to separate; one has a p: 8 and the other p= 2. Hc has found a column 60 cm long
and 4 cm in diameter. He decides to fill it to a height of 45 em with Florisil to be sure he gels a good separation.
What would you do if you saw this?




15 ,
When chemists refer to column chromatography, they usually mean a glass column of 1·4 em in diameter and
15·60 em in length with a mobile phase passing through the inert phase by the force ofgravity, mild suction, Ol" al most
a few pOunds of pressure. Figure 15-1. p. 156, shows scvcrallypes ofcommercially available columns. 11lC type shown
in A is a plain column with a glass fril for a packing support. B is the.same with a stopcock 10 conu-ollhc flow ralc. C
has an expanded solvent reservoir at the top. 0 is the same as B with an additional standard taper joint at the (Op to hold
a solvcot reservoir of any capacity. E is a simple column with a removable bottom (ball and sockcljoint).
Stopcocks arc used 10 control the flow rate and should be wide bore to prevent plugging with viscous mobile
phases. Removable bottoms are used foc those separations that require long limt:S. The bottom can be removed and thc
column' packing pushed out with a plunger (CARE: this is not as easy as it sounds). The column packing then can be
sectioned. and the desired compounds extracted or washed from the inert phase for funher usc.

Table 15-1 lists several adsorbents used for .column chromatographi.c separations.

Table 15-1. Adsorbents

In Order from Most Active to least Active
I. Fuller's earth 9. Calcium phosphate
2. Charcoal 10. Calcium ..:arbonate
3. Activated alumina II. Potassium carbonate
4. Magnesium silil:8tc 12. Sodium carbonate
S. Silica gel 13. Talc
6. Calcium oxide 14. Inulin
7. Magnesium oxide IS. Starch
8. Calcium carbonate 16. Powdered sugar (sucrose)

Mobile Phases
Table 15·2 lists several liquids that an: good mobile phases for column chromatography.

Table 15-2. Mobilcphases

In Order from Least to Greatest Adsorption by the Column Adsorbent

I. Petroleum ether 30-50" il. Esters of organic acids

2. Petroleum ether 50-70" 12. 1,2-DichlOl'"OClhane, dichloro-
3. Petroleum elher SO-I 000 methane., chlorofonn
4. Carbon tetrachloride 13. Alcohols
S. Cyclohexane 14. Water (varies with pH and
6. Carbon disulfide salt ooncentration)
7. Ether IS. Pyridine
8. Acetone /6. Organic acids
9. Benzene 17. Mixtures of acids and bases
iO. Toluene with water, alcohol or pyridine

156 Principles

" D

Figure IS-I. Various types of columns for

column chromatography.
(Counesy - Ace Glass Co.• Vineland, NJ)

The main equations required to solve several column chromatography problems are presented below and in the
example calculations. These equations are based upon a liquid-liquid partition process rather than an adsorption process
and are usually valid only for processes involving very dilute systems.
For the most part, the mathematical problems involved here concern (I) how much mobile phase is necessary for
a separation. (2) when a mixture is actually separated, and (J) when each component comes through lhe column. The
basic terminology used in this connection is:
AI - cross-sectional area of the inert phase in cml , A. = cross-sectional area ofthe stationary phase in em J • A.,
= cross-sectional area of the mobile phase in em l • and A'"" cross-sectional area of me column in cm l .

p ,. Concentration of .m/ute in the stationary pha.~e (15-1)

Concentration of .~oJute in the mobile phase

h.= height equivalent to a theoretical plate. HETP, in em. v~ = effective plate volume in cm J ;

= h(A.,+PA) (15-2)
v= volume of solvent required to elute the component from the column in cm • r '"" plate number, starting at the

top oflhe column. J;"r} = fraction of solute in plale rafter n extractions.

to the distance the mobile phase moves.
ratio of the distance the solvent moves

= (15-3)
A i PA
• •

One of the main problems of analytical interest is trying to determine how long a column is required to effect a
separation and what the percent cmtamination of the emerging bands is. Consider the separation of two compounds,
A and B. shown in Figure 15-2, p. 158. as a concenlration profile.
As A and B are eluted down the column, they will separate. The problem is, will they have separ3.Ied completely
by the lime they get to the end of the column and if not. how much contamination is prescot? In addition, because the
vast majority of chromatographic separalions involve oolorless substances, it is desirable to have some idea how much
eluent is necessary to wash the compound through the column, thus predicting to some extent when to start collecting
lhe fractions of interest.
DisplacemCflt and mUltiple Column chromatography 157

The various equations involved in the solution of R problem of U1is type

are illustrated in the second example. A B Top of

I!:XAMPLE CALCUL ...... ~..-

The fo)Jowing system was used \0 tqJarate a m.lXture of a¢e.tyl proIjne'
and acetYl phenylalanine. If the experimentally determined partition
.. ....__..
Peaks starting
to ~parate

coefficients arc 9.5 ~Ild I.:t for acetyl proline and acetyl phenylalanine,
respectively, calculate_ mi:: f J values for these two compounds usjn~ the /'... ~--
following system.
Column: glass, Lcin x 20 em containing·.s g of' 3.5..-m'L of
water, and, 10 mt. of chlorofoml. Mobile phast:·Chforofoim:}·bUtanol (99:1).
Density ofthe siJi~a gel: 2.21 glmL.

~, .{= cro~ seCtional ~ 9fth.e~coli.tmn "'.n: (-=~.14
, l(
Volume of sitica gel := 5.0 g silica gel :: 2.20 ml
237 glmL

}4", (ehloT'Qform)
.10;0 cm~: ., b:500: O!'!;!
20 em , Figure 15-2. Concentration profile
of (wo incompletely separated
2.20 em J compounds.
Ai (silica gel) .,0.-110 cm 2
20 cm.,

" 3-.5 em}

.A~ (wale,) • .,. 0.175 em:
20 em

i4 ':p~0:785-Cfn' (TIlls is die cross-sectional area lookingdo\vn on

the top of the column.)
Acetyl proline: •

A ..
... FA,'
I. 0,500
r~ '0.500 \. t9.5 i '(j:'f75)

Acetyl phenylalanine:

• ~c-:'7."'i'-;c-:;;;
0.500 ... (l;l x 0.-175

EXAMPLE CALCULATIONr-'~~"':----""'--~~~-~--""'--~---"
A l5.0 cm long column has an A", 0[030 and an ~ QfO.H. A mixture of compounds. Aand B, is placed at the
top of the column. What is the fraction ofcomponent A left in lbe column i.fthe eluent is Cut mid.,:vay between the ~
ofth~ bands at the.end o(t~ CQlulJln? h. =_O.OO~ em; P-"j "" L5 a~'PB'" ~.7. ~ answer a calcul.ation ofth~
8J]1oupt of in the,~ed area of~ 1$4'7: n . , ~
158 Principles

"NSWER _ . _ -....-
Step_I. Determine the relative rates of motion of each CQmpQ\lnd dQ.wn the column. FrorT! equation 15-3 \\'e get

(RAt ... A", + P8A~ .;:0".3:;:0_+-;.(,,1'.;-7"',,:0"';.;1s;, • 1.0S8 (15-4)

(Rj)B A", ... PAA., = 0.30 + (I.S. O.lsj

I""~ }
The 1.058 means that compound A moves down the column 1.058
times faster than compound B. When the main concentration peak of

lq".oo~ 0.88,.
cornpOlrnd B reaches the 15.0 an point. the corresponding peak for
compound A would be at 15.86 em. a 0.86 em difference. However, the
midpoint between the peaks is to be at 15.0 an. Figure 15-3 shows how this
V ~ 1$.., all
adjustment is made.
,,, " ....------",., When the midpoint of the peaks is placed at the end ofthe column, the
I.' : main peaks are 0.43 an in each direction from it.
y •
•• I•

Figure 15-3. The midpoint of the


Step 2. Find how much eluent it will take to wash the main peak of compound A to 15.43 em. The total volume of the
mobile phase required will equaJ the effective plate volume times the number oftheoreti~1 plates.


whefC V"" volume otmpbjle phase.-in mL. N "" plate number, and (V,)~ -= effective plate- volume of eom·poutxl A.

CoIUIJUt length

N • =",I",S':.;; • 5143 plalt;S
0.003 em/plate

Notice that the column length· used is 15.43 em, even though the actual colwnn is only 15.0 em long. TIlis is
necessarybeeaiJsi: tbe midpoint of the peaks is to be moved to l5..o em. and this will take a volume of mobile phase
~uivnlent to a 15.43 em column. Using equation 15-2:
V. ~ h(A. + PA)
D,O.003 (0.30 + l.S x 0.1 S)
=- 0.00158 cm'/plate
Therefore, y- 5143 plates x. 0.00158 cmJ/plate "" 8.10 em)
§.tep 3. Calculat;e the area of the small shaded Siection in Figure: 1>.3. The area under the curve is·rd.ated to lhe.nwnber
oftheorcticaf plates and the volUme of the mobile phase by

, __V_ _ .fN
V• .fN

·Figure 15-4 18 a G$lSSian i!istribution curve showing I values where 1 is the number of standard deviations away, from
the·cCIltet,ofthe'CUlVe. Statisticians have worked out the standard deviat!on to area relationship, and the resuhs are
!hO\Xl\'in ~art inJ:ablc 15-3"""_....._
Displacement and multiple Column chrornatogNillhy 159

Figure 15-4. A Gaussian distribution curve.

-3 -z -, o ., •• •

Tahle 15-3. (values and % area

/ % / % / % / %
0.0 0.00 1.0 68.26 2.0 95.44 3.0 99.730
0.1 7.96 1.1 72.86 2.1 96.42 3.1 99.806
0.2 15_86 1.2 76.98 2.2 97.22 3.2 99.862
0.3 23.58 13 80.64 2.3 97.86 3.3 99.902
0.4 31.08 1.4 83.94 2.4 98.36 3.4 99.932
0.5 39.30 1.5 86.64 2.5 98.76 3.5 99.952
0.6 45.14 1.6 89.04 2.6 99.06 3.6 99.968
0.7 51.60 1.7 91.08 2.7 99.30 3.7 99.978
0.8 57.62 1.8 92.82 2.8 99.48 3.8 99.984
0.9 63.18 1.9 94.26 2.9 99.62 4.0 99.992

Although Table 15-3 is based upon an infinite number of plates, the 5000 plates in this column are sufficient to be in
error by only a small fraction of a percent. The N used now is based on the actual column length because the desired
I is at the end of the column and not at the )?Cal: concentration.

I " 8.10 - .;5,000 • 2.02

0.00158 .;5,000

from Table 15-3 this c6rrc~ponds to an area of95.5%. This leav~ 2.3% o(oompound A in the COIUlnJ.l,(Y, of 4.5%).

Unfortunately, there are no fonnulas for calculating the proper solvent or adsorbent for the separation of a given
compound. Tables 15·1 and 15-2 show some of the materials that have been found to work.

Never leI air gel inlO a packing once a column is packed. These air bubbles alter the flow of the mobile phase,
skewing the dividing lines between compounds and making quantitative recovery nearly impossible. In severe cases,
the bubbles may even stop the flow of mobile phase. To prevent air from gL'tling into the paCking, always keep a small
volume of mobile phase on top of the packing and never let it go dry during a separation. This can be helped by using
columns with large reservoirs for the mobile phase.
Packcolumnsfumly. Ifthe packing is too loose, channeling and wall effects can occur. Both cause uneven rronts
between compounds, leading (p. 151), and poor resolution. Channeling is caused by opcnings betwcen the additions
of packing that pennit the mobile phase to move faster there than through the regular packing. WaJ1 effecls are present
iftherc is excessive space between the column wall and the inert phase. The mobile phase then moves faster along the
wall than in the main body ofthe packing and skews the shape of the solvent front. However, don't overdo it. A too
tightly packed column will have a slow mobile phase now, resulting in an increase in diffusion and band broadening.
Experience is the best teacher. The following is a technique that has been found to work well.
160 Techniques

When dry packing a column, add the packing in increments of

Vulumrlric 0...... a few grams and tap the end of the column gently on a notebook or
"'ith the n«l<_ _ <>til ......
eutntr pad after each addition. This provides the proper finnness ofpacking
and reduces the boundary lines between additions. Once the packing
has been added, then press it finnly in place with a tamper to make
the top flat. The tamper can be made by placing a glass or wood rod
on a single-hole rubber stopper so that the wide end of the stopper
makes contact with the packing. If very fine powders are used as the
incrt phase, you can rough up the surface of each increment before
the next addition is made. This reduces the fonnation of a smooth
boundary and a channeling eITect. As a rule. you should not add all
ofthe packing at once in a large column. When pressurc is applied to
pack it. the top few centimeters are packed much more tightly than
Figure IS.S. Technique for obtaining the matenal below. and the mobile phase will move at a variable ratc.
constant flow and constant level of mobile This makes duplicating results from day to day difficult.
phase. To maintain a constant flow rale and a continuous flow of
mobile phase. im'ert a modified volumetric flask filled wilh Ihe
salvenl in the top ofthe column. This is shown in Figure 15·5. The lOp is cut otT of an appropriate sized volumetric flask,
and the desired amount of mobile phase is added. Place the flask in the top of the column, and after a few minutes, the
liquid level will stay at the level ofthe bottom ofthc neck. When the solvent level drops below the neck. air enters the
flask and allows a small amount of solvent to come out This process continues until all of the solvent is used. Because
the solvent level is constant. the flow rate ofthe mobile phase is constant, and the analyst does not. have to pay constant
aucmion to the column.
Use dry mobile phase.~. Water is quite polar and will clute most compounds adsorbed on a column packing. 11lc
easiest way to ensure that your solven! is dry is to place an adsorbent on top or Ihe column packing. Either place a
second small column containing 1-2 em of anhydrous NarliO. on top of the main column or place a small section of
glass wool on top of dIe column packing and then add a few grams of anhydrous sodium sulfate. As the solvent passes
through. any water will immediately fonn NazSO. IOH 20 (Glauber's salt).

Gradienl Elution
When compounds of widely dilTerent adwrptive capacities arc present in the same mixture, then it is difficult to
remove the more polar compounds and still separate the easy c1uters with the same mobile phase. What is done is to stan
orr the separation with a weakly polar mobile phase, and then slowly add another liquid of higher polarity. This
produces a polarity gradient, and as the polarity increases, the more highly polar compounds begin to move down the
column. With a bit of research, it is often possible to develop a gradient that will provide the same degree ofseparation
between each compofl(.'Ot of the mixture. Figure 15~6 shows a diagrnm of one type of gradient producer.
In the simplest case. a liquid of low polarity (N) is placed in tube I. A liquid of higher polarity (P) is placed in
tubes 2 and 3. As liquid is drained from tube I, liquid from rube 2 flows in and is mixed by the stirrer. As this process
continues, the polarity of the mobile phase slowly increases.

N p p

Figure 15-6. Appararus for producing liquid

gradients. Side view (left). Top view (right).
Displacement and multiple Column chromatography 161

One commercial apparatus consists of II tubes

in a circular arrangcment, Each is fined with a stirrer
on a vertical shaft with a gear on the top. Each stirrer
is COnnected to a sun gear, so all tum at the same time.

Fraction Collectors
A fraction collector (Figurl' 15-7) is an
apparatus that contains dozens or small test lUbes or
vials on a moveable rack. Modem collectors can be
programmed to collect fractions by volume, counting
drops or by time. They can be programmed further to
collect only peaks of interest. The one shown can hold
up to 174 12-13 mm tubes, and an LCD displays the
tube number, drop count, and help messages.

Figure 15-7. A SpcctraChrom CF-l fraction collector.

(Courtesy - Fisher Scientific Co., PillSburgh, PA)


With one exception all of the chromatographic, ion exchange, and electrophoretic methods of separation require
that the sample be in a very narrow band or srnall-diametcr spot at the beginning of the separation. The exception occurs
when only one component of a mixture is desired. In that case, the desired compound is retained on the column, and
the other compounds are washed away. The desired compound then can be washed otTilie COIUnUl and collected. Doing
this requires that the surface of the column packing be altered to retain the desired compoW'ld. With conventional
adsorption column chromatography, the analyst is at the mercy ofthe cflcmical nature of the inert phase. The following
experiment, which is typical of those used in the drug industry and by the FDA to detect adulteration and dose levels
in commercial product", shows how an analyst can alter the packing to the desired conditions.
This separation depends on the fact that most compounds are aCids or bases to some extent. A column packing
that is initially neutral is selected, and it is made acidic to retain basic compounds or basic to retain acidic compo\mds.
One of the best neutral packing materials is called "Celite" (pronounced cell ite, not sea light). It is a finely powdered
mixture of the skeletons of small sea animals. Figure 15-8 is a photomicrograph of some of the particles.

Figure 15-8.
Photomicrograph of
some particles of
(Courtesy - Johns-Manville
Co., Dctlver, CO)
162 Tethniqut'li


The columns used for this type of separation are very simple, as shown in Figure 15-9. They are made of glass
and are 2.5 em x 15 em.

Figure 15-9. Glass columns for single-comJXIund separations.

(Coutesy • Ace Glass Co.• Vineland. NJ)

Weighing Technique
Cclite is a dry JXIwder and difficult to wet with either the sample or acids or bases. II is also messy to handle and
weigh. However, because only an approximate weight of the material is necessary, a simple technique has been
developed to obtain 2-5 g of material within ± 0.1 g with 00 mess. The apparatus is shO\.vn in Figure 15-10.
It is made by screwing the bottoms of two l-cuncc plastic bottles onto the ends of a I cm x 20 cm dowel rod. A
razor blade is used to trim the bottles to the appropriate size. The proper size is dctcnnined by pushing the open end of
the scoop inlo the Celite. withdrawing it, and then by simple pressure. emptying it onlo a paper for weighing. One end
is adjusted to 3 g lind the other end to 2 g. Because most oolumns require 3-5 g ofCclite, this combination can be used
for all occasions.

Figure IS-IO. A homemade Celite "scoop."

Coaling Technique
Liquids can be added to Celitc's surface at 0 ra'e 0/110 mOre ,han / g o/Iiqllid to / g a/CeJite. The best ratio is
ill the range of I g of liquid to 3 g ofCciite. To prepare a basic Cclite, for example, place 3 g ofCclite in a 100 mL
beaker and add I mL of I N NaOH solution. The liquid will immediately form balls and not disperse. Use a glass rod
or a Oat spatula and mix the liquid thoroughly into the solid until no balls of liquid are visible and the mixture appears
homogeneous. Thi.~ step is very important. If all of the particles arc not coated unifonnly, then channeling will occur
and sample recoveries will be low. The sample is placed on the Celite in the same manner.

P8("king T«hnique
Place a small piece of glass wool in the bottom of the column. Transfer the cooted Celite to the column. tapping
il genlly on a paper pad after each addition to ensure a finn packing. When all ofthe sample is transferred, use a tamping
rod to scrape the sidt.'walls ofLhe oolumn clean and tamp the packing finnly. Usc a small piece of glass \\'001 to wipe
the inside of the beaker clean. Place this pit.>tt ofglass wool on top of tile column and push it down on top of the Celite
with the tamping rod. This helps clean the surface of the column's side wall.
For multiple-compound separations. two techniques arc common. The first, which is more common, is to prepare
a column for each compound desired and stack the columns vertically on a tall ring stand (Figure IS-II). The second
method is to usc a largcrcolumn and place the packings on top of each other. About 2 mm ofdry Cclite is packed finnly
between each scction, so they can be separated easily.
The first method is preferred, because it is faster. Once the compounds have been separn.tcd, the top column can
be removed, and the compound it contains can be eluted without waiting for the other columns to empty.

Elution Technique
Refer to Figure 15-5, p. 160, for the elution technique. Drugs usually require less than 250 mL of eluent. so the
bottom of a 250 mL round bottom is adequate.
Displacement and multiple Column chromatography 163


T~ pass FDA regUlations. the product should oontain
r-'\ .....'"

~ 95% to 105% is dt-claR:4 on the ~1. Twp mL ~ru)~

CobM ,
of a sample pf coW syrup is pip,;-<l:l' ooto 3 g ofCe~ with a
Molv,pipet. Th~ sample is "'nUned by thi~~4cSCti"bed -..
in Experiment 20. The sample, examined for codeine, has an
absorbance of 1.152 and the srr..ndard curve had an absorbance
of 1.20 -lit 80 IJglmL. What is the concentration of the codeine
and does-it fall within the 95·105% limit?
Cd....... l '-'-
"'"~ 0
Step 1; Determine the pg codeineJmL. in the tcst solution. ,Notph(ni.........
Step 2: D.etermine the .~g codeine in the sample. 1.llaCditd4S
2.11 tnl • NNaOH
"'80 p.glmL "" X._~glmL x • 76.8 ~g/nW
"1.20 1.152
c..... ,
,- ~
76.8 flg/mL x 25 mL. (dilution) "" 1920 Jlg in 2.0 mL of
sample.' ...... 0

Step 3: Detennine mg codeine/5 roL and verify with the label. H1cCdncHS
2.0tnL I N H.SO.
-'.. ~

95%of5mg-4.75mg; 105% of5mg-·S.25 mg. Therefore 0

the sample meets specifications.
. ...


Figure IS-II. Stacked column arrangement

for cough synlp analysis.

1. Why is it essential that the top ofthc column packing be flat?
2. Why is it good technique to usc dry mobile phases unless experience indicates that a little water is acceptable?
3. How do you dry a solvent on a column?
4. Why do you want the sample to be in as narrow a band as possible at the beginning of the separation?
5. What is one cause of"lcading"? See p. 151 for help.
6. What causes the wall effect and what docs it do to a separation?
7. What is a gradient elution and how can a gradient bc established?
8. Why is air a problem in a column?
9. How can you store a packed column for days without it going dry?
10. Why are removable bottoms placed on chromatography columns?
11. What is the technique used to supply several hundred mL of mobile phase to a column without danger of an
12. Detennine the Rfvalucs for phenol and salicylic acid ifa column 2 em in diameter and 30 em long, contains 83
g ofalumina (d = 3.6 g!cm). 9.6 ml ofwater, and 61 mL ofa butanol-pyridine mixture. The parlition coefficients
are 0.194 and 3.42, respectively.
164 Techniques

13. Using the column described in the previous problem, what are the partition coefficients of gallic acid and
protocatechuic acid, if their R/s are 0.43 and 0.74, respectively?
14. A column having an inside diameter of 14 mm is filled with silica gel (d = 0.61 glcm) containing I00/0 water by
weight, 15 g being required and filling the tube to the 25 cm level. Calculate A.... The Rfvalues for pyrogallol and
phenol were 0.51 and 0.97, respectively. What are the partition coefficients?
15. Using the previous column. calculate the Rr values if the partition coefficients of citric acid and lactic acid are
8.3 and 3.9, respectively.
16. In a particular partition chromatography column, the volumes of mobile phase, stationary phase. and inert phase
are in the ratio A.. : A.: AI of 0.20 : 0.05 : 0.75 and the HETP is 0.0050 cm. Two substances having partition
coefficients of 1.50 and 1.55 are to be separated. Calculate (a) the RJ values fIX the two substances. (b) the volurnc
ofcluent required to bring each of the bands in rum to a point 10.0 em down a column of tota! aR:a 1.0 cm 2, (c)
the volume ofclucnt required to wash all but 0.13% ofthc leading component from a 30 em column, and (d) the
% of the lagging component that has been removed under the conditwns of part c.
17. A flask ofchlorofonn is invertl."d and placed in the top of a column packed with Celitc. 'The chloroform does not
all drain out and overflows the column. Why is this?
18. What is "dry washing" of the beaker in which the sample was mixed?
19. A beginner mixed a measured amount ofcough syrup into Celitc and packed a column. 1ltc recoveries werc low.
What might have caused this?
20. What is the preferred solid to liquid ratio range for Celitc columns?
21. Why is it not necessary to have the sample in a narrow band at the top of the column in this case?
22. Why is air in the column not as serious a problem in this type ofseparatiOl1?
23. Earlier it was mentioned that dry mobile phases usually were preferred, yet in this case the eluent is saturated with
water. Why?
24. What is an easy way to clean these columns?
25. It is recommended that the plug of glass wool placed in the bottom of the column not be too small. What is the
reason for thi!>?
26. Assume that the absorbance for lhe sample had been 1.225 for the example problem. What would the results have
been then?


Amni!}' chromatography, developed by R. Axen, J. Porath. and S. Emback in 1967 and narned by P. Cuatrecasas
in 1968 is a separation in which the surface of the inert phase has been modified so that it selectively binds compounds
having a specific functional group. 1bc binding force is strong enough to effect a scpanuion. hut wL'ak enough so Ihal
the desired compound can be washed off when desired. For example, Am Gel 60 [ contains a borallie acid group thai
selectively retards compounds having 1.2-dihydroxy groups such as glycols and some sugars.

Ligand Sample

I-I ---'O-Clh
I /./ I
H./ O···H

0-C H2 • rf 1-l----0-CI1 2
1-1/ I "0':'.1-1/ I

Thai some biological molecules had affinities [01" other biological molecules was lirst obSCtVed by Starkenstein
in 1919, who no!iced thai amalyasc binds tighlly 10 insoluble starch. In 1953, Lerman used an azo dye immobilized on
cellulose to separate mushroom tyrosinase from other proteins.

Cellulose )-o-{ J-N=N-{ J-N=N-{ J-N=N-OH

This technique became known as dye binding and is still a valid method of separation. What is now known as affinity
chromatography had its beginnings in 1967 with the introduction by Axen et al. ofactivated agarose as the inert matrix.
The name affinity chromatography was proposed as a general name to include both organic and inorganic applications.
However. the applications have been related almost entirely to biological systems, so the name bio.selective
chromalOgraphy has been proposed. It is unlikely that the name will change quickly, because there are currently over
20.000 publications and several books referring 10 affinity chramatography.
Several commercial beads are available. Of more imjX)r1ance is the fact that by using a few well- cslablished
reactions, anyone of hundreds ofligands can be added to the spacer ann. A few of these reactions will be discussed

The matrix should (I) be stable to the eluant, (2) be mechanical and chemically slable. (3) have a large surface
area, (4) be easily derivarized and (5) have good now characteristics. Currently used matrix materials are agarose,

166 Principles

-lHO CH,oH Jr. 1

porous glass, cellulose, glycidoxy-coated glass. Ultragel
(agarose coated polyacrylamide), and Enzacryl (polyacrylic-
coated iron particles). About 90 % of the separations are
with agarose and porous glass.
Agarose is obtained from sea kelp and is a linear
polysaccharide consisting of alternating residues of «·1,3
and p·I,4linkages plus a few carboxylate and sulfate ionic
residues. lbe ionic residues must be removed, becau.~ they
interfere with most separations. This can be done by a
NaB~ reduction. The unpurified material is commonly
called ago,..
Agarose consists of pentagonal pores created by the
bridging of triple helical agarosc chains. This is a rather
fragile substance and is often strengthened by additional
cross linking with epichlorohydrin. Figure 16-1 is a diagram
Figure 16-1. Molecular agarosc (top). Systematic comparing the structures of Sephadcx and agarose.
comparison ofScphadex (lower left) to agarose (lower Control/ed pore glass was developed because agarosc
right). lacks sufficient mechanical strength for high pressure, fast
(Courtesy· Amott et aI., J. Mol. Bioi. 90. 269, 1974) flow mte applications; it swells and shrinks excessively with
changes in ionic strength; dissolves in too many solvents; is
difficult to usc with organic solvents: and is difficult to dry
Controlled pore glass is prepared by heating ccrtain
types of borosilicate glass to 500-800 "C until it separates
into silicate-rich and boron-rich phases. (Figure 16-2). The
borate phase is then dissolved with acid. producing a sponge
\ like arrangement with pores From 25·7.0 nm.

~ ~,1-~S1-R
.. ~,." lfthe alkali is dissolved, then pores from 45 10 400 nm can
be obtained. This form ofglass will readily adsorb proteins.,
H Il,C'~ JC,II, usually without altering their biological function. This glass
does possess considerable ionic surface character, which is
I often undesirable. This can be removed by rcnuxing with a
10 % aqueous solution of aminopropyllriethoxysilane. 1lte

amino propyl group also can acl as a spaCer arm ifdesired.

-.-<>, .II 1.l!Q!L

The spacer ann is used to move the active group well
C,H,O-~-R R$ilOC,H,h away from the bead, SO that steric hindrances arc at a
I OC,H, minimum. This is sOOwn in diagrammatic form in Figure 16-
3. The effectiveness of spacer arms depends upon (I) their

~- length, (2) stability of the attachment (0 the bead, (3)

' hydrophobic nature. (4) the presence or fixed chargcs, and
(5) their concentration.
} , ,
• 0
Most commercially available materials can be
, purchased with the SpaCer arm already attached and. in some
cases, the ligand as well. Table 16-1 shows several spacer
arms available from Bio-Rad laboratorics.Ligands with free
Figure 16-2. Mechanism of silinization of porous
carboxyl groups can be attached to Am-Gel 101 and 102 by
the EDAC melhod described lattt. Acid chlorides. N·
(Courtesy. W.H. Scouten. Affinity Chromatography, Wiley-
hydroxysuccinimide esters., aldehydes, anhydrides and alkyl
Interseience, 1981)
halides react directly.
Affinity l.:hromatography 161

Ligands with free amino groupS can be immobilized

on Am·GeI 201 and 202 by the EDAC method. Ligands
can be attached 10 Am-Gel 40 I by disulfide, Ihioestcr, or
thiocthcr fonnation. Am-Gel5e [ has a high capacity for
selectively purifying SH·comaining proteins.


Figure 16-3. Effect of spacer

groups on the accessibilil)' of
binding sites.
(COU1.esy • Gclb, W.G., America"
Laboratory, OcL, 1913)

Table 16-1. Affi·GeI supports for affinity chromatography.

(Courtesy - Bio-Rad Laboratories, Richmond, CAl

Compound Spacer Ann

Affi-Gel 10

Affi-Gd 101

Affi-Gel 102



CM Bio-Qel A
Affi-Ge1401 , - 0 - C H2CO N H(C H 2hN H(CH2hN HCOCH
\CH 2 hSH

Affi-Gel SOl 1-0 -rCH,hNHCO-< }HgCl

Cyanogen Bromtdc
One ofthe common, but somewhat hazardous, methods ofactivating agarose is to use cyanogen bromide, CNBr.

_:.,N_-_R. ) O H
) • .. N H2-t
168 Pl'"inclpla

Acid Chloride
This is a proven method to activate carboxylic acid groups for further reaction with amines.

• SOC~
• -C
Q ° + so, • HCI

There are mallY ways to attach ligands to the spacer arm. A few are shown below.

Dirttf Attachmenl

pH s-o
+ R-c'l, ° •

H pH ..

Reaclive Inlel'"mcdiale
Ligands with free alkyl or aryl amino groups will couple spontaneously within hours in aqueous solution.

?J ?J Ow pH 6.5 10 8.5
I-OCH,cH,cH,~CCH,cH,c-~-O-N + R-NH, •
H H Buffer

° °I II

EDAC (1-elhyl·3-(3-dlmelhylaminopl'"opyl) carbodiimide IICI)

For the preparation of amides. pcptides. thiocslcrs and esters in either aqueous or anhydrous solutions in about
2 hours. The following scheme. p. 169. from Lowe and Dean. Affinity Chromatography. J. Wiley & Sons, 1974.
illustrates the reaction sequence for carbodiimides in general.
Affinity chromatography 169

"H \"
, C-<> • I
I C><>


., "I 0

H 'NIl R-e-N
,0 I ij' U ;0 r
+ C -'!!...
~ ~--().--C'R f~o

0- t
H "H "H

I r 1
•• ••
• r
"H r
•• •
Table 16-2 lists several ligands and the types of compounds for which tht.'Y have an affinity. Affinity chromatography
offers the research chemist an almost unlimited opportunity to develop rather selective separations. However, the
preparation of the bed matrix usually is not easy, requiring much tl.'Chnique.

Table 16·2. Selected ligands and their affinity compounds

Ligand Affinity Compounds

Diazo-NAO· Dehydrogenases
AMP analogues NAOP· binding proteins
Blue dextran 2000 Yeast phosphofructokinase
Coenzyme A 3-Hydroxy-3-melhyl glularyl
coenzyme A reductase
Methotrexale Oihydrofolale reduclase
B" Transcobalamin I and II
Thiamine Pyruvale oxidase
Pyridoxyl phosphate Tyrosine aminotransferase

I. What is the purpose of the "spacer ann"?
2. What is dye binding?
3. What are some advantages of controlled pore glass and how is it prepared?
4. How is porous glass
5. Why usc EDAC first ralher than couple the ligand directly to the spacer ann?
6. Why are lectins considered to be ha7.ardous unless properly handled? Refer to Appendix A, Experiment No. 21.
7. What is the difference between lectin and lecithin? Same reference as 6, but you will need more.


(Gel Filtration; Gel Permeation)
Size exclusion chromatography is a chromatographic technique in which the separation is based on diffcrCllces
10 the size of the sample molecules. The column packing is made from beads of a porous gel shown as a
photomicrogmph in Figure 17.1, p. 172.
Molecules of various size are drawn on the photo and show that the large molecules cannot fit at all and would
be washed out orlhe column. The smallest m. w. molecule that does 110t enter the gel is called the exclusion limi/, and
the volume required to clute the large molccuk-s is called the void volume, V. The smaller mok'Cules can penncatc the
gel; (he smaller the molecule. the farther the penetration and the greater the retardation. This results in a separation
because it requires more solvent to wash the smaller molecules out oflhe gel. This has a limit If the molecules become
too small, (hen their molccular size compared to the pores is so small that they behave Ihe same and require essentially
the samc amount of solvent to elute them. This volume is called the fotal permeofion volume. Vr Figure 17-2, p. 172
illustrates these terms. VI is the interstitial volume.
The size of the pores determines the molecular weight range of the compounds that can be separatf.:d. Size
exclusion often is used to clean up an extracted solution. For cxample, it is used to remove thc fats and waxes from the
pesticide residues that are extracted from a food composite.
A gencral rule is that compounds that differ by IfYI/o in size can be separated in the same column. A series of
columns, each fiued with a different exclusion limit gel, can be used to separate a multiple-componem mixture.

Parts or the material below were abstracted from Pharmacia-Biotech Products literature.
Gel fihration is a rapid and efficient alternative to dialysis for desalting and buffer exchange. It is used, for
example, in the preparation of protein samples prior to freeze drying or fractionating by ion exchange chromatography.
Applications include:
Detennining the m.w. distribution of polymers.
Preparative fractionation of polymcrs.
Purification of biological samples.
Detcnnining complcx equilibrium constants.
Desalting biological materials.
Exchanging buffcrs.

The concept of what is now called sizeexc/llSion was developed by J. Porath and P. Flodin in 1959 and was called
gel filtration. The gels they prepared W(.TC made from dextran that had been polymerized with cpichlorohydrin and are
known as Sephadex. They are prepared by what is now the Phannacia Biotcch Products Co., Uppsala, Sweden. Their
structurc is shown on p. 172.

172 Principles

Hpj 0-0;,
6 G1,oo o

2 Alpha d-I ,4-Linkage Alpha d-I.6-Linkage

Scphadex is the standard choice for rractionating

mixtures of proteins. peptidcs, and the smaller nucleic acids
and polysaccharides. By varying the degrees ofcross linking.
gels of different porosities and different fractionation mnges
arc obtained. Sephadcx 0-10 to 0-25 is stable from pH 2 10
13 and 0-50 10 0-200 from pH 2 to 10. Sephadcx can be
used with buffCfS containing dissociating agents such as urea
and detergents and can be autoclave sterilized.
Dextran is obtained ITom starch. Starch is a
polysaccharide consisting primarily of «-d-I.4 and «-d-1,6
linkages. If the slarch is treated with either of the enzymes
Lellconosroc mesente,.oides or Loctobacteriaceoe dextran-
••,. ;'to
. . '. •
iClIm, the «..d-I,4 linkages are broken. leaving a residue of a-
d-I.6 linkages, which is isolaled by precipitation with
methanol. This residue is known as dextran. Typical
commercial dextrans have molecular weights from 40.000 to
Figure 17-1. An electron micrograph of a gel particle 75,000.
(CourtL"li)' • Canlow. MJ.R., Pol)'I'IIer Froctiol'lDlion,
Academic Press, Orlando. FL. 1967)

.' IltCLUtlON


;;; .-
::: .'


. ' v, " l
These materials use aqueous salt solutions for the mobile
phase; they swell considerably and collapse mther easily. In
fact, the large pore gels (greater than G-25) must have the
mobile phase enter from the bottom ofthe column to prevenl
the gel from collapsing and plugging the column. Glassj,.its
Figure 17-2. The volume terms in size should not be used to support the bead column. because the
exclusion chromatography. sharp edges cut into the beads, causing them to collapse and
(Courtesy· Waters Corp.• Milford. MA) plug the column.
Sin exdusion c:hrOmlifognphy 173

Gel filtration usually involves low pressures (solvent heights ofa few inches), and the flow rates are slow. from
0.1 to I mUmin. Figure 17-3 is a diagram of some commercially available columns. The Kontes columns are glass
with plastic frits and are designed to have a low dead volume below the packing. The Phannacia Biotech columns are
plastic and work vel'}' well with ll. soft types ofSephadex.

Lipophilk Sephadex
Lipophilic materials (Sephadex LH-20 and LE-60) are used when organic solvents are required. TIley are
prepared from Sephadex G-25 and G-50 by hydroxypropylarion. They are designed for usc in aqueous buffer systems,
polar organic solvents, and aqueous solvent mixtures. In mixed solvcnts., the gel preferentially takes up the more polar
component. They have wide applications in the fractionation of lipids, steroids, fatty acids, honnones, vitamins. and
other small molecules.
The ideal gel should be in the fonn of porous supt..'f"fine beads ""';th high mechanical strength 10 allow good
resolution of large molecules at conveniently high flow rates. Sephacryl is prepared by covalently cross-linking allyl
dextran with N,N-methylene bisacl'}'lamide to give a highly stable matrix. By carefully controlling the exact conditions
of the synthesis, gels are produced with exclusion limits ranging from approximately 250,000 (Sephacl'}'l S-200) to
several hundred million (Sephacl'}'1 S-I 000). The rigidity ofthe matrix allows beads of Superfine grade to be prepared
that still provide excellent flow rates. Columns can be packed and equilibrated quickly, and cycle times reduced.
Sephacryl can be used in aqueous buffer systems, pl~ 2-11. in concentrated urea or guanidine HCI. and in a
number of organic solvents. The fractionation ranges of the five types of Sephacl'}'1 (Table 17-1, p. 174) cover
molecules from small polypeptides to particles ofdiameter 300-4(}() nm. Sephacryl S-2OO and 5-300 are useful for most
Sephacryl S-400 and 5-500 are excellent for polysaccharides and other macromolecules with an extended
structure. Scphacryl 5-1000 fractionates restriction fragments of DNA, very large polysaccharides, proteoglycans, and
membrane-bound vesicles op to 300-400 nm in diameter.
The bead structure ofSephacryl is allyl dextran and N.N'-methylenc bisacrylamide.

Figure 17-3. Diagram of a column Figure 17-4. Columns and bed volume control
and plunger arrangement plungcrs.
(Courtesy - Ace Glass Co.• Vineland. (Courtesy - Pharmacia Biotech Co., Piscalaway. NJ)
174 Prlncipks

Table 17-1 lists several gel filtration compounds and some of their characteristics.

Table 17-1. Selected data on gel filtration products

(Courtesy - Pharmacia Co., UppsaJa. Sweden)

Useful Fractionating Range (mw) Dry Bead

Sephadex Pcplides/Globular PJ'Q(eins Dcxlrans Diameter (j.lm)

G-IO ·700 -700 40-120

G-15 -1,500 -1,500 40-120
0-25 C"""" 1,000-5,000 I()()"5,OOO 100-300
Medium SO-l50
Fine 20-80
Superfine 20-50
G-50 Co,"" 1,500-30,000 500-10,000 100-300
Medium 50-150
Fine 20-80
Superfine 20-50
G·75 3,000-80,000 1.000-50,000 40-120
Superfine 3,000-70.000 20-50
G-IOO 4,000-150,000 1,000-100,000 40-120
Superfine 4,000-100,000 20-50
G-150 5,000-300.000 1,000-150,000 40-120
Superfine 5,000-150,000 20-50
G-200 5,000-600,000 1,000-200,000 40-120
Superfine 5,000-250,000 20-50

6B1CI-6B 10.000 - 4 x Ht 10,000 - I x Ht 45-165
4B1CI-48 60,000 - 2 x 107 30,000 - 5 x Ht 45-165
2B/CI-2B 70.000 - 4 x 10
100,000 - 2 X 107 60-200

S-200 Superfine 5,000-250,000 1,000-80,000 40-105
S-300 Superfine 10,000 - 1.5 x 111 2,000-400,000 40-105
S-400 Superfine 20,000-8 x If! 10,000 - 2 x Ht 40-105
S-500 Superfine 40,000 - 2 x 101 40-105
5-1000 Superfine 500,000 _> 101 40-105

Molecular Weights
Table 17-2 lists severaJ compounds that can be used to calibrate a column for the determination of molecular

Table J7-2. Reference compounds for molecular weight detenninalions

(Counesy - Pharmacia BiotlX:h Products, Uppsala. Sweden)

Protein m.w. Source

Ribonuclease 13,700 Bovine pancreas

Chymotrypsinogen A 25,000 Bovine pancreas
Ovalbumin 43,000 I-Icnegg
Albumin 67,000 Bovine serum
AI"""" 158,000 Rabbit muscle
catalase 232,000 Bovine liver
Ferritin 440.000 Mouse spleen
Thyroglobulin 669,000 Bovine thyroid

Blue dextran 2000. m.w. 2,000,000 is used to determine void volume.

Size exclusion chromatography I7S

One of the initial disadvantages oflhe Sephadex polymers was being limited to use with aqueous systems. In
1964. John Moore of Dow Chemical patented B polymer that could be used for size exclusion separations invoh'ing
organic solvents. Thest" inilially wtte highly crosslinked S1yrcne-divinyl benzene (Styragel, Poragel, BiQoogel-S).
Pharmacia had the :-:u..,.. ~Itration process, so thli; system was called gel permeation.

¢o~ 6-. ~6~'6~¢-

CH=CHl -CH-CHI-0l-CH}-CH1-Oll -01-
Divinyl benzene Styrtoe I
These beads can be used with higher pressures. Some, like hydrogel. can withstand pressures up to 3000 p.s.i..
Organic solvents can be used; therefore, a wide variety ofoompoWlds can be separated. Typical solvent<; are benzene.
toluene, xylene, carbon tetrachloride. dimethylformamide, methylene chloride, ketones, dimethyl sulfoxide,
dichlorobenzene, ethylene dichloride, perchlorcthylene,letrahydrofuran, trichlorobcnzcne. and chloroform.

Bio-gel-P is a polyacrylamide polymer cross-linked with
methylene bisacrylamide. Dio-gel-P normally is not emplo)'ed
with water-miscible organic solvents because the beads
comract, causing reduction in pore size. II is compalible with
dilule organic acids. 8M urea., 6M guanidine IICI, chaotropic
agents. and detergents.

Enzacryl .0
The enzacryls are polymers of nitrogen eom3mmg 'NHz
compounds crosslinked with acrylamide. Most arc used for Acrytamide
immobilizing enzymes. Immobilized enzymes are very
important, because chemical reactions can be performed on a
column and the enzyme will retain its activity.

Enzacryl AA R = -NHC6 H.NH 2

AH R - .NH.NH2 (activate with UNO})
Polythiol R = -NHCH(CO}H)CH 2 SH (good for enzyme binding)

Polythio R ,., (enzyme binding· need not be activated )

Lactone I:H, -b
Adivaling and Binding Process
Gel + HN01 •• _._-> Acid Q7ide
Acid azide + Enzyme ---._-> Bound enzyme ( at the NH1 of lysine on the enzyme)

Table 17-3, p. 176. shows the exclusion limits for the Bio--gel·P's and Styragels.

The following techniques apply 10 gel penneation as well as gel filtration.
PresweJlthe beads in the sohoent to be used. The bead volume varies oonsiderably from solvent to solvent and
with ionic strength when using aqueous solvents. If end plWlgers are not used. the bed volume tends to fonn channels.
and if plungers are used before pre-swelling, pressure buildup can blowout the end plugs. Beads usually take about
4 hours to reach maximum size during preswelling.
SJuny pack the cO/limn. Keep the column full of solvent when the swollen beads are added. The beads are light
and settle slowly. Be patient, or channeling will occur.
176 Techniques

Table 17-3. Frnctionation range for sever.dl Bio-gel-P and Sly-ragel polymers
(COUr1esy. Bio-ROO Laboratories, Richmond. CA; Waters Associates. Milford, MA)

Polymer Fractionating Range Packed ikd Volume

Bio-get P2 100-1,800 J.5

P4 800-4.000 5
P, 1,()()()..6.000 8
P'O 1,500-20,000 9
PI50 15,000-150.000 18
P200 30.000-200,000 25
PJOO 6O,ODO-400,ooo 30

Slyragel lolA 500,000-500,000.000

,0' 100,000-50.000,000
W 50,000-2.000,000
10' 1,000-700,000
10' 500-50.000
10' 100-8,000

Bio-beads SX-I through SK-12 have ellc1usion limits from 400 10 14.000.

Use a rwo-plunger apparatus, ifpossible. The plungers are used to hold the column packing in place. The
beads are very flexible and tend to collapse when pressure is applied to the plwlger. The beads do not relieve applied
pressure evenly, and (he plunger end is more compact than the opposite end. This causes channeling. The usc of two
plungers minimizes this effect. Adjust the plungers slowly. The beads lend to stick to the sidewall of the column and
gel squeezed ifthe plunger is moved 100 fast.
Test the uniformity o/Ihe column packing with a colored compound. For example. 0.5 g of butter dissolved in
I: 1 methylene chloride and hexane can be used 10 check $X-3 columns. The band should stay narrow. and the front
should be straight Ifil is nOI, then repack the colwnn with the same material, only use a little more care. Some columns
have to be repacked 3-4 times before one is obtained that has no channeling.
Optimum pressllre.f are 7-1/ psi. The plungers are adjusted until 7·' 1 psi ofprcssurc is acquired to force liquid
through the column. Less pressure leads 10 channeling; more pressure leads to bead collapse.
Figure 17-5. p. 177, is a photograph ora complete automated apparatus setup. and Figure 17·6. p. 177. shows a
setup in diagrammatic foml ofa nonautomaled system. Figure 17-7, p. 177. is a photogrdph ofa gradient mixer. and
Figure 17·8, p. 177, is a diagrdm of how the gradient mixer is set up. Figure 17-9, p. 118, shows the apparatus setup
for usc with either gel fiJtrdtion or gel penncalion.
Srle exclusion chromatognaph)' 177


Figure 17-5. An automated nexible low pressure Figure 17-6. Diagram ofa gel filtration apparatus.
chromatography system. (Courtesy· Phannacia Biotech Co., Piscataway. NJ)
(Courtesy. Phannacia Biotech Co.. Piscataway, NJ)

Figure 17-8. Arrangement for a gnldient

Figure 17-7. Gradient mixer. mixer.
(Courtesy - Phannacia Biotech Co.• Piscataway, NJ) Courtesy. Pharmacia Biotech Co., Piscataway. NJ)
178 Techniques

Figure 17-9 is a photogmph ofan automated system that

incorporates 23 columns and is used by the FDA to remove fats
and waxcs from plant exlracts so pesticide residues can be
detennincd. It uses a Millon-Roy pump and is SCi up on a 5
mUmin now m!e. The now rale is adjusted by the pressure on
the plungers. II has "dump", "colleCl", and "wash" cycles thai
can be varied from O. J to to minutes and from I to 99 times. For
example; the FDA procedure uses the SUlnclard 5 mUmin now
rate, II cycles on dump, and 20 cycles on collect.

Figure 17-9. An automalcd gel filtration system.

(Courtesy -0.1. Analytical Laboralories, Columbia, MO)

I. Why arc plastic columns and support ffits preferred over glass columns for gel fiI!ration?
2. Why is there so much volume change when different ionic strength liquids arc used with these compounds?
J. Why should preswelling be done?
4. What is the purpose of plungers, and why are two preferred?
5. What do we mean by size exclusion?
6. How do you prepare Sephadex?
7. How do you immobilize an enzyme?


Flash chromatography is simply regular chromatography with a low pressure (usually < 20 p.s.i.) applied to force
lhc eluting solvent through the column faster. This produces medium quality, but fast (10..15 minutes) separations. It
is not appropriate for scpardting a mixture ofa dozen components. but it is excellent for separating the few side rcaclaJ1lS
from the main component in an organic synthesis. Depending upon the column size. several grams of sample eWl be
purified at one lime. The method was developed by Still, w.e.. Kahn, M., and Mitra, A. (J. Org. Chem.• 43 (14),2923.
1978). Figure 18·1. p. 180. shows a oommon arrangement for pressures less than 20 p.s.i. with a manual flow controller.
Figure 18-2, p. 180. shows a unit for higher pressures (>50 p.s.i.) with a pressure gauge attached 10 regulate flow and
a pressure relief valve.
Typical columns are from 30 to 45 em long and from I to 15 em in diameter. Reservoirs vary from 250 mL to
3000 mL and for the higher pressure units are epoxy coated for safety. The column packing is usually silica gel. The
components are held together by clamps or are screwed together. In any case. the separation should be done behind a
safety shield. Glass frits are nol used on the column bottoms because of too much dead volume below lhem. Glass wool
and fine sand are used instead.

The most common packing is silica gel. However. recently some reversed phase packings have been employed.
Still et al. found that the best particle size WdS 4Q.63 mesh (Figure 18-3 top, p. 180). Resolution is defined as retention
time (r) divided by the peak width (w).

Dry Packing
The method of Still et al. for a 2 em diameter column is as follows. It is important that lhe column packing does
not frdgmenl, or channeling can occur.
"Place a small piece ofglass wool in the bottom ofthe column. Add 2 mm of50-100 mesh sand and level it. Add
40-63 mesh silica gel to a depth of 14-15 em in a single addition. With the stopcock open, the column is gently tapped
vertically on a bench top to settle the packing. Add 2 mm of 50-I 00 mesh sand to the top of the now flat gel bed. ·nle
column is clamped for pressure packing and elution. The solvent is carefully poured over the sand 10 fill the column
completely. The needle valve ofthc flow controller is opened all of the way. fitted tightly to the top ofthe column and
secured with strong rubber bands. Tbe main air line valve leading to the flow controller is opened slightly and a finger
placed fairly tightly over the bleed port. This will cause the pressure above the adsorbent bed to climb rapidly and
compress the silica gel as solvent is rapidly forced through the column. It is important to maintain the pressure until all
of the air is expelled and the lower part oflhe column is cool, othcrwise the column will fragment and should be re-

180 Principlc'

~otCl Rf_
u ...

SUiC1lIfl p"rtOde siB" (I'ml, (., ~/"". 101 ~1t.·I2J.

~_ Pinch QlIf'4l"

o '.0 ro J.O ....
P.:lWll'>1 flow'.le IlnJminl.
_ Column"

~ _ 100 4Do

Figul"e 18-1. CompOnenls Figure 18-2. A higher pressure Figu.-e 18-3. The effect on resolution
needed for flash flash chromatography system. by (lOp) particle size, (middle) flow
chromatography. (Counesy - Aa Glass Inc.. rate, and (bottom) sample size.
(COUr1esy - Supelco, Bellerontt:. Vineland, NJ) (Courtesy· Still. W.e.. Kahn, M. and Mitra,
PAl A., J. &g. Chern., 43 (14). 2923, 1978)

Wei Packing
Most people have trouble getting all of the air out of the column using the dry packing method, so a wet slurry
packing method is used.
In this method, the silica gel is made into a slurry and poured into the column with the outlet open. Pressure is
applied to force the solvcnt out the bottom and also pack the column tight without air being trapped. The pressure is
released, the stopcock closed, the sample added, wld then the regular elution procedure is followed.

For most applications, the air from a compressed air line is used, and a pump is not needed. This may be from
a cylinder ofair or the lab air supply. Ilowever. for educational purposes or for inexpensive occasional separations, two
low-pressure providers have been tested. The lowest pressure "pump" is a double balloon arrangement (Bell, W.L. and
Edmondson, R.D.,J. Chern. Ed., 63 (4), 361, 1986). A large balloon is placed inside ofanothcr balloon, blown up, and
attached to the top of the column. Pressures on·) p.s.i. are achieved. 1be pressure is fairly steady because the balloon
volume is much larger than the volume of solvent used.
FOr somewhat higher pressures, depending upOn the size, and a more even flow rate, a fish aquarium pump,
available at any pet store, can be used (Jacobson, B.M., J. Chern. Ed., 65 (5), 459, 1988). The air controller obtained
there also will work well.
Flalh chromatography 181

Table 18-1. Recommendations for various size

Compressed air oonnally is used unless the compounds (Courtesy. Still. W.C.. Kahn, M. And Mitra, A., J. Org.
are air (oKygen) sensitive, then eompressed nitrogen is used. Cht!m.. 43 (14), 2924. 1978)
These gases are compressed by pumps that have oil seals, 1lO t • I
the gas always contains a small 811...1 of oil vapor. A lr3p ~um" Yo"'" ..
".pw: r='
between thesupply and the column can •••• ..I. ~( ~ 0.2 Oiki;!: 0.1 "' __
be used, but is required _:d;~·::-;_;;::~·_:"":;;"":::'·-.:j)}j~-Z:~·~"'~i"~'jl~m~"L~n~:n~.
only if very high product purit)· is desired. Keep the system as
simple as possi bIe.

Figure 18-3 (bot/om) indicates that there isa best sample
size for a given column diameter. This is surrmariu:d in T8~e
IflOO ..

18·1 for several columns.. Sample addition can be a problem.

Even though this is medium resolution chromatography, it is
still necessary to apply the sample In as thin a layer as possible.
To do this without mixing it in with the gel bed takes some
prac.tice. One way to make it easkr is to use the sample-
addition funnel ~1l in Figure 18-4. It is a regular Iong--slem
funnel with the end benl and a 4 mm hole In the side at the
bottom. This denccts lhe sample to the column sidewall, and it
spreads out evenly when it reaches the top oftM column bed
without disturbing the lOp oflhe bed.

The purpose of the now controller is to reduce the
pressure of the incoming gas to that required [or the proper
solvent flow rate and to let the exeess gas escape through a
figure 18-3 (middle) shows that for a Z em column. on
eluant flow rOle of5 em/min /hrough the column is optimal.
Commercial controllers give fine control and can be
varied as needed for different column sizes and ehwlges in the
viscosity ofthe solvents. However. ifa simple system is needed
for separations that are routine. then the corllroller proposed by
A. Feigenbaum (Figure 18·5) can be considered: "Air is
admitted into tJle system through a rcslrictor. The restrictor is
simply an 8 mm o.d. glass tube, constricted at one end to 2 mm.
.lgure 184. A sample-addition funnel.
The Hg height is adjusted to provide a solvent now rate of 5 (COUJ1tsy· Thompsoo. W.J. and Hanson. S.L..J. Chern.
em/min. The excess is vented to a hood. The pressure reservoir Ed., 61 (7),645. 1984)
is 3 L. nask. wrapped withscreen wire for safety."

Experience has shown that the best separations take place
if the desired component has an Rf of 0.35 on a silica gel thin
layer plale and the impurities are 1: 0.15 Rf values away. (See
... --==

Chapter 22 for thin layer chromatography, TLC.) The chemist

must try several solvents or solvent combinations on a TLC
plate to get the right separation. Once this has been done. then
the soh'ent system is simply transferred to the colwnn. Solvent

systems that have been foWKI to \ollfOri( well include 10-50% Flgure 18-5. A low cost now controller for student
mixtures of ethyl acelatcl30-60"'C with petroleum ether" laboratories..
(hexanes). (Courtesy· Feigenbaum, A .. J. Chem. Ed.• 61 (7). 649. 1984)
182 Principles

-- -- [
The sample comes through so fast that an easy way
must be found to collect the rractions. Table 18-1 provides
. . recommendations on the size of lhe fraction to collect based

t Crude
• • .. .. .a on the sample size and column volume.
The effluent can be monitored by <l uv detector, and lhe
sample desired fraction collected. What has been found to work well
is to use a test tube rack containing several 20 x 150 mm test
Figure 18-6. The usc orthin layer chromatography to tubes and collect a fraction in each one. Refer to Figure 18..(j
monitor thc collected fractions. to see a convenient method of detection. The crude sample is
(Courtesy - Still, W.C., Kahn, M. And Mitra, A., J. Chern. spotted along one side of the TlC plate, 5 ilL from each
EiJ., 43 (14), 2923,1978) fmction, then is spotted along the edge of the plate. When the
plate is developed, lhe frdctions that contain the desired
compound arc identified, and lhc degree of separation
achieved is also known.

Taking all of the above into consideration, Still et al.
make some generdl recommendations. These are summarized
in Table 18-1.

The apparatus illustrated in Figure 18-7 is a good
example of how common laboratory apparatus can be used for
microscalc separations. The apparatus shown can easily
separdte 10 mgor less of sample, with an upper limit of25-30
mg, and ifthe apparatus is already set up. a separation can be
done in less than an hour. A 5.5 inch disposable pipet is
packed and held in place with a small 3·pronged damp
mowlled on a ring stand. A 25 ml Erlenmeyer flask for
eluting solvent is placed nearby. A series of lOx 75 mm tcst
tubes in a test rube rock is placed by the outlet, and one is
shown in place. The air line is held in place as needed. A nask
for rinse solvent is 10 the upper left.

Figure 18-7. Micro flash chrom<ltography apparatus.

(Courtesy - Dr. Keith Buzsek, Kansas Stale University,
Manhattan, KS)

I. What is meant by "flash chromatography"?
2. Why are glass frits usually not used on the bottom of the columns?
3. (n the dry packing method of Still etal., why is it important to maintain the pressurc umil all of the air is expelled
and the lower part ofthe column is cool?
4. What types of inexpensive pumps can be used for flash chromatography?
5. What is the purpose of the flow controller?
6. What is the best R,compared 10 that of any impurities?
7. What are some good solvents or solvent mixtures to use with flash chromatography?
8. Ifit is desired to separate the major component with a fiR/of ~ 0.2, what is the maximwn recommended sample
size when using a 30 mm diamett:r column?
What is now known as high prcs.<;ure liquid chromatography or high petfonnance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
was first presented by Huber, J.F.K., and Hulsman, lA.G., in 1967.
We have learned Ihal the first chromatographic technique W<iS column chromatography. Since then, paper. thin
layer. and gas chromatography were developed. Now, nearly 100 years later, we arc going back to column
chromatography! This seems like a strange sequence of events, but there are good reasons for iL The original colwnn
chromatographic technique employed glass columns and either gravity flow or a slight vacuum to move the mobile
phase through the column. This was also slow chromatography and hard to reproduce chromatography. However, it
wa,> extremelyflexible chromatography in that an almost unlimited variety of solvents and column packings could be
used. It was because of this recognized flexibility that scientists reexamined column chromatography.
Use of steel columns and high pressures showed that column chromatography could be "fast" and "reproducible"
as well as flexible. A basic instrument. shown in diagrammatic fonn in Figure 19.1, p. 184, consists ofa solvent
reservoir, a pump, a grcidient chamber, an injection port, a column, a detector, a traction collector. and a recorder.
Depending upon the quality ofthe individual components and the number ofcomponents actually used, the cost of such
a combination can vary from $4,000 to $35,000.
Figure 19-2, p. 184, is a photograph ofa quality high pressure liquid chromatObrraph.


There are many ways to classifY dIe types ofliquid chromatography. Onc ofthesc is discussed below. Four types
of high pressure liquid chromatogrdphy to be discussed here are: liquid-solid, bonded reversed phase. ion·exchange,
and paired-ion. Thcse arc all based on the differences in chemical properties of the materials to be separated.

Liquid.Solid Chromatography
(This is used to separate polar compounds.)
'me titlc liquid-solid aptly describes the column conditions. True, the packing is a solid, but of more importance,
the outcr layer of the packing material that comes in contact with the mobile phase and sample compounds is a solid.
This is shown in diagrammatic fonn in Figure 19·3.
Most solid column packings are clays or silica type materials, which means that their surfaces arc aluminates or
silicates and consist of large numbers oftenninal -01-1 groups that are highly polar. Usually a nonpolar solvent such
as hexane is used as thc mobile phase. When moderatcly polar compounds are dissolved in the mobile phase and passed
over the column packing, the more polar compounds are retained longer than the less polar compounds, and a separation
Do not use solvents above pH 8 or the silica par'icles may dissolve.

184 Principles

Figure 19·1. Component diagram of a

Varian LCS 100 high pressure liquid
(COUrtesy· Varian Atrograph Co., Walnut
Creek, CA)

figure 19·2. A
Speclraphysics model
8800 HPLC with a
Spectrascan FL2000
fluorescence detector
and a linear LCJ04
fluorescence detector.

Bonded Phase (Usually Reversed Phase) Liquid-50lid Chromatography

(This is used to separate nonpolar compounds.)
The solid surfaces of unlre-dled particles are polar and are not useful for scp3T3ting nonpolar compounds,
which have little affinity. To solve this problem. a reversed phase bonded packing is now available.

(01 lhSiCh
• thO • }-<f H3

leu lhSiCl

High performance liquid chromatography 185








Figure 19-3. A liquid-solid system. Figure 194. A reversed phase bonded packing.
(Courtesy - Waters Corp.• Milford. MA) (Courtesy - Waters Corp., Milford, MA)

In this situation, shown in Figure 19-4, the reactive surface of the particle is changed to a nonpolar compound and it
is chemically bonded to the -OH group so it cannot be stripped off. A common system is octadecyl silane (ODS). One
way to attach these bondcd phases is shown on page 184.
The final reaction is called end capping and is used to add variou.'i groups other than a methyl group to the ..QH
so the reactivity can be varied, usually to a less polar group. Several reversed phase systems are shown in Table 19-1.

Table 19-1. Several common bonded phase surfaces

, I
ODS, C-t8 -O-~i-(CH2)I1-CH, Amino, NH2 -O-~i-(CH2h-NH2
CH, 0
yH, yH,
Octyl, C-8 -O-~i-(CH2h-CH, Cyano, CN -O-~i-(CH2h-CN

yH, yH,
Hexyl, C-6 -O-~i-(CH2ls-CH, Phenyl --o-~i-Phenyl

yH, 9 yH,
Butyl, C-4 -O-~i-(CH2h-CH,
Anion -O-~i-(CH2h-It-Ci
CH] 0 CH,

yH] 9 9
Methyl, C-I --o-~i-CH]
CH, 0 0
186 Principles


eFH s


Figure 19·5. A bonded ion exchange
LESS WELL HELO (Courtesy - Wllters Corp., Milford, MA)

Table 1~2. Ion exchange groups for HPLC

Strongly basic
lon·EltChange Liquid Chromatography
(This is used to separate ionic compounds.)
Medium basic Normal ion-exchange resins, which are made from styrene
and divinyl benzene, usually are not used in high perfonnance
Weakly basic -NH(R),.O- liquid chromatography because the beads are 100 soft, compress,
and may plug up the column. However, some newer polymers
of styrene divinyl benzene with higher cross linking arc being
Strong acid used. What is more commonly used is a bonded packing of
typical ioo-exchange funclional groups on a hard silica particle.
Medium acid This is shown in Figure 19-5. Others are shown in Table 19-2.
Generally, the compounds (0 be separated arc placed in an
aqueous system bufTcrctl about 1.5 pK. units above the highcst
pI<.. in the mixture. This ensures that the compounds arc
completely ionized and rctain(.'CI. They then are eluted by:
I. Passing the solvent butTer through (he column, the order of elution being the compound with the highest PI<..
eluling first.
2_ Using an ionic strength gradient, wilh a low ionic strength being used first.
3. Changing the pH. F~ anions, go more acidic. This changes the sample compounds back to neutral molecuk-s,
and they then will elute. The reverse is done with cation exchangers. Table 19-2 shows several ion-exchange
groups that are used on commercial columns.

PHircd~lon ChrnmHtography (PIC)

(This is used to make a reversed phase column polar so polar- compounds can be separated.)
This technique., in its most popular- application, is a modification of reversed phase liqui£l..solid chromatography.
It is based entirely on concentration equilibrium and can be used to separate highly polar malerials with a nonpolar
surface. A counter ion to the ion desired to be separated is added to the mobile phase aJong with a buffer to maintain
ionic strength and pH. A npaired ion n is fonned that is neutral and can be separated from other similar compounds by
a nonnal reversed phase column. A diagram of how this is done is shown in Figure 19-6.
'fthe right system can be found, PIC usually provides better separation efficiencies lhan ion exchange. The ion
pair reagents for cations are organic sulfonic acids like CH)(CH2kSO)-, H'.
High perfonnlncc liquid chromatognphy 187



"'\-T "0-

-~!' •

figure 19-6. The paired ion chromatography concepl.

0 ,;-0-,;-<"
'-......... \-!tr N(C • HI•
":.-F'\. c..o
H~ 'trNfc.Ht4
(Counes)' - Waters Corp., Milford MA) IONIC COMPOUNDS

The ion pair reagents for anions are usually quaternary ammonium salts such as phosphatcs and hydrogen sulfmes.
Several are shown in Tablc 19-3.

Table 19-3. Ion pairing reagents

For Anions For Cations

Tctrabutylammonium phosphate Butane sulfonic acid

Tetramethylammonium hydrogen sulfate Pentane sulfonic acid
Cctyltrimethylammonium hydrogen sulfate Hexane sulfonic acid
Octane sulfonic acid
Dodccane sulfonic acid
I-Pentanc sulfonate, s<Xlium
I-Octane sulfonate, sodium
I-Dodecyl sulfate, s<Xlium

Figure 19-7, p. 188, is a chart thai can be used to dctcnnine which of the above column packings to use.

Although many have contributed to the theory of HPLC, only the swnmary by Kaizuma, H., Myers, M.N. and
Giddings, J.c., J. o/Chromo/ag. Sci., 8, 630 (1970) will be discussed now. Refer to the van Deemter section in Chapter
20, p. 217, to help you compare thc theories of gas-liquid chromatography (GLC) and HPLC. In order to get the best
separations, band broadening must be held to a minimum. 1be major factors that contribute to this arc summarized in
equation 19-1.

H = HI' + HfJ + H s + H", (19-1)

where Hr = now inequalities along the oolumn, similar 10 eddy diffusion in gas-liquid chromatography, Chapter
20; H/)= longitudinal diffusion along lhe column, similar 10 gas diffusion in gas-liquid chromatography, Chapter 20;
H.<; = resistance to mass transfer due to the stationary phase; and H", "" resistance to mass transfer due to the mobile
J:~ ..
...o' :•
", -
.:",1: .II:
- -r

/ \.
i< I
.... ill
Ii h


l- L."s.
I • ".

·•" ~


High perfonmmce liquid chromatogfllphy 189

A plot ofHETP vs. flow rate is shown in Figure 19-8

to illustrate the relative effects of each of the above factors.
As with the van Decmter equation, there is an optimum flow
rate. It is difficult to see, but the optimum flow rate for
HPLC is 10,000 times slower than that for GLe. Based 00
theory alone, it would seem that HPLC should never be used.
However, the H, + H", combination tends to level off at
.,' "".......'-' ...
highLT flow rates, so a flow rate that is reasonable is selected
and used, knowing full well that better flow rates exist.

Flow Irregularities
When water flows around a partially submerged rock,
you usually can see a small whirlpool just behind it
downstream. This causes a partial remixing of any separated
components. Small rocks provide different size whirlpools
Figure 19-8.
- ,
HETP vs. flow rate for an HPLC

than big rocks, and so it is with the particles in an HPLC (Councsy - Walers Corp., Milrord, MA)
column. To get the minimum broadening, keep the particle
size small and as uniform as possible and use columns of1-5
mm in diameter 10 reduce channeling and wall effects.

H, = 2Ad, ('9.2)
where A ::I' a CQIlstant related to pocking and particle size; dp '" particle diameter.

Molecular Diffusion
Molecular diffusion is the normal motion of molecules due to diffusion in the mobile phase.

2 Y DM
where y ;;; a constant related to how diffusion is restricted by the column packing. 11lC value is usually < I. D",
= the diffusion coefficient of the solute in the mobile phase; Jl "" the now

The slower theflow rate, the more time the sample molecules have to diffuse. The more viscous the mobile phase.
the less diffusion occurs. Lateral diffusion does not arrcct band broadening as much as docs longitudinal diffusion.

Mass Transfer - Stationary Phase

Wh(.'Il sample molecules are '!loving down a column in the mobile phase and some are absorbed in the stationary
phase, those that are absorbed fall behind those not absorbed. This causes band broadening. 11lc factors contributing
to this are related below.

HJ.' .. (194)

where q = a constant related to the shape oflhc packing particles; r;;; a constant related to the relative migrntion
rates of the solute and the mobile phase; d,"" thickness of the stationary phase; D.t = the diffusion coefficient of the
solute in the stationary phase.

To reduce band broadening use a thinfilm ofstationary phose. nne tllat has a high D.\.and a lowflow rate. Notice
that the film thickness is a square term SO a small change is significant.
190 Principles

Mass Transfer - Mobile Phase

where w = a constant combining column diametLT, shape and the packing aIrdngement; Dl.r diffusion coefficient
ofthe solute in the mobile phase. Values range from 2.43 x 10.5 cm2 /sec for Kel in water to 7 x 10"' crrrlsec for albumin
in water.

To reduce band broadening. pack the column tighlly and uniformly with .fmaJl particles and lise a slowflow rate
alld a mobile phase with a high D.,.

Factors Controlling Resolution

The previous section discussed several factors that cause band broadening. Those major factor.;. that cO'ltrOI how
the bands can be resolved from each other are the capacityfactor, selectivity. and the number ofplate-f. Together, these
are called resolution. Figure 19-9 will be used 10 illustrate these concepts.
Resolution (Rs ) is the distance between the centers of two

• , peaks divided by the aVL-rage base widlh of the peaks.


Va is the volume required for a nonretained compound 10 pass

through the collUnn. For resolution, a value of I means that the end
Figure t9~9. Chromatogram to illustrate of the first peak just reaches Ihe baseline before the second peak
resolution components. starts. Any value less than I means that the peaks are not separated.
Any value much greater than I means thai time and solvent have
been wasted.

-Referring to Fjgure 19-9, ifY/ is 4.92 mL.-V:z1,6:.9S mt. w",uO.43 ftlL.lIOCI ;iso~1 ~ whBtistheresoloti
between peaKs I and 21

Rs'",7 ",:9"5".-_4.:0.
",,,", f03 .... 4.32
Q~ (0.43 , 0.51) ~.47

Capacity Factor
The oopacityJactor. Ie. is a measure ofthe number ofcolumn volumes required to retain a compound. It is defined
mathematically as:

k •

where Vo = is the retention volume of a nonretained peak.

Small numbers « I) mean the compound is not retained and most likely not separated from other compounds.
Large numbers (> 8) mean the compound stays on the column a long time. Values between 2-6 are preferred, and it is
High performance liquKl chromatography 191

the job orthe analyst to alter the system accordingly. For a complex mixture., lhe spread should be kept between 1-10
to obtain maximum separation in the minimum time.

, .
.~. M5 - 1..50 • S.I

• • 1";SQ
Selectivity, a, is a ratio of the net retention volumes of adjacent compounds. It also may be thought of as a ratio
oflhe distribution coefficients. The desire is to get a to be large, so a short column can be used.

« = "
" (19-")

L., nON , -_. -

If V", 4.92,JlJ4, V.- 6~S mL. v, - 8J1 D)L,Y. - 9.1) "]L...d Y.-\S mi, wba. is the selectivil): belW"'l
!-pounds l.lld :/'and"i:OmpOunlj, Hn<l4? -. •

6.95 - 1.50 • 1150 .... ,. 9.IS - i.5g • 1.)5
4~ t • S.U. - .1.50

Number of Theorcfieal Males

The number oftheoretical plates discussed here is the same concept as described in earlier chapters. The equation
used is the same as in all colwnn sepamlions and is shown below. Remember· the number o/theoretical plates required
to .~eparate two compounds in a chromatographic column is approximately tile square 0/ the number required by
distillation, because only a small ponion oflhc column is being used at anyone time.


.. ISOO mm •
2r/9S f1"h".,
_ ......
o.n .....{plot~

Resolution Revisited
Earlier, resolution .was defined. Combining the factors thai playa major role in resolution yields equation 19-13.
192 Te<:hnlques

R. • Iii -"-.::...!) (.pI_k)

5 1 a: .., k + I (19-13)

A suggested approach by Waters Corporation applications analysts to utilize the above equalion is as follows:
I. Use One column length initially.
2. Use relatively rapid flow rates initially (2-3 mUmin).
3. Determine the k' range for all components (2-6).
4. Adjust for selectivity.
5. Resolve standards away from other components.
6. Adjust N for optimi7.Btion.
7. Make easy changes - flow rale, column length.
8. Change only one variable at a lime.

The following is a brief discussion ofthe componenls necessary to make an HPLC instrument function.

The range of solvents that can be used in high pcrfOfTTlance liquid chromatography is quite wide. Water and
aqueous buffer solutions are common, as arc any nonaqueous solvents of low viscosity. High viscosity solvents are
avoided because they require longer time to pass through the column, which results in peak broadening and poorer
resolution. This also requires a higher pressure to force the solvent through the column (sec equation 19-14). Table 19-
4, p. 193, lists severall~PLC grade solvents.
Solvents for use in an IIPLC mllst be free ofparticles and dissolved air. Light scattering measurements have
shown that ifyou make one twist when taking a glass stopper offof a reagent boltle, 40,000 particles fall into the liquid!
They are much too small to see, bul they are filtered by the very small particles of the column packing and can plug a
column quite quickly. Degassing also may be necessary if a reciprocating pump is used. This lype of pump (discussed
later) has a tendency to produce gas bubbles from any dissolved gases during the intake stroke. These bubbles do not
always redissolve and can partially block a column or create noise at the dete<:tor. The solvent can be degassed by
bubbling helium through it (sparging). Helium is used because it is quite soluble in most solvents and seldom forms
bubbles in the detector.
Figure 19-10 shows a solvent filter arrangement. The filter, made from sintered stainless steel or titanium, is
placed in the solvent reservoir, and ultrapure helium is passed through it at about 5-10 psi. Under such conditions, a
cylinder of helium will last about 5 months in continuous operation.

Figure 19-10. A solvent filter-degasser system.

(Courtesy· Alltech Associates Inc., Deerfield. IL)
High perronnancl' liquid chromatography 193

Table 19-4. HPLC-grac!e solvents in order of increasing polarity index, P'

Snyder. L.R., J. ChromalogJ'.• 92,223, 1974; (Courtesy - Burdick and Jackson Inc., Muskegon. MI)

Polarity Polarity
Solvent ,''''', Soh'enl 10,""

Pentane 0.0 Isobutyl alcohol 4.0

Hcptane 0.1 ietrahydrofuran 4.0
HCMne 0.1 Chloroform 4.1
Petroleum cther 0.1 Methyl isobutyl ketone 4.2
lso-octane 0.1 Ethyl acetatc 4.4
Cyelohexanc 0.2 Methyl n-propyl kctonc 4.'
Bexadecanc 0.' Methyl ethyl ketone 4.7
Trichloroethylenc 1.0 2-EthoJc.yethanol '.0
Carbon Ictl'3l:hloride 1.6 ~Phenclhylamine '.0
Toluene 2.4 Acetone '.1
Methyl t-butyl ether 2.' Methanol '.1
Oicthyl carbonate ,.,,.,

Chlorobenzenc 2.7 2-Methoxycthanol

()o Dichlorobenzene 2.7 Acetonitrile '.8
Oiethyl ether 2.8 Propylene carbonate 6.1
Methylene chloride J.I Dimethyl formamide 6.4
Ethylene dichloride J.' Dimethyl acetamide 6.'
2-Propanol J.' Dimethyl sulfoxide 7.2
2-Butanol 4.0 Water 10.2

Figure 19-11 shows an inexpensive arrangement to filler a solvent and degas it as well. A disadvantage is that with a
mixcd solvent. the lower boiling component sometimes can be partially lost. Another low cost method to degas a
solvent ifhclium and/or a vacuum is not available is to use an ultrasonic bath. Figure 19-12 shows a bath that can be
used for degassing solvents. Severnl open bottles containing the solvent arc placed into the 2.8 L bath. and water is
added to surround the bottles. The high frequency pulses set up standing waves in the liquids. which then cause low
pressure cavities to be formed. 11lC gases funn bubbles in these low pressure areas and drift to the top of the solvent and
Figure 19-13, p. 194. shows a combination filtrntion-delivery system. This apparatus filters the mobile phase and
provides a line for sparging with helium and a line for delivery to the pump. The dissolved sample is also a problem.
Y0I.l must be sure that there are no suspended or undissolved particles in the sample bef()["e it is injected onto the colwnn.

Figure 19-12. An ultrasonic bath for degassing

Figure 19-11. A simple vacuum filter - degas (Courtesy - AI/tech Associates Inc., Deerfield, IL)
(Courtesy - Aillech Associates Inc.• Deerfield IL)
194 Techniques


""'~ "'UN(llll

--'" o In-l SYAINGE

1;;;;1- FH.UA HOt-OEIl
o-"INO - - _......
.. _ ,Ai"l. Tlll

-- _---=

SlJ""ORT sellU'"
"lAT GAD: ET _
tziI __ sonOMOF SWINN"

NO '''~N","

Figure 19-13. A filtration- Figure 19·14. A sample clarification kil.

delivery system. (Courtesy. Waters Corp.• Milford. MA)
(Courtesy - AlItcch Associates Inc••

To ensure that the sample is free of particles. it is usually

passed through a Millipore type filter such as the one shown in
Figure 19·14.
TIle filter is placet! on the end ofa syringe with a 12 mm
diameter membrane. The sample is placet! in the barrel of the
syringe, and when the plunger is depressed the sample is forced
through the membrane. It usually is injected directly inlo the
sample injector. Nylon disposable fillers or nylon membranes are
available and work well.
A Teflon filler ofabout 0.45 microns is recommended whcn
organic solvcnls are used. and a cellulose acetate filter is used with
aqueous systems. Figure 19·15 shows the effects of varying k'. N.
and a.

, ' Pumps

& The pump is one of the major components of a high

pressure liquid chromatograph. Equation 19·14 relates severnl of
the variables producing a pressure drop across a column.

Figure 19-15. Summary ofvaryingk'. N.and a. p.~ (19-14)

(Courtesy - Warers Corp.• Milford. MA) ed' p

....mere L ~ column length; 11 = solvent viscosity; J1 = flow rate; a

= a constant. and d,. = particle diameter.
High perfonnance liquid chrOffialography 195

When ac.Clonitri1e(1\ '" O.J7)was passe4, through. 300 nun 1ongcolwnn caotabiii!g IQ pm G-IS bpdlI al.O.7Q
",Ulnm•• ~i>f6SO....,i.8. _~ ~ would.bo1lJe.~ ih5 .... bca4col1lnm_useil,lb<J~
rate was kept the- same, and 8 dId I1Dl chimgt1 -.-

A, Ditermine the cons:.... ~equation l~i4.

30V 1 {J.31·'X O.7Q

650 .. o .0.0012
tl ,.(10)'

B. _0 and 5 flnibcado 10 ~~~

P "" 300 x 0.31 x 0.70
'0.0012' X'(Sf p'~,259j) .R.6·t,e·

In order to obtain the Yf!ry best separations. small particles must be packed into the co/limn. but from equation
19-14. you can see that this greal1y affects lhe pressure required. Pressures greater than 500 psi and sometimes more
ilian 5000 p.s.i. are required, with usual pressures being from 700 to 1500 To attain these pressures requires goOO
pumps. and many different types of pumps have been developed, some capable of 10,000 psi. Two major types, the
YC.-eiprocating pump and a positi,'e displacement pump. will be discussed

Reciprocating Pumps
Tht:se pumps have the advantage of being able to pump solvent in unlimited quantities and are of usc when long
sepamtions or prepamtive situations exist. Figure 19~ 16 shows a diagram of how one type functions. These pwnps
usually have a maximum opcmting pressure of6,OO p.s.i.g. (42 MPa) and now rotes adjustable from 0.5 to 5.0 mUmin.
The internal volumes are from 60-200 ~Usttoke.
A disadvantage is that it produCG'S a pulsating pressure, which affects most detectors. This makes it difficult to
provide reproducible flow control over a range ofsolvent typG'S; pump voluffi(.'S vary as the solvents change due to the
compressibility of the solvents, and they cavitate -that is. on the inlet stroke when the pressure is released. gas bubbles
can form either from dissolved gases or from high vapor pressure solvents. This means that lower vapor pressure
(usually also higher viscosity) solvents must be used. and the solvents
should be degassed. Bubbles can cause deWctor noise, variable
volume delivery, and "vapor lock". requiring Ihe pump to be
reprimed. The pulsating effect can be reduced greatly by using pulse
suppressors and/or two pistons, one compressing while Ihe other is
releasing. Figure 19-17, p. 196, shows a dual-piston dual-cam
reciprocating pump. Some designs placcjust one cam in the center,
and il runs two pistons placed ill opposite directions. Figure 19-18, p. Pis."" F
196. shows a pulse dampener and its effects.

Posilive Displacement Pumps

Figures 19-19 and 19-20 show two variations of pumps or this C~
type. These often arc called syringe pllmp.~ because they aetjust like
a syringe. Figure 19-19 shows a constant volume style. and Figure
19-20 shows a eonSlant pressure style. The constant volume style
0 c.m

uses a motor-driven screw to force the piston forward. This forces a

constant volume through the column regardless of what pressure r
develops. This pcnnits the retention time to stay the same from one
run to another. The constant pressure type (older and seldom used Figuf"C 19-16. Diagram ofa single
now) uses compressed gas to drive the piston forward. To start with, reciprocating piston pump.
the gas is added between the piston and the diaphragm to push the (Courtesy - R. Macrae, IfPLC in Food
piston down in the diagram. This creates a reduced pressure on the Analysis. Academic Preso>, London, 1982)
other side of the piston, and the chamber can fill.
196 T«hniques

ro .OIumn

"'.., .01.. "",too...... r""'... ..... _. "0'"

F"""""'''''''_-l.-D U--L_F,_,....."'. Figure 19-17. A dual

l ~·'-
41 .....""
reciprocating pump.
"'-"'''''' (Courtesy. R. Macrae,
"PLC in Food Analysis.
-- Academic Press., London,

Wl. WlIhllUI
Pulse DampfllllU' Pulse Dampfl(lflr

Ftgure 19-18. A pulse

dampener and ilS cffect
.. ---,.... at 1000 and 2.0
(Councsy - Alltceh
Associates Inc., Deerfield,

The gas then is switched to the other side of the diaphragm to push the piston forward. Becausc of the relativcly large
area ofthe diaphragm compared to the area of the piston head, a gas pressure of 100 psig can force the piston forward
with a pressure of 10,000 psig. The advantagc is that thc mobile phase flow is smooth, so there is no dctector noise.
They are also inexpensive and easy 10 rcpair. However. if anything is present to change the back pressure (column
becoming plugged), then the retention times will change.


•• L-"t-P;so...

0.; .. _
SOt.~· ..<o


Figure 19-19. Diagram ofa constant volume syringe Figure 19-20. Diagram of a constant pressure
pump. syringe pump.
(Courtcsy - R. Macrae, HPLC in Food Analysis, Academic (Counesy • R. Macrae. f1PLC in Food Analysis.
Press, London. 1982) Academic Press., London. 1982)
High perromlance liquid chromatography 197

A syringe pump (Figure 19·21) has the disadvanlage

that only a single charge of solvents can be delivertd,
hopefully enough to complete the analysis. The advantages
8re: no cavitation, no pulsation, and changing solvents is easy-
Always prime 'he pump if it has not been used recently or
solvent bottles aTe changed.
A new pump must be primed to get it started. If you Figure 19-21. A syringe for priming a pump.
replace a seal or change solvents in a pump, you will have to (Courtesy· Aillech Associates Inc., lJeerficld.IL)
reprime it to get it started.
Air gets in the line and causes the pump 10 stop pumping for awhile until the air is pumped through. In addition,
if the pump operates dry. the seals wear oul more quickly. Prime the pump by placing a syringe into the prime/purge
valve and withdrawing the air unlil solvent comes through.

Cradient Elution
Ifthc ~.-olven' compm'i/ion is kept com;tant throughout the entire separation. the process is called isocratic elution,
However, jfthe ~'oJven' compm'ition is changed in any manner, (pH. buffer strength. different solvent mixtures), then
the process is called gradient eJution.

, .; ~-I'~ ".:r_
Which of tho IllIIoWing... consi4ertd ~ and Wbich'8fO;i:onsidet<d l;mdiint1'
A;,. A ~~ that. begigs with 2..004 aoetonib:J1eJwater aoa ~ witl"\ SO ~ acdonitrilelwaleT.
~ ~1hollFsi¥anol",.~,
C, A ~ tjlat beginS and <nlls ,,;0, 50% me_~,
. -

Gradient elution is particularly useful when sqwating mixtures having widely varying characteristics. However,
the solvent characteristics can be progressively changed, which., in tum, altClS the behavior of the sample compounds.
If done properly, a slow separation can be speeded up or groups of compounds that will not separate can be made to
separate. This requires a mixing chamber and usually a second pump.
A less expensive method that can be used at low pressures is 10 use just one pump, a control valve, and a mixing
chamber. Figures 19-22 to 24, p. 198. show the effect ofgradient elution on a sample. The explanations are by Waters
Corporation applications analysts.
Figure 19-22 shows a systematic approach for using a gradient to improve a separation where no components
are baseline separated initially.
Step I. Decrease the initial solvent strength. Make it more polar for reversed phase or less polar for nonnal phase,
Step 2. Increase the time of the gradient. This gives a better selectivity.
Step 3. Increase the flow rate. This is opposite 10 isocratic solvents. This effects the k' by forcing more of the weaker
component of the solVent through the column.
Figure 19-23 shows how to handle a system that is poorly resolved at the beginning.
Step 1. Delay the rate at the start and increase it at the end.
StCP 2. Increase the rate of change at the end.
Step 3. Decrease the initial conditions. This is called a concave gradient.
Figure 19-24 shows how to handle a system that is poorly resolved at the end.
Slep 1. Increase the rate at the beginning and decrease it at the end.
Step 2. Vary the degree.
Step 3. Increase the rate at the beginning as needed. This is called a convex gradient.
198 TC('bniqul.'S

.. "

"'igure 19-22. Correction for Figure 19-23. Correction for Figure 19-24. Correction for
overall poor resolution. inadequate resolution at the inadequate resolution at the end.
(Courtesy - Waters Corp., MilfOfti, beginning. (Courtesy - Waters Corp.• Milford,
MA) (Courtesy - Waters Corp.• Milford. MAl

Sample Injection
Sample volumes of5 to SO I-lL are normal. One Wd)' of injecting a sample is shown in Figure 19-25. This injector
allows sample introdur.:tion without interrupting the solvent now. All of the parts are either stainless steel 01" Tenon.
Never use a gas chromatographic ~J'ringe in an HPLC injection block. Gas chromatographic syringe needles have
a tapered tip whereas HPLC needles have a square end on the tip. The tapered tip scratches the entry port and causes
the port to leak after a while.
More elaborate chromatographs contain several columns ofdifferent characteristics. A multiport sample injection
device is shown in Figure 19-26. The sample size is determined by the size of the loop, 10 to 20 }JL being common.

Columns are expensive and can get clogged
easily iflhe sample. the solvent. or wear particles from
the pump have nol been filtered properly. There are
two ways to protect the column. One is 10 use a
precolumn and the other is 10 use another in-finefilter

- between the injector and the column. The precolumn

is a short section of column, about 5 cm long. packed
with Ihe same material as the regular column and
attached immediately in front of it This column acts
figure 19-25. A syringe-loading injection block.
(Courtesy - AlJtech Associates Inc.. Deerfield. IL) as a filter and provides some separation as well.
High perfonnlnce liquid chromltogrlphy 199

Figure 19-26. A 6·port loop

two-port sample loops.

(Courtcsy· Supelco, Bellefontc.I'A)

n system and some


Figure 19-27. A cartridge-type

guard column.
(Courtesy· Alttech Associates inc.•

, AnIoc:" fill.... f",",*

Figure 19-28. Steps 10 refill a refillable guard

(Counesy - Atltech Asscciales Inc.• Deerfield, IL)

If it begins to plug (the pressure must be increased to maintain the flow rate), it can be removed, cleaned out, and
repacked. Figure 19-27 shows a cartridge guard column, which has advanlages over Ihe selfpacked. II is more efficient,
and easier 10 replace. and the same cartridge holder can be used for a variety ofdiffercnt cartridges. Figure 19-28 shows
a four·step process 10 refill a refillable type.
Figure 19-29 shows an expanded diagram ofan in-line column prefilter. This is a direct connect type that can
be connected to any fitting without tubing.
200 Techniques

Ir -_.~."",_._-----,
<::ll> _ _
i@o @l :- <::ll> _ _ Figure 19-29. Expanded view

-- ~ <::ll> - -
oran in-line column prefiher.
(Courtesy - Alllcch As.o;ociates Inc.,

Columns and Column Packing

Columns arc commonly 10 to 30 em in length and from 3-10 mm in diameter, the larger columns being used for-
preparative work. They usually are made out ofstainless steel. Seveod commercial columns are shown in Figure 19-30.
The high pressure employed requires a very hard packing material. Furthermore, if high efficiency is to be
obtained, then unifonn packing must be achieved. These requirements usually result in a packing being made from
silica or alumina and coosisting of round particles.
Figure 19-3 I shows an expanded vlcwofa typical HPLC column. TIley are generally made from 316 stainless
steel tubing, fillings, and frits.
Currently three general types of particles are used: fully porous, pellicular, and microporous. These are shown
in Figure 19-32.

Figure 19-30. HPLC columns.

(Courtesy. Alltech Asscciates Inc., Deerfield, IL)

Figure 19·31. Expandcd view

ofa conventional HPLC column.
(Counesy - AJltech Associates Inc.,

Fully Porous Particles

Beads are made of glass with a high boron conte", that then is leached away by acids to make them porous.
These come in various sizes, but a popular size is about SO IJrn in diameter. They have vcry large surface areas· 300
to 500 m!/g. This large area means a high column capacity, so these materials are used for preparative separations. The
retention times are longer, because the diffusion distances (19 Jlm in and 19 Jlm out) can be long.

Pellicular Particles
The pelliCUlar particles consist ofa solid core with a 2 to 3 pm crust etched onlo the surface. They can also be
about SO pm in diameter, but their surface area is much less than lIlat of the fully porous particles. Because of the
smaller diffusion distances (2 IJrn in and 2 pm out), they are highly efficient and excellent for analytical separations.
IUgh performance liquid chromatography 201

Figure 19-32. Diagrams oflhe ~cncral

types of column patkings: Len. loJlly ~
porous. Middle: pellicular. Right: ~
(Courtesy - Walers Corp., Milrord, MAl

Microporous Particles
These originally were 10 pm in diameter and fully porous. More recently, sizes as small as 3 pm have been
made. They provide a highly efficient and high speed packing and are used for the most efficient separations. Their
high porosity means that heavier loading is possible dian with the pellicular particles. In addition, because the
diffusional distances are small, efficiency can be very good. An excellent analogy of the advantages ofa microparticle
over a regular sizeo-particle is that given by the Waters Corpomtion. RConsider for a moment a sewer pipe which is
packed \.\lith basketballs and filled with water. Now between each one of these basketballs. ifyou stop the flow of water.
there is a certain volume of liquid; if there is anything dissolved in the water. each one of these volumes of liquid acts
like a large mixing chamber. Consider now the same sewer pipe. only this time it is packed with baseballs. The
volumes between the balls are much smaller; therefore the mixing chambers are much smaller. The total volume ofthe
water in both cases is going to be nearly the same. But because the mixing chambers are smaller and the time between
mixing and interaction between the liquid and the particles is smaller, the net result is that you end up with a I()( less
mixing with the smaller particles and therefore higher efficiencies."

Packing Columns
HPLC columns are much more difficult to pack correctly than GLC columns. because they must be packed undc..:r
high pressure. Ideally. this is at the pressure limit oflhe chromatograph's pump. usually 6000 p.s.i.g. Because of the
high cost of HPLC co[wnns, some investigators prefer to pack their own. If a high pressure compressed air line (100 -
1SO p.s.i.g.) is available. then a slurry-packing awaratus like that shown in Figure 19-33 can be used. It has an Rair
amplification pumpR and can be used to repack a column.

Column Cleanups
liquid chromalograph columns are
expensive, $190 to over $1000 each. As a
result. special care must be taken to protect
them. They easily become inactive from
surface contamination and must be regenerated.
A good policy is to flush the column at a slow
rate (0.1 mUmin) overnight. If a quicker
cleanup is required, then the following can be
tried. A silica column can be regenerated with
100 mL or isopropanol followed by about 100
mL each of successively less polar materials
such as acetone, chlorofonn. and finally
hexane, at a rate of2-4 mUmin.
The reversed phase packings, such as the
Bondapaks, are elmed first with the same
concentration of organic and water as was used
in the organic aqueous buffer, then with
methanol or acetonitrile. Proteins are removt:d
with 8M urea followed by water. The
important concept is that columns do go bad. Figure 19-33. A slurry packing apparatus.
bUllhey can be regeneraled and should not be (Courtesy - Alltech Associates Joe.. Deerfield, IL)
thrown away 100 hastily.
202 TechniquCli

Cutting the Tubing

All of the aoovc L'Omp::mcnts. including the dCII:etors described next, must be connecled wilh tubing capable of
withstanding pressures up to 10,000 p.s.i.g. FW1hcrmore, the lines must have a minimum ofdead volume and no mixing
of the separaled compounds. This means that 1.6 mm (1116 inch) diameter (0.007 or 0.01 i.d.) slainless steellubing is
used in varying lengths. II must be cut so there are no irregular edges 10 introduce mixing. A tubing cutler that will cut
both 1.6 and 3.2 rom o.d. tubing is shown in Figure 19-34.

Figure 19-34. A tubing culta.

(Counesy - Alltech Assoc:iates Inc., Deerfield, It)

The delector is another of the critical components of a high pressure liquid chromalograph, and in fact, Ihe
praclical application of liquid chromatography had 10 await a good detector system. Many types of deteclors are now
on Ihe market. The four most common, the uhraviolet absorption (uv), fluorescence.. refractive index (RI), and
electrochemical (Eq detectors, will be discussed as ....'ell as the newO'" light scattering mass sensitive detector.

The Ultraviolet Absorption Detedor

Many ultraviolet absorption detectors use a low pressure mercury lamp as a source; lhe cells are about I em in
path length and have volumes of8 to 30 ~L. Most are double beam. Normally, they have absorbance ranges from 0.00 I
to 3 absorbance units; Lhat corresponds to a minimum sample requirement of about 5 x 10. 10 glmL for a favorable
compound. Figure 19-35 is a diagram ofone such detector.
The uv region is particularly useful for many compounds such as food additives. pesticides, explosives, and
drugs.. because these compounds contain -e=c-. ·C=O. -N=O. and -N;N- functional groups thai readily absorb uv
radiation. Aromatic rings absorb very strongly at the 254 nm wavelength of the mercury lamp emission. By using a
filter. the wavelength at 280 nm is also available, although il is not as sensitive for most compoundS.
MUltiple wavelength detectors are available, but they usually have somewhat higher detection limits at each
wavelengLh, because il is difficult to focus sufficient intensity of radiation through the cell. However, they arc used
commonly because of Lheir flexibility ·and often are associated wilh a diode array for the detection of specific

.--- - --,
"" - -
= _.. ---
-- - - "

-- •

e-- ....


..... _- -
Figure 19-35. A diagram ofa
uv delector.
(Courtesy - Varian Associates.,
Walnut Creek, CA)
Uigh performance liquid chromatography 203

Making Sensilj"e Ihri"ati"es

Many compounds are not sensiti"e to uv detection. Currently, two main methods are used to improve this
sensitivity, both requiring eidler a pre- or a postcolumn reaction. The first method is to chemically add a highly
absorptive group to the compound to be detected, and the second is to add a compound that fluoresces to the compound
being detected. Once the compounJs are through the column and have been separated, they then are reacted with other
reagents in small-volume reaction chambers before they get to the detector. One postcolumn apparatus to derivalize
compounds is the Pickering apparatus discussed later.
Table 19-5 shows several reagents for the first approaCh. to make them more sensitive to the 254 nm wavelength
of the uv detector. Basically, a benzene ring is added to the system.

Table 19-5. Selected dcrivatizing reagents

Type of Compound Reagent

Carboxylic acids p-Bromophenyl bromide (PBPB)

O-p-Nitrobcnzyl-N.N- diisopropylisourea (PNBDI)
Aldehydes and ketones p-N itrobenzyloxyamine HCI
Alcohols, phenols. 10 and UO amines 3,5-DiniltObenT.Oyl chloride
Amino acids N-succinimidyl-p-nitropheoyl acetate
lsocyanates p-Nitrobcnzyl-N-n-propylamineHCI

Many compounds cither fluoresce or can be reacted with a fluorescing group. For example; compounds such
as aliphatic amines, which ·do not have a good uv absorbance, can be detected easily by reacting dlcm with
fluorescamine, that will cause them to fluoresce. Table 19-6 lists several reagents for producing fluorescence.

Table 19-6. Selected fluorescent derivitizing agents

Type ofCompound Reagen!

Thiols, 10 and no amines 7-Chloro-4-nitrobcnzo.2-oxa-l.3-diazole

10 and II" Amines. phenols, Dansyl chloride-l-dimethyl
peptides, amino acids aminonaphthalenc-5-sulfonyl chloride
Aldehydes, reducing sugars, ketones Dansyl hydrazide-I-dimcthyl
aminonaphthalene-5-sulfonyl hydrazide
Carboxylic acids 4-Bromomethyl-7-methoxy coumarin
10 Amines, amino acids Fluorescamine; o-Phthaldehyde (orA)
Amino groups 4,4'-Diisothiocyanostilbene-
2,2'-<!isolfonlc add (DJDS)
Sulfhydryl groups Ftuorescein-5-maleiamide;

Fluo~cence Detection
A fluorescence detector is similar to a U\l detector except that the fluorescent radiation is measured at right angles
to the incident radiation. Figure 19-36 shows one type of design.
The detector shown in Figure 19-36 uses a xenon lamp pulsed at 20 Hz fornonnal operation and 100 Hz for
traces. The standard excitation and emission ranges are 250 ~ 650 nm. An optional rcd·sensitive photomultiplier tube
extends the range to 800 nm. The flow-through cell is 2 mm x 3.5 mm. with a 3 J.IL illuminated volume. This detector
can detect as little as 100 fg of anthracene.

Pickering Postcolumn Reaction Apparatus

Figure 19-37, p. 204. shows a diagram of one type of postcolumn reaction apparatus, the Pickering apparatus.
204 Tedmique:'i

Figul'"e 19-36. A model LC 304 fluorescence deteclor.

(Courtesy· ThcnnoSt:paralion Products. Schaumburg. IL )

Figure 19-37. A diagram of a Pickering post

column reaction apparalus.
(Courtesy' Pickering LabOralories, Ml View, CA)

Pholodiode Al'"rays (fDA's)

Scanning the wavelengths by passing the radiation past a single detector has been done for decades. However.
it difficult 10 achieve sufficient intensity at all of the wavelengths to provide acceptable sensitivity, and the scan is
usually 100 fast to provide adequate resolution. A new approach is to place an array of photodiode... side by side. each
one detecting a small region of the spectrum. Arrays vary from 16to 2048 and can delect an entire spectrum in a maher
of milliseconds. Figure 19-38 shows Ihe principle of operation of a photodiode. A typical wavelength vs. intensity
spectrum can be obtained.
IUgh performance liquid chromatography 205

Doped silicon (n-type) is a common receplOTcovering

the range from -180 to 1100 nm. The incoming radiation
ejects electrons. producing pO:>llively charged holes, the Insulating
electrons migrating to the p-Iype surface where the charge is Incoming/>
• material
collected and measured after a fixed amount of time. The radiation
diodes are arranged as shown in Figure 19·39 in an o
integrated circuit with the electronic switches (field effect
transistors. FET) built right into the Mchip." The size ofeach
diode varies, the one shown is 25 x 2500 nm, being
-.... '----'---'-'
elongated to match the instruments slit geometry. InGaAs figure 19-38. Illustrating the basic principles of
diodes are used for the near infrared (800· 1700 nm). a photodiode.
POA's, compared 10 a charge coupled device (CCO),
discussed next, are preferred over CCO's where high levels
of light arc available for absorbance, transmittance,
reflectance, and radiometric mcasuremt:f\ts because they have
a lOx higher signal/noise ratio than CCO's (10,000:1 10

Charged Coupled Devices (CCO's)

A charge coupled device (CCO), Figure 19-40, is a
one- or two-dimensional array ofphocosensors, called pixels,
and like the POA, comes in a semiconductor "chip" package.
The readout mechanism for these devices difTCIS greatly from
the POA's. On a CCO, each pixel is overlaid with a small Figure 19-39. Layout of a photodiode arTay detector.
voltage carrying element known as an electrode. During (Councsy. OriellllSlrumcnts, Slrnlford. en
illumination of the chip. charge accumulates in the pixel. To
collectthc dala. a sequence of voltages is applied across the
electrodes to move the charge row by row down the vertical
dimension of the chip and inlo a shift register at the bottom
of the array (Figure 19-41). This charge is then moved
similarly across the shift register to the output node where it
is converted 10 a digital form for processing. The most
significant benefit of this readout method is Ihat the
associated readout noise is very low. Typically. CCO's have
a sensitivity similar 10 a photomultiplier tube; however.
unlike photomultiplier tubes, a CCO is not damaged by over- Figure 19-40. LaYOUI of a spectroscopic charge
exposure to bright lights. If tnc data are plotled vs. lime. coupled device (CeO).
(Courtesy - Oriellnstn!lnents, Stratford, en
much more infonnation can be obtained as shown in Figure

Figure 19-41. Readout pattern of two dimensional Figure 19-42. Image of fluorescing currency and
CCO's. relative intensity contour.
(Councsy· Oriel Instruments, Stratford, CI) (Councsy. Oriel Instruments, Stratford, C1)
206 Tec,'hniques


Figure 19-44. Fresnel renection type RI detector.
Figure 19-43. Deflection type RI detector. (Courtesy - Varian Corp., Walnut Creek, CA)
(Courtesy - Waters, Corp., Milford, MA)

Refraclive Index Delector

The refractive index detector is applicable 10 all compounds, although il is not as sensitive as the uv deteetor.
An RI detector call detect differences of about 10·' RI units, which means that about 5 x 10.7 g/mL must pass through
the detedOr for a favorable response. As a general rule, the sensilivity in mg ofsample is almost eqllallo ,he reciprocal
ofthe differences in refraclive index between the solvenl and Ihe sample. Figures 19-43 and 19-44, show (wo basic
mdhods of refractive index measurement.
Differenlial refraclometers operate by utilizing one ofthc following principles. In the first type, the measurement
is based on an optical displacement ofthe beam (Figure 19-43). A mirror controls the reflection of the light beam. The
light passes through the divided cell the first time without being reflected, and this then is followed by a reflected beam.
(fthere is a difference in the solutions.. a deflection will occur. The deflection is the sum of the deflection in the two
A second method utilizes the Fresnel principle (Figure 19-44), which relates the transmittance ofa dielectric
interface to the refractive indices ofthe interface matenals. Such an interface may be fonned between a glass prism of
selected optical properties and the liquid whose refractive index is to be measured. These detectors are difficult to usc
with gradient elution systems., and temperature control of the solvents is critical.

EI«:lrkal Chemical Deteclor

This detector can detect compounds in the ur 10 I~ mol/L range. Any ion can be detected, as can any
compound that has a pI<,. or pK., greater than 7 (see Table 19-7, for examples). What is measured is the change in

Figure 19-45. A model LC-17AT

el«trochemical detect~.
(Courtesy - BioanalytM::a1 Systems, Inc., West
lafayette., IN)
tligh pufonnance liquid chromatography 207

resistance of a solution as a solute passes between two electrodes. A pulsed a.c. potential is applied to reduce
electrolysis and electroplating. 1llc circuit is a Wheatstone bridge. Figure 19-45, p. 206, shows a diagram of the newest
design, a thin-layer, sandwich type, microliter volume, flow-through cell,
Three electrodes arc in\'('h d. A glassy carbon working electrode, with an Ag,AgCI reference electrode and a
metal auxiliary electrode about )V pm directly across. A constant voltage is applied, and quantitation depends upon
the amount the current ch..n.;.('s when compounds pass across the working electrode and are either oxidized or reduced.
The more positive the potential, the stronger an oxidizing agent the electrode becomes. The phenyl urea herbicides arc
detected this way at the prescnt time.
Table 19-7 lists scvcml types of compounds that can be detected electrochemically. The table is most useful to
indicate the functional groups that are e1ectroactive.

Table 19-7. Selected types of compounds suitable for oxidative or reductive electrochemical detection
(COUrtesy - Bioanalyticat Systems Inc.• West Lafayette. IN)

Oxidat;ve mode
CI"" Examples CI", Examples

Phenols Phenol h)(!oles Tryptophan

Pentachlorophenol Serotonin
Ascorbic acid
Vitamin C
Uric acid
Tyrosine Theophylline
Iiydroquinones Catecholamines Thiols Cysteine
Vanillyl cpds Homovanillic acid Glutathione
Vanilylmaodelic acid Phenochiazines ChloroprOfTlszine
Ferulic acid
Aromatic amines Aniline

Reductive mode
Examples CI"" Examples

Quinones Vilamin K) ArOmatte nitro Chloramphenicol

Aliphatic nitrO Nitroethane Organometatlics Triphenytlead
Nitroglycerin cis-Platinum
N-oxides ChlOflliazepox;de Azomethine Diazepam
Azo compounds 4-(2-pyridylazo)resorcin PerOxides Benzoyl peroxide
Nitrosamines Dimethylnitrosamine Thioamides PrOthionamide

Mass Sensitive Detector

This detector c."on deted any type ofcompound down 10 nanogram detection limib'. Figure 19-46. p. 208. is a
dra"\'ing ofthe VAREX RUniversal" evaporative light SC8l1cring detector(ELSD). 'The sample is nebulized by a stream
of nitrogen into a heated chamber, which causes the sample to condense into small particles, which pass out ofthe end
of the jet. A laser diode light beam is focused onto the cloud of particles. and the amount of scattered radiation is
measured by a silicon photodiode. The detection limits are 5 ng/20 ~L of injected volume or 250 ppb at specified
chromatographic conditions.
The advantages are that it can be used with multisolvent gradients without baseline drift. it responds to virtually
all solutes, and it needs to be calibrated only once for extended periods ofuse to obtain mass directly from the peak area.

The Mass Spetlrometer

The quadrupole-ion trap mass spectrometer combination provides the most infonnation about a separated
compound. It is by far the most expensive detector, but the ion trap portion, which essentially holds an ion in place so
it can be scanned several times, permits selective and sensitive information about the compound of interest. Figure 19-47
is a block diagram of the components needed.
208 Trchniques

Mass spectrometers operate at torr, or less, and the

sample corning from the tC outlet is at atmospheric pressure.
Therefore:, the interface is critical. The following des-
criplion is abstracted rrom material supplied by the finnegan
Corp: Samples are injected into the LC inlet. The LC then
separates the sample molecules by liquid chromatography.
The separated constituents from lhc LC now through the
transfer line and are introduced into the atmospheric pres.Clure
ionization (API) soun::c. Upon entering the API source.
sample molecules are ionized by c1cctrospray ionization
(ESI), Figure 1948. This process forms a fine mist of the
liquid and places a dlarb'C: on the droplets. This chargcd mist
is then passed through an ion optics section, Figure 19-49.
u •• Light that evaporates the solvent, then focuses and accelerates the
-~ resulting sample ions into the mass analyzer. Here they arc
analy.t.ed according to their mass-to-charge ratios. Figure 19-
50. The sample ions are then detected by an ion detection
system. Figure 19-51. that produces a signal proportional to
the nwnbcr of ions detected. The ion current signal from the
ion detection system is received and amplified by the system
Hgure 19-46. A light-scattering mass electronics and is then passed on to the data system for
sensitive detector. further processing, storage, and display.
(Courtesy - Alltech Inc.• Deerfield, It)

I Figure 1947. Block diagram
I _ of an LC-MS system.
(Courtesy - ThcnnoQuest Finrtegiln Corp.,
Austin. TX)

I. What arc the advantages ofHPLC over low pressure column chromatography?
2. What is the principle of liquid-solid chromatography?
3. What is meant by ftpaired ion" chromatography?
4. Name two compounds that can be used to separate anions by paired ion chromatography?
5. Why is a reverse phase column packing desired in many cases?
6. How is a reversed phase column prepared?
7. What precautions must be taken to prepare an HPLC grade solvent?
8. Why is He commonly used for degassing solvents and how docs it work?
9. What is a syringe pump?
10. Reciprocating pumps usually have two "check valves". How do they woric and what is their purpose?
IIIgh perfo"unct liquid chromatograph)' 209


Figure 19-48. Cross sectional viewoflhe ESI probe. Figure 19-49. Cross sectional view of the ion optics.
(Courtesy· ThennoQuest Finnegan Corp., Austin. TX) (Courtesy - ThennoQuest Finnegan Corp., Austin, TX)

II. What is the purpose ofdcrivatizing compounds? Name two such compounds and tell what groups they react with.
12. What are the struclUl1Il formulas for nuorcscamine and dansyl chloride?
13. What is meant by "2 pi slel1ldians~ in the description of the fluorescence detector?
14. How does an RI detector work?
15. How does an electroconductivity detector work and whatlypes of compounds can it be used fol'?
16. What is the purpose of a precolumn?
17. An HPLC procedure required a pressure of800 p.s.L when using a 30 em column packed with 50 J.Lmbeads. A
column packed with 10 IJm beads was to be purchased. The pump available had 8 6000 p.s.i. capacity. Could a
30 em column be used?
18. An analyst had been using a column packed with 5 J.lm beads and 10 em long to separate a steroid compo..<;ition.
usually operating at 3200 p.s.i.. A salesman convinced him to use a) IJm bead column. Would his 6000 p.s.i.
pump be usable?

.- -

- '--
Figure 19·51. Cross sectional view of the ion optics
Figure 19-50. Cross sectional view of the mass
analyzer. detection system.
(Courtesy -1llennoQuest Finnegan Corp., Austin. TX) (Courtesy - ThermoQuest Finnegan Corp., AlLSIin, TX)
210 Techniques

19. A system that used 8 30% methanol (11 = 0.60 ccntipoises), 7()D1o water (11 = 1.0 centipoises) operated at 1600 p.s..i.
It was decided that a solvent gradiem would be needed that would end with 70% methanol·30% water. Would
the pressure be expected to change, assuming all other parameters remained constant? Can you prove your
conclusion by a calculation?
20. A separation Chal employed ethanol (1') = 1.20 ccntipoiscs) operated at 5700 p.s.i. and was causing excessive seal
failure. The analyst noticed that acetone, with a polarity index of5.4, was close to that of ethanol whose polarity
index was 5.2 yet had a viscosity of0.32 centipoises. If acctone were substituted for ethanol, what pressure might
be expected to be required if aU other factOf'S remained constant?
21. What type of compounds docs a liquid-solid HPLC column separate?
22. What elution order would you predict if a polar, a nonpolar. and a medium polar compound were placed on a
liquid-solid HPLC column?
23. What is meant by a reversed phase column?
24. What docs ODS C-18 mean when discussing HPLC oolumns?
25. Why aren't ordinary ion exchange beads used with HPLC?
26. Ifyou had a mixrure of organic acids to be separated by an ion exchange HPLC column, what pH would you use
as a starting point?
27. What is the purpose ofa paired ion system?
28. What types of compound arc used as pairing agents for cations in PIC?
29. What arc some typical general classes ofsolvenls used for HPLC?
30. What must be done to a solvent before it can be used for HPLC?
31. Why is dissolved air a problem?
32. Why is helium slowly bubbled through an HPLC solvent if no gas should be prescnt?
33. Why must every sample be filtered before it is injected into an HPLC?
34. An acetonitrile-water solvent ( 1') "" 0.50) was thrOUgh a 300 mm long column containing 10 J!m beads al
0.60 mUm in. A pressure of 700 p.s.i.g. was required. What is e?
35. What pressure would be required if3 ~m beads were now used in the above column, all else remaining the sanle?
36. What is an advantage and a disadvantage of a reciprocating pump?
37. What is an advantage and a disadvantage ofa syringe pump?
38. When is it usually necessary to prime a pump?
39. What is an isocratic elution?
40. What is a gradient elulion?
41. What is a normal size sample for an HPLC analysis?
42. Why is an injection valve nC(:cssary when adding a sample to an HPLC? Why not just do it the same as with
43. Why use either a precolumn or an in-line filter?
44. What is meant by a pellicular bead?
45. Why do smaller beads provide belter resolution. all other items being the same?
46. An experienced HPLC chromatographcr usually runs solvClltthrough the column overnight at about 0.1 mUmin.
Why is this done?
47. What is the source for a low pressure uv detectOl" for HPLC?
48. What types of groups absorb in the uv region?
49. What is one nonfluorescing reagent that can be added to alcohols. phenols, and fO and flO amines to make them
dctectable with a uv detector?
50. What is a fluorescing reagent that can be added to carboxylic acids to make them fluoresce?
51. What is the source for a typical fluorescence HPLC detector?
52. The detection limit for thc Modcl LC 304 fluorescence detector is listed as 100 fg of anthracene. What is fg?
53. What docs the Pickering apparatus do in general, and what does it specifically do when detennining carbamates?
54. How docs the speed of obtaining a spectrum with a POA compare to thai of traditional methods?
55. Why is the diodc shape in a PDA elongated?
56. What is a common matcrial for the semiconductor in a photodiode for the uvtvis region?
57. Why is a PDA preferred to a CCD for most spectroscopic measurements even though the CCO is more sensitive?
58. lfthe refractive index detector is so insensitive and responds to pressure changes, why use it at all?
59. What types of compounds can be detected with the electrical chemical detector?


Gas-liquid chromatography j:,' a partitioning chromatography in which the mobile phase is a gas. This technique
was developed in England in 1952 by AJ.P. Martin and A.T. James (Biochem. J., SO, 679). The longer compounds
remain in a column. the more time they have 10 diffuse and remix. Martin suggcsted Ihal the best separations should
occur if the stationary phase was very thin and lhe mobile phase was changed from a liquid to a gas. This would provide
fewer "foreign" molecules for the sample molecules to hit, thus reducing the mixing by diffusion. The detectors available
in 1952 had poor response, and in order to separate sufficient material to be detected. a relatively thick layer of
stationary phase was required. However, the liquid mobile phase could be changed to a gas.
The first commercial instrument was sold in 1956, and by 1959 about 600 papers had been published. Now,
thousands of papers are published annually on this technique, and it probably has done as much to influence the course
of fundamental research, medical science, and industrial progress as any technique yet discovered. As a general rule,
any compound that boils without decomposition below 35a'C can be separated by gas-liquid chromatography. This
represents about 15% of all ofthe known compounds. Although this seems like a small percentage, those compounds
constitute a significant percentage of the compounds in common use.
The importance of gas-liquid chromatography lies in its powerful separating ability. Columns can have the
equivalent of up to 1.000.000 theoretical plates. Compare this with an ordinary distillation, which nonnally operates
in the range of 5 to 10 theoretical plates. What this means in practice is that a gas chromatograph can separate the odor
components of coffee into over 400 compounds!
In the case of gas-liquid chromatography (OLC or just OC), Ihe two phases are a flowing gas phase and a liquid
phase held stationary on an inert "solid support". In practice, for the older style using packed columns. a small sample
(1-5 ~Ll is injected by means ofa syringe or sample loop into a heated injection port, where the liquid is vaporized into
the flowing gas stream (usually N 2, I-Ie, or Ar). The carrier gas transports the sample through thc column (glass, copper,
or stainless steel, 3 to 6 mm dia, I to 2 m long). which is packed with a solid of large surface area. This solid support,
which is commonly a diatomaceous earth or crushed firebrick, is impregnated with a nonvolatile liquid phase.
Separation of the injected mixture occurs by partitioning between the gas stream and the liquid phase. A large number
of partitions occur and even very small differences in physical and chemical properties allow the components to become
The gas stream, containing the separated compounds. then is passed through a detector, the simplest type is one
that measures the diffcrence in !hennal conductivity between the sample plus He or N 2 gas and a reference He or N2 gas.
Thc dctector signal is monitored continuously by a recorder. which plots the components as a function oftime, resulting
in Gaussian·shaped peaks.
More recently, capillary columns. 0.05 to 0.53 10m in diameter and JO to 100 m long, having as many as 4000
plates/m, are becoming common. Figure 20-1 is a diagram of the component parts, and Figure 20-2 is a photograph of
a commercial instrument.

212 Principles

,- ---
-- ~
- ...

-- Figure 20-1. Diagram ofthe components

•. ~
ofa gas-liquid chromatograph.

Figure 20-2. A Varian model 3600 g8S4

liquid chromatograph.
(Courtesy - Varian Associates. Wainul Creek,

The elapsed time between the injcction and the center ora peak is called the reten/ion time of that compound.
Note that although a gas chromatograph separates compounds. il OOES NOT IDENTIFY them. However. the retention
time may be used as corroborating evidence in the identification of a compound by injecling a known sample under
identical conditions and observing identical retention times. The unknown-known comparison then should be repeated
on another column of different polarity to substantiate the previous agreement of retention times.
Failure to use columns of different polarity to identify compounds can be embarrassing. DDT was blamed for
many problems caused by PCB's by some early investigators, who failed to usc at least two columns.
Figure 20-3. p. 213. is used to illustrate some common tenns for gas and liquid chromatogl1lphy. The elapsed
time between the injection and the centerofa peak is called the retention time. t~ of that compound. The baseline is a
straight line drawn from where the peak begins on one side 00 where the peak ends on the other side. Several situations
are shown. The peak width. w, is measured as shown. It is the distance on the baseline between the intersections of
tangents to the inflection points on the sides of the peak. The retention lime. I,. is the time from the injection to the
highest part ofthe peak. Retenlion voillme. VIt is the volwne ofcarrier gas required to elute a compound offofa column.
It is the product of flow rate (mUmin) and time (min).
GU~liqllid C'hromafography

,:1 ..

, ,'
1 ..


,, \
/ , ,,
,/ , ,
Figure 20-3. Diagram to illustrate some common
gas and liquid chromatography terms.

The concept ofHETP was described in Chapter 3. p. 26. The same concept applies here except that f-1ETP for
a distillation differs from an HETP for a chromatographic separation. because in a distillation, the enrire column is in
use at 'he same time, whereas in a chromatographic column. only a small portion is being IISed at anyone lime.
As a generalization: the nllmber ofplates reqllired to seporate a mixture by a gas chrom%graphic procedllre
is the square ofthe number ofpla/es required to seporate the same mixture by di!'·/illation.
The smaller the HETP is. the beller the column. The older 6 rom diameter packed columns would have values
from I to 3 mm/plate, whereas values of 0.25 mm/plate are common for capillary columns. One equation to determine
the number of theoretical plates and the HETP is the ~'(Jn Deemter equation shown below:
The broadening of a band varies with the J N (or r for column chromatography). N is the number of theoretical
plates in the column. From the Poisson distribution. the band width"" 4 J N.
If distance == L. then L '" kN and w - k 4 .l'N


where w == distance between intersections of tangents to the inflection points on the baseline.
Tllc height equivalent to one theoretical plate is defined by

HETP""UN (20-2)

where L "" is the length of the column. usually in mm.

Calculate the nwnber ofthcoretical plates a,nd the HE'TP, in a 2 m column whose,major ~ was 40)lUll from thl;:
injedion pointmid 1,:BDd 'l8re 37 and .- ,


'N ',16 -
r ' ,.~
f.~)-" -
ij yl pI"rg'

, 'B,~~,20-i
214 Principles

Liquid-liquid theory can be expanded 10 covcr gas-liquid systems by taking into account the compressibility of
the mobile phase. which introduces a gradient down the column.
PI "" inlet pressure. P" = outlet pressure. F,. '" gas flow rate. mUmin (corrccted to correspond to the column
temperature and outlet pressure P,,). '. = retention lime (for the center of the peak to emerge). V. "" retenrion volume
(column T and P,,) = l~", V/ = corrccted retention volume - conttted for the compressibility of the gas. V", is the
volume of the mobile phase. A.. and A. were defined in Chapter 15 as column cross sectional areas

If P is the pressure at a point atong the column, the gas velocity can be calculated by


The volume rate of flow of gas is proportional to the pressure gradient at that point.

A V~Kdp
• dx (20-4)

K depends upon the viscosity ofthe gas and how tightly the column is packed; P is obtained by integration.
K P' '" 2 F X + K P (20-5)
Po c "

F .. P" K ( .!- )' _ I (211-6)

r 2x P"

The time. dt. required for the sotute to move a distance dx is given by
1 I
dt - dxlVRj and tR '" J dxl VRj .., J A."pdxl RI'.Fe (20.7)
o 0
L D column length.
Because dx .., KPdPIF,P... then Yl "" JA,.Kp1dPIRj>/F/

In terms of preS!iUreS (211-8)

The retention volume is v. = t. =

K A. Po
J Rf Fe [;:r - I (20-9)

2 A. L ( PIP, )' - I
or at a distance L V. = (211-10)
3 Rf ( PIP, )' - J
Gu-liquid chromalograllhy 21S

as P/PG ~.~> I; V, -> AJ.! R, which is V/ (corrected for pressure drop)

• 3 ( P /p. )! - I (211-11)
V. '" V
• 2 ( PIP. )' - I

FOr &he: same pressure drf;lp of 0.2 atm, ~ ~ the: 1'lDkI1lion volume compare. for oudet pressures: of infiD1tyj
.lJandoJIlm? . •• ,

p~"", infinity. Y. '"" v."

~ ~ 2132",,". .P-'[Jc......,It,-"_l ~ loW.";
'. (PIP. I

'" oJ"
'• -
1 A." P A, y; . . P Y L I"

v; .. P JI L

v; . . P7J F L
NolO""'" they.'!Pjlear irt we ooict of P valilOo. _ r d.~ "F'and W<, haVe • dur.....«
~uid-Uquid-coJumn c:hromal~. ~.... ". .

Get Vt/ by passing OJ. through tbe-column because it hssaP ofO.


Ifllw"""ity CjlCfficient ""riC! wilb <mc<nllaOon, wlma <><COJ>, both front and back. depending on"'" directi<Jn
Retention Volume
Retention volume is the voh.nTlc ofcarrier gas required to clute a compoLmd off of a column. It is the product of
flow rate, jJ, (mUmin) and time, , (min).

v. = pi (211-12)
216 Prindptes

II "'Jiliml T.8I1linUle> fur the PoaI< ofa·~ lif..... ~tii.lIoW'~~.~~JJtI,'nliiLWblIl·
~ti<?" \lolume? • • .

_d..:·",~mLlmillkL~~·~-" ......_ ....._","""......"""_"",,,,
The relative retention time of a compound compared to another compound on a given column is of more value
than the absolute retention time, because the absolute retention time is hard to reproduce from one laboratory to another.
Severnl attempts have been made to simplify the comparisons of retention times from column to column and
compound to compound. The firsl and simplest is by E. Kovats (He/v. Chim. ACla, 41. 1915. 1958) involving the use
of hydrocarbons. The next was by LJ. Rohrschneider (J. Chromalog.• 22, 6, 1966), who used benzene, ethanol,
methylethyl ketone, nitromethane, and pyridine to eharncterize liquid phases. W.O. McReynolds (J. ChromalOg. &i.,
8,685, 1970) improved upon this by using 10 compounds to relate over 200 liquid phases to squalene. The results
indicated that many of the liquid phases behaved nearly the same and that really just a few were needed to separate all
of the compounds. Kovats introduced a retention index, /, which is defined as:

log V. - log V.
I 00 100 ... 100 n (2G-1J)
log V• • I - log V..

where V. "" retention volume of the sample, V.. ;;. retention volume of a reference compound of n carbons, V... / ""
retention volume of a reference compound of n + 1 carbons; n and n + I are compounds that bracket the sample.
Very little change occurs in the retention index with temperature. so the relative values obtained on a column at
100°C will be nearly the same at 200"C.
Figure 20-4 illustrates how a Kovats' index· can be obtained. Basically. it is done this way. Two straight chain
hydrocarbons are found that diffCT by one carbon and that bracket the sample compound. The retention volumes of the
reference alkanes arc converted to logs and are assigned values 100 times the number of the carbons (C4 ;;. 400; Cs ""
500). The sample then has a value in between.
The top scale (Figure 204) shows the net retention times of two samples and five straight chain alkanes. and the
middle scale is a plot of log t,. The lower scale shows Ihe assigned values for the known hydrocarbons and the values
detennined for A and B. These arc summarized in Table 20-1. p. 217.

6 , , , ,
•, " ,, ,,

• ,' ,
" /

) ~' , / ,,r
, (
,, ,
,i.. .., "" "
," , -, ,
;~ ..., 10&10
I' I

, I

""" ,,

600 SOO
I Figure 2(4. Diagram to Illustrate how fo
Detennine Kovats' Retention Indices.
"" '"B
A (Courtesy - L.S. EItre, Anal Chem., 36, 31 A.
Gas-liquid chromatography 217

Table 10-1. Summary of the values in Figure 2Q-4

Retenlion Time
Carbon No. min Log I, Kovats Index, I

C4 0.' -0.30 400

C' 1.0 0.0 SOO
C6 2.0 +0.30 600
B )., +054 68)
C7 4.0 +0.60 700
A 4.25 +0.63 709
C8 8.0 +0.90 800


The theoretical plate concept is useful in determining lhe efficiency ofany given column, but it docs not indicate
the effects of various operational parameters. Here., however, the van Dcemter rale theory proves valuable. The van
Deemter equation is:

HETP"" A + Blp + Cp (20-14)

where A := 2A dp• B '" 2 r DO' C '" 8kdf 1p/Tf 1Dt {1 + let. p '" velocity (em/sec), ..l:= a quantity characteristic
of the column packing, d,. = average particle diameter, k-lhe fraction of the sample in the liquid phase divided by the
fraction in the vapor phase, ".to: the average liquid film thickness, Dt - the diffusion coefficient in the liquid phase, r
= a correction faclor for the interparticle spaces, and DIJ '" the diffusion coefficient in the gas phase.

The firslterm in equalion 20-14 is due to turbulence as thcgas goes around the column packing. the same as water
swirls as it goes around a bridge support. This is called eddy
diffusion and does not change as lhe flow I1lte increases. The
second term is due to molecular diffusion. lfthere is no gas flow.
then mixing can be complete. and HETP approaches infinity. As '''' "l~ e"'lo!e I~'O
the flow rale increases, it is easier to keep two different molecules
apart once they are separated, and HETP gets quite low. The third ,,
term is due to resistance to mass transfer. The higher the flow
r.ate, the more likely it is for molecules to be remixed because of
~ /'Re",!OnI:C ro - ...
an increase in the number of cotlisions, and HETP increases with
flow rate. \ l/
mo" lron,'eo "
'"' -
Figure 20-5 shows data for the variation of tile HETP ofa MoIea,olclr I
djlfvMn , "
column prepared by coating Celile with tricrcsyl phosphate, as a
function of the linear velocity ofthc carrier gas. in cmIsee. 0 ,
-- -' -- ....... I,
The curvc R~S is the actual variation of the HETP with -~-- ---- id(irdTfI~~ --- • __T

velocity. The tangent to this curve, P-Q, allows the extrapolation , • • • '0
to zero velocity. Thus the eddy diffusion is shown as the slr.light
line, P- T. The resistance to mass transfer is represented by the
contributions between lints p~T and P-Q for n·butane and p.1;' and
Figure 10-5. Variation ofHETP as a Function of
P·U for air. The molecular diffusion contribution is represented by
Carrier Gas Velocity.
218 Tec:hniques

the difference belween P-Q and R-S. Thus, at very low velocilies of carrier gas, the molecular diffusion is more
import8nl. whereas at high ga<; velocities, the mass transfer resistance becomes more important.
The optimum velocity of carrier gas to be employed is at that point where the HETP-velocity curve is al a
The consequences of the van Dcemter equalion are that: (I) small particles improve the HETP; (2) there is an
oplimum flow rolte; (3) in general, a high m.w. carner gas improves the efficiency; (4) the smaller the i.d. of the column
is, the higher the efficiency; (5) the lower the inlet to outlet pressure ralio is, the better the efficiency; (6) low vapor
pressure., low viscosity liquid phases are best; (7) the thinner the stationary phase is, the better and faster the separation;
(8) the lowest temperature possible is used to obtain a separation.

The most common carrier gases (mobile phase) are nitrogen and helium. Hydrogen and air are used for the flame
ioni7.ation detector and ultrapure hydrogen (99.9999"'/&) and ultmpure nitrogen (99.999'-'10) are required for the Hall
detector. The type of carri"~ "as to be employed presents some choice, but it usually is dictated by the type of detector

Safety Note:
Always fasten cylinders /0 the lab bench with safety
straps. A common type of ga<; cylinder safety strap is
shown in Figure 20-6. The holder is screw clamped to the
bench top and Ihe cylinder is then strapped to it
Small amounts of impurities in carrier gases can
cause baseline problems (oil), reaction with the stationary
phase (oxygen), and loss ofsensilivity for several detectors
Figure 20-6. G35 Cylinder Safety brackets. Left: I3cnch (water), and hydrocarbons.
moun!. RighI: Wall mount. Usually place a gas purifier and/or an oxygen trap
(Courtesy - Chemical Research Supplies, Addison. IL)
between the gas cylinder pressure regulator and the
injection port. particularly if a capillory column is being
used. Oxygen reacts with many stationary phases. This causes a change in the retention time, and with capillary
columns, causes a noticeable peak broadening after just a few samples have been run.
Figure 20-7 shows somc purificrs. The purifier for water, oil, and particles contains Orierite (CaSO.), SA
molecular sievcs and a filter frit. Iforganics are suspected, purifiers containing activatL'd charcoal can be obtained.

Figure Z6-7. Gas

purifiers. Left: O 2
purge. Right: O 2 trap.
(Courtesy. Aillech
Associates Inc.,
Deerfield, IL)

The gas velocity through the column is regulated by applying pressure at the inlet. Commonly, the outlet pressure
is atmospheric, and the inlet pressure is maintained somewhere between 2 and 3 aim. For routine work, two-stage,
stainless steel diaphragm regulators (Figurc 20-8) are used on the gas cylinder. One gauge measures the main cylinder
pressure, and the other gauge measures the pressure you arc applying to the column. For finer control, an additionaJ
metering valve often is used.
Do nol overtighten the control valli(! handle of/he metering valli(! when closing it. This mars the end of the needle,
and it will leak after a while.
Before you auach a pressure regulator to a gas cylinder. open the main tank valvefor /-2 seconds to blow away
any grease or dirt. Cylinders are shipped in open trucks across the country. The din collected plus any oil from the
compressors used by the manufacturers should be removed, or the regulator will be contaminated.
Gas-liquid chromatography 219

The injection port is the place where the sample is entered into the
chromatograph. 11le injection port is fitled with a small septum made ofmaterials
that permit passage ofa needle and lhen reseal after the needle is withdrawn. This
is usually silicone rubber. I mm tlll~", ,J 6-8 mm in diameter. Figure 20-9 shows
several septa. Typically, 20 10 30 injections can be madc with common 26 gauge
needles before they need to oc rCl)laced.
Leakage from a damaf!cd .•...ptum can be detecled by inaccuracies in
quantitation, problems with the chromatography such as a change in retention time,
or the deteriomtion of the column from the entry of air. The septa can bleed
substances into thc gas flow and also can become brittle with use. Shreds from the
penetrated septa can break loose and block wide-bore colwnns and block gas flow.
Tailing can be caused by septum bleed and can be checked for as follows: the noise Figure 20-8. A Gas Cylinder
level increases, the early eluters show decreased response, and the baseline drifts
Pressure Regulator.
ifprogr.unmcd temperature is used.
(Courtesy - Allteth Associafes Inc.,
In order for the best separations to occur, the sample should be vaporized a<;
rapidly as possible after injection. Therefore, the septum is surrounded by a brass
or steel block that can be heated and act as a heal reservoir. This rapid vaporization
produces what is known as plug injection.
As a general role, injection block heaters are set about 10 "C holler than the
column. This serves as a starting point; further adjustments may be necessary if the
peaks tail and there is no other cause for the tailing.

Sample addition generally is done by means of a syringc needle being Figure 26-9. Septa.
pushed through a rubber septum. Injection volumes of I to 10 IJL for liquids and Courtesy - Allte<:h Associates [nt.•
from 0.1 to 5 mL for gases arc normal. Figure 20-10. p. 220. shows syringes for Deerfield, I L)
adding liquids and gases and the valves used for gas tight-syringes.
The plunger wire on small volume syringes is fragile and often bends even
if care is taken. To prevent this, plunger guides are used. Figure 20-11 lop. p. 220, shows a plunger guide, and 20-11
boltom shows the guide mounted on a syringe.
Reproducing the injection of an exact volwne of liquid into the chromatograph is quite difficult. One method to
improve the reproducibility tot 1% is to use a Chaney adapter. This is a plunger guide with a depth gauge on one side
that is held in place with a small set screw. Figure 20-12 top, p. 220, shows a Chaney adapter, and 20-12 bottom shows
it attached to a syringe.

I. Never oil syringe pillngers. The solution in the barrel serves as a lubricant.
2. Never touch the plunger with yourfingers. The plunger fits the barrel so tightly that even a fingerprint
often can produce enough resistance 10 cause the barrel to break when the plunger is pushed in.
3. Never interchange plungers between barrels. Thcy seldom fit well and will cither leak or eventually jam.
4. Never clean metal plungers with acids. They will eventually leak. Clean the syringe barrel by flushing
with solvent. then blowing it dry with a stream of filtered dry air. A liquid soap (dishwashing detergent)
and water solution flushed through the syringe works best. However. it must be rinsed thoroughly with
distilled or deionized water. alcohol. and then acetone.
5. Withdraw the syringe immediatelyafler the sample is added. If you do not, then additional sample in the
needle may evaporate. Because this amount is seldom the same from injection to injection, the final results
will be erratic. and the peaks will tail,
6. Always rinse the syringe with solvent before and immediately after using it. This eliminates cross-
220 Tet:hniques


Figure 20-10. Gas cl1romatography sample
addition syringes: (A) FOI" liquids. (B) Micro
o syringe. eel For gases. (D) Gas tight valves.
(Courtesy - Atllech Associates Inc., Oreerflcld.IL)

Figure 2()..11. Top: Plunger guide. Bottom: Guide

mounted on a syringe.
(Courtesy - Supelco, Bellefoole, PAl

Figure 20·12. Left: Chaney adapter. Right;

Adapter mounted on a syringe.
(Courtesy - Supeko. Bellefonte, PAl

Syringe Filling T«hnique

The solvent nush method is the best method for (1) sample mixlUres that contain a wide range of boiling points
such as insecticides and (2) analysts with little experience. Place 1-2 ~L of solvent in the syringe. Add 1-2 ...L of air.
then add 1-5 f.1L of sample and another 1-2 L of air. Inject the entire system. Read the volume of tile solvent plug only.
Cas-liquid chromatography 221

f'igure 20-13. The solvent nush melhod.

... - _.......
...... '" · f )~

Capillary Injection Systems

Capillary columns require addition of a very small sample. This requires a special injection system called a
sp/ilfer. Most often, a lllrgcr sample than neccs.'W)' is injected; a ponion of this actually goes into the column, and the
remainder is discardt.-d. Figure 20-14 shows one type of a capillal)' injection system with a splitter.

-. . . Il-""'.
.... e.tYIwGn .... - -

f'igure 26-14. Diagram ofa capillary injection system.

(Courtesy· Alitech Associates Inc., Deerfield, IL)

Solid Samples
Solids can be injected as solutions, but this often results in broad and tailing peaks. Solids. which are low melting,
can be added direi:tly to a gas chromatograph by using a solid sampler. This is essentially a syringe within a syringe as
shown in Figure 2().15. It is 001 pushed through a septum because of its large diameter but is attached to a fitting that
is placed on the injection port.

Figure 20-15. Solid Sampler Operation.

The column, including the packing. is the heart ofthe chromatograph. Columns used for residue detection usually
are made Ollt of glass or fused silica FSOT means/used silica open tubl/Jar. Table 20-2 shows cunent nomenclature
for columns based on their inner diamerer(i.d.). Figure 20-16. p. 222. shows several columns for GLC.

Table 26-2. Column nomenclature based on the

inner diameter
Inner DilllT\dcr(mm)

>6 Preparati\'C:
2-6 Nannal or regular
<I Capillary
0.32 Widcborc (narrow)
0.25 Narrow (more narrow)
0.18 Minibore
0.05-0.10 Microbore
222 Tedmlqucs

Figure 26-16.
columns for gas-liquid
(Courtcs)' • Varian
Associales., Palo Alto.

As a starting point, the co/umn should be heated to two-thirds o/the boiling point o/the highesl boiling compound
in the mixlUre.
Columns of6 mm o.d. should not be in coils smaller than 15 cm in diameter, and columns of3 mm o.d. not in
coils Jess than 8 cm in diameter. Therc are no restrictions on capillary columns. Surprising as it may seem, because of
the comparatively fast flow rate, the molecules moving next to the wall around thc outside of a coiled column do not
move to the inside as might be expected based on their small sizcs and their continual motion. This means that the
outside molecules tmvel farther in the column than those on the
inside, much like runners in a 400 meier race if they did nol have
a staggered start. To minimize or eliminate this effect, short
columns are bent into a U shape, and longer columns are coiled
in large diameters.

-- In order to maintain the sample in a gaseous state, the

colwnn is heated. To provide reproducible results, all parts ofthc
column must be al the same temperature. To do this unifonnly,
the column is coiled. It is heated by a stream of heated air. TIle
better instruments have a separate heater for the column chamber.
Figure 26-17. Glass tubing culter, file Iype.
(Courtesy. Alltech Associates loc., Deerfield,IL)
Tubing Cutter
Only glass or Fused silica columns should be used for
pesticide residue work, particularly if the organohalogen
pesticides are to be detL'Cted. Hot metal tubing reacts with many of
the halogenated pesticides to dehydrohalogcnate them and change
their composition. However, nickel tubing is used in the furnace
in the Hall detcctor, and it must be cut and cut very smoothly.
Figure 20-17 shows two cutters for glass tubing, and Figure 20-18
shows a cuner for copper, alwninum, and stainless steel tubing.
Figure 20-19, p. 223. shows a cuner preferred for nickel tubing.
Glass can be cut by making a single scrateh mark on it with
a file or knife. The scratch is moistened with a drop of saliva, the
scratch mark placed upward, and the tubing pulled apart with a
Figure 20-18. A tubing cutter for metal. slight downward bending motion. The bottom pholograph in
(Courtesy - Alltech Associatcs Inc., Deerfield,IL)
Gas-liquid chromatography 22J

Figure 2()..17 is for larger tubing. The tubing is placed in the holder.
then the cutter is pressed finnly on the glass and a scratch mark is
made as the tubing is rotated slowly. The tubing is removed. the
scratch mark is moistened, and pulled apart with a slight downward
bending motion.
Mela/tubing should nClI be sawed. because the rough edges
make it difficult to aURch tubill~ connectors, and the jagged inside
causes flow turbulence. The easiest way is to use a tubing cutta like
that shown in Figure 20-18. As it is twisted around the tubing, the
handle is slowly screwed tighter, forcing Ihe cutter wheel into the
Figure 2()..19. A tubing cutter for nickel
tubing. Ifthe edge is rough, a reamer can be used to smooth out the
inside of the cuI.
(Courtesy - Alltech Associates Inc.• Deerfield. IL)
Nickellubing is diffieullto cut without leaving a burr on the
inside. The cutter shown in Figure 2()..19 has been found to make
a clean cui thai requires no rcanling. It is used just like a pair of

Tubing Benders
Most chromatographers bend metal tubing by wrapping it
around a gas cylinder, the cylinder head cover. or something
similar. For a more professional look, a coiling machine like that
shown in Figure 20-20 can be used to make bends of any diameter
from 7 to 60 em in diameter. Therc arc additional bends. such as
connecting the tubing to the chromatograph ports, that are often
quite difficult Rnd require a tool with flexibility. One such type is
shown in Figure 2()..21.
Although metal columns are not as popular as in the past,
they still are used. In addition, soon lengths of metal tubing are
sometimes used to connect parts of the apparatu.<;.. Place the tubing
on the wheel where the bend is desired. The handles are
togcther to make the bend. This prevents crimping of the tubing.

Tubing Connectors
The column tubing must be connected to the chromatograph
with a leak·free seal. Compression filtings of some type are used. Fi~ure 20-20. A mClilllUbing c()ilcr.
Figure 20-22 shows the Swage/ok method for connecting tubing. (COUrtC'5)'· Alhech ASSOC11lles tnc., DccrliC"ld,ILI
When the nut is tightened it forces the back ferrule into the front
ferrule and crimps the front ferrule onto the tubing.
Figure 2()"23. p. 224. shows an O-ring method for connecting
glass tubing to metal connection pons. These devices can be used
up to about 200 "c.

Ferrules are the tapered sections ofa connection that Clamp Figure 26-21. A hand-held tubing
onlo the tubing to make a gas-tight seal. They are used to make bender.
metal-metal and metal-glass connections. They are made from many (Courtesy - Alltcch Associlltes Inc.,
materials: brass, Teflon. graphite, Vespel (polyimide), and a Vcspcl- Dettfield,IL)
graphite combination. Brass is used mainly for metal-metal
connections. Teflon is used for temperatures up to 250 "C and is so
soft that the connection can be finger tightened. Graphite can be
used up to 450 "C and is softer than brass but nol as soft as Teflon.
Vespel does not cold flow, can be used up to 350 cC. and can be
.used many times. Tl1e Vespel-graphite combination can be used up
to 400 "c. A straight ferrule connects glass of the same size,
wht-orcas a reducer fernde connects glass of diffcrent sizes. Figure
20-24, p. 224. shows several ferrules. Vespel, Vespcl-graphite, and Figure 20-22. Swagelok tubing connections.
graphite ferrules do not require a back ferrulc. (Courtesy. Alltech Associates Inc., Deerfield, IL)
214 Techniques

A recent development is the direct-connect

capillary connector shown in Figure 2Q..25. Two
pieces of capillary tubing can be oonnected withoul
tools or other fittings and be gas light. Simply push
the end of the tubing into the connector. You MII.ft
heal them to J50 QC to complete the seal. The ends
mllst be CII' square 10 gel a goodfil. If the CO/limn is
old, dip the end into pentane before inserting iI.
Figure 26-23. O-ring method for connecting glass tubing.
(Courtesy - Alltech Associates Inc., Deerfield, IL) Linen
Injection liners are short sections of glass
tubing smaller in diameter than either the column or
the injection port. They have two purposes: (J) to
protect a column and (2) to serve as a quick connect
that is not necessarily gas tight. To prol:ect a column,
they are inserted into the first 5·8 cm of a column to
collect any nonvolatile or very low-volatile material
Figure 2n-24. Graphite ferrules that would slowly plug the column. After sever.1I