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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 2 Issue 4 (1997), S1430-4171(97)04139-9

The Evolution of a Laboratory Syllabus for Quantitative Analysis

T. C. Werner* and Mary K. Carroll

Department of Chemistry, Union College, Schenectady, NY 12308

Published online: 3 October 1997

Abstract. In this paper, we describe the evolution of a laboratory syllabus for a course in Quantitative Analysis. Over the past two decades, the syllabus has changed from one having individual students do mostly "wet" chemical analyses on commercial unknowns to one having groups of students do instrumental analyses on "real" samples. We describe, in some detail, the current laboratory syllabus, which requires students to calibrate volumetric equipment, to determine the active ingredients in Dristan using UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, to determine calcium levels in over-the-counter tablets using both atomic absorption spectroscopy and an ion-selective electrode , to determine lead in wine bottle caps using differential pulse polarography, to measure pKa values for sulfonated naphthols using UV-visible absorption spectroscopy and to determine caffeine and aspartame in common beverages using HPLC. Group work is emphasized, and written reports are required. Students have responded quite positively to the current syllabus, especially to the use of "real" samples.

Key Words:  In the Classroom; analytical chemistry; quantitative analysis; chemical pedagogy; pKa determination; laboratory syllabus; lead analysis

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (51 KB )

Supporting Materials:

A laboratory experiment: Differential Pulse Polarography of Lead (20 KB)10.1007/s00897970139b

This experiment emphasizes the proper use of volumetric equipment (71 KB) 10.1007/s00897970139c

Spectroscopic Determination of a pKa (13 KB) 10.1007/s00897970139d

Issue date: October 3, 1997

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