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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 4 Issue 5 (1999) pp 183-185

Theory of Supercritical Fluid Extraction via the Discovery Approach

R. F. Mauldin,* D. J. Burns, I. K. Keller, K. K. Koehn, M. J. Johnson, and S. L. Gray

Department of Natural Sciences, Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, OH 45662

Published online: 1 October 1999

Abstract. Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is a technique for sample preparation that is quickly replacing Soxhlet extraction and ultrasonic extraction. This manuscript introduces two real-world applications of SFE that serve as the basis of undergraduate laboratory experiments: the analysis of caffeine in ground coffee and nicotine in cigarette tobacco. The extracts are analyzed with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The experiments are presented in a discovery fashion that enables students to develop a theoretical understanding of the role of intermolecular forces in the extraction process. The focus on theoretical aspects of SFE makes these experiments appropriate for analytical and physical chemistry laboratories.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; laboratory; supercritical fluid extraction; theory; discovery; gas chromatography-mass spectometry; GC-MS

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: RMauldin@Shawnee.edu)

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Issue date: October 1, 1999

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