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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 14 Issue 4 (2008) pp 195-199

A Gas Chromatography Experiment Combining Technical and Cognitive Competence

Christine M. Peeters*,, and Rik Deliever

Teaching Support Unit, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 21 B 2302, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium, LESEC, Leuven Engineering and Science Education Centre, K.U.Leuven Association
Received July 17, 2008. Accepted September 27, 2009

Published online: 31 December 2009

Abstract. The gas chromatography experiment presented here is a combination of a quantitative analysis of fatty acids in edible oil with an analysis of a synthetic mixture to evaluate chromatography efficiency. This experiment can be done in 57 hours. The students start with the preparation of the oil samples and standard solutions of fatty acids. While the derivatization of the fatty acids is in progress, a synthetic sample is analyzed at different linear velocity of the carrier gas. The students use the chromatograms to determine the Van Deemter equation and to calculate the chromatography efficiency. The quantitative analysis of the oil samples can be done consecutively or the samples can be stored until the next laboratory session. This combination of two gas chromatography experiments is very attractive for the students because it deals with a real-world sample. In addition, the students acquire practical experience in the significance of parameters related to chromatography efficiency.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; quantitative analysis

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: Dec, 31, 2009

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