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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 16 (2011) pp 109-113

A Model for the Teaching of Column Separation Science

Peter Peng Foo Lee,Yong Chua Teo, Timothy Ter Ming Tan*, Kelvin Jin Tai and Kelvin Jin Tai Koh

National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, 1 Nanyang Walk, Singapore 637616, Republic of Singapore,
Received September 21, 2010. Accepted January 16, 2011.

Published: 25 March 2011

Abstract. The aim of this project is to develop a simple system that can be used to demonstrate the concepts and techniques of column chromatography to students from high school to university level. The system uses commonly available materials and apparatus, and complete experiments can be carried out within the timeframe of school laboratory-based lessons. A simple, cheap and reliable way to synthesize agarose microbeads for use as the stationary phase in a column is described. Mixture of dyes are also identified and optimized so that they separate cleanly into distinct bands in the column, and are therefore suitable for demonstration and student-led experimentation purposes.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; separation science; classroom teaching; low-cost; column chromatography; dyes

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (175 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Time-lapse video of the separation can be freely downloaded from ~ttmtan/column/ for teaching and demonstration purposes (974 KB).

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