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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 19 (2014) pp 014-017

Combining FTIR Spectroscopy and the Vernier Gas Chromatograph: Analysis of a Binary Mixture

Logan A. Schmitz, Kimberly A. Gerling, Joseph M. Fritsch, David B. Green*

Department of Chemistry, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA,
Received October 15, 2013. Accepted December 14, 2013.

Published: 7 January 2014

Abstract. This article describes a laboratory investigation in which a binary mixture of organic compounds is analyzed first by FTIR spectroscopy to identify the predominant functional groups possessed by the components in the mixture, followed by the determination of the components of the mixture with gas chromatographic separation using a Vernier Mini GC. The components are identified by comparison to authentic standards. Students gain experience in functional group elucidation, selecting operating conditions for a gas chromatographic separation, and operating a simple gas chromatograph early in their academic career. To our knowledge, this represents the first reported coupling of the methods of FTIR spectroscopy and the Vernier GC in the traditionally first-year chemistry course.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; first-year chemistry, Vernier gas chromatograph, FTIR, chromatography

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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