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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 20 (2015) pp 242-245

Elemental Analysis: Incorporating a Classic Analytical Technique into The Undergraduate Curricula

Ana Belén Ruiz Muelle, Rodney B. Thompson, and Ignacio Fernández*,†,§

Department of Physics and Chemistry, Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, University of Almeria, Almeria, ES-04120, Spain; Department of Agronomy, EPS, University of Almeria, Almeria, ES-04120, Spain; §BITAL, Research Centre for Agricultural and Food Biotechnology, Almería ES-04120, Spain, ifernan@ual.es
Received August 3, 2015. Accepted August 19, 2015.

Published: 23 September 2015

Abstract. A laboratory exercise is described that involves the synthesis of acetylferrocene, analysis of its 1H NMR spectra, and of its C and H composition by elemental analysis (EA). The use of both NMR and EA demonstrates to the students the value of using elemental analysis to evaluate the full purity of a sample in comparison to NMR that assesses purity by measuring the presence of one specific nucleus such as a proton. The use of EA also demonstrates the requirement to recrystallize the product of the synthesis in order to obtain a sufficiently pure product of acetylferrocene. This exercise gives students practice in synthetic techniques, instrumental analysis, the determination and interpretation of physical properties and in the critical evaluation of results obtained using different analytical techniques.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytical chemistry; organometallic chemistry; elemental analysis; NMR Spectroscopy; synthesis; hands-on learning

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: ifernan@ual.es)

Article in PDF format (36 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Instructions for students and instructors, experimental procedures, hazards information, and 1H NMR spectra for both ferrocene and acetylferrocene. (305 KB)



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