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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 23 (2018) pp 179-185

Inductive Data Analysis: A New Pedagogical Approach Using Simultaneous Methods of Quantitation

Jacob L. Williams, Taylor A. R. Oberman, Kristoffer L. Conrad, Martin E. Miller, Parth H. Patel, Meagan K. Mann, and Leslie A. Hiatt†,*

Department of Chemistry, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN 37044,; Union University College of Pharmacy, 1050 Union University Drive, Jackson, TN 38305
Received January 10, 2018. Accepted February 12, 2018.

Published: 12 August 2018

Abstract. Quantitative analysis courses are intended to teach students how to properly analyze and interpret quantitative data; however, many students complete the course with a simplistic view of quantitation and lack the critical thinking skills needed for successful experimental design. This study demonstrates for the first time how internal standards and standard addition can be used simultaneously to teach experimental design skills. Specifically, the importance of sensitivity, selectivity, matrix effects, error, and methodology in quantitative analysis. This study provides a model using gas chromatography (GC) coupled with a flame ionization detector that was corroborated with gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) to quantitate nicotine in electronic cigarette juice using simultaneous internal standards and standard addition, as well as external calibration curves. This study was designed to increase student understanding of all three techniques by incrementally and inductively demonstrating the rationale for each method and showing the effects of student error on each method. Analytical error, both indeterminate and determinate, regardless of high R-values, can be significant and should be considered.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; quantitative analysis

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:;Union)

Article in PDF format (2240 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

One PDF file is available as supporting material, “Algebraic Explanation: Incorporation of Internal Standards into Standard Addition Analysis” available as supplementary information. (153 KB)

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