P663: Radial chromatography: An alternative to columns in the undergraduate organic lab

Author: Robert B. Miller, University of Richmond, USA

Co-Author: William S. Case, University of Richmond, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 5:15 PM6:30 PM

Room: LIB

Related Symposium: S33

Separation techniques are usually presented in the undergraduate organic laboratory to teach students how to purify and isolate compounds. Often the concept of liquid chromatography is introduced by having students create “silica gel columns” to separate components of a reaction mixture. While useful, column chromatography can be a laborious technique for students to perform. The separation efficiency can be compromised if students do not prepare the column correctly, and the time required to separate substances can extend beyond a typical lab period. Herein, we discuss the use of radial chromatography as an alternative to the traditional column chromatography technique utilized in many teaching labs. Radial chromatography can be used to introduce the principles that underlie liquid chromatography, with the added benefit of providing a relatively fast and highly efficient separation. We present an experiment for the efficient separation of a mixture containing 2-nitroaniline and 3-nitroanilne using radial chromatography. Typical student results show that each substance can be collected with a high percent recovery (~70-80%). Furthermore, the melting range of each isolated substance is found to be in agreement with literature values. The separation can be completed in 20-30 minutes once the sample has been loaded.

P402: Catching criminals with chemistry: A non-majors course in forensics

Author: William Case, University of Richmond, USA


Date: 8/5/14

Time: 11:10 AM11:30 AM

Room: MAN 102

Related Symposium: S2

Forensics has awakened a heightened interest in science among society at large. At the university level, forensics provides a wonderful way to engage non-majors in a scientific setting. At the University of Richmond I have created a non-majors chemistry course entitled “Catching Criminals with Chemistry.” The course teaches students how chemistry can be applied to solving crimes. The nature of physical evidence is discussed, along with the chemical techniques used to gather and analyze that evidence. The course also introduces students to the legal aspects surrounding the introduction of evidence in court, thus providing an interdisciplinary focus for those interested in science and law. By combining case studies with applicable technology in the laboratory, students gain a heightened understanding of the important roles that chemistry plays in forensics. More importantly, non-majors leave the course with a solid understanding of a vast array of chemical instrumentation. The development of this course would have been near impossible had it not been for my ability to attend the “Forensics” workshop sponsored by cCWCS. I attended the workshop in summer 2010 and offered this course for the first time in fall 2010. The course has been offered three times (including this semester) and has reached enrollment capacity each time it has been offered. The knowledge and skills learned from the workshop were directly applied in the development of this course. The course has also been profiled by the University: http://news.richmond.edu/features/article/www/3361/new-chemistry-course-uses-crime-scene-investigation-to-engage-students.html