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ERIC Number: EJ1110420
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Integrating Elemental Analysis and Chromatography Techniques by Analyzing Metal Oxide and Organic UV Absorbers in Commercial Sunscreens
Quin~ones, Rosalynn; Bayline, Jennifer Logan; Polvani, Deborah A.; Neff, David; Westfall, Tamara D.; Hijazi, Abdullah
Journal of Chemical Education, v93 n8 p1434-1440 Aug 2016
A series of undergraduate laboratory experiments that utilize reversed-phase HPLC separation, inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy (ICP), and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) are described for the analysis of commercial sunscreens. The active ingredients of many sunscreen brands include zinc or titanium oxide in addition to organic acids. Students determine the zinc content using ICP, and the chemical composition as well as particle sizes using SEM-EDS. The organic UV absorbers octocrylene and oxybenzone are quantified using HPLC. With the incorporation of these interesting characterization techniques in second or fourth-year chemistry courses, and by having students analyze sunscreen samples that are medically relevant in terms of health effects, students engage in timely research and at the same time gain exposure to a variety of instruments in the analysis of a familiar household product.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: EPS1003907; OIA1458952