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ERIC Number: EJ946458
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Separation of the Components of a Commercial Analgesic Tablet: A Two-Week Sequence Comparing Purification by Two-Base Extraction and Column Chromatography
Revell, Kevin D.
Journal of Chemical Education, v88 n10 p1413-1415 Oct 2011
A new laboratory experiment is described in which students compare two benchtop separation methods to isolate the three active components of the commercial analgesic Excedrin. In the two-week sequence, aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine are separated using either a two-base liquid-liquid extraction or silica column chromatography. Students then evaluate the two separation methods based on percent recoveries and on purity, as determined by thin-layer chromatography. This procedure introduces three important techniques using a single theme. The experiment has been designed to minimize cost of chemicals and hazardous waste generation, while challenging students to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different purification techniques. (Contains 2 figures.)
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 - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A