CHEM 230 Chemical Separations, Fall, 2012

Application of Separation Technology Paper

Due December 7th


You will write a paper on the application of a separation technology. This may be related to chromatography, mass spectroscopy, electrophoresis, super critical fluid extraction, etc. The paper should describe the application of a method to solve a specific scientific problem (not necessarily within the fields of chemistry but at least chemistry-related). The application should involve qualitative or quantitative analysis of specific compounds, achieving a difficult separation for isolation of chemicals (e.g. chiral compounds), or separation of chemicals into several classes.


Material for your presentation should be taken from the recent peer-reviewed literature. At least some of the research cited should be less than five years old. For this reason, it is better to choose topics where the scientific problem is relatively new (e.g. analysis of pharmaceutical products or break-down compounds in sewage wase) or the application uses relatively new separation technology (e.g. those covered in student presentations). Be sure to put the application into the context of the scientific questions being addressed and discuss previous methods of analysis/separation. This means that you will most likely need to obtain information from more than one source (books are fine as background sources). Good journals to take a look at are ones listed on the resources website as well as any journal related to the specific problem (e.g. Atmospheric Environment for an application of SPME for analysis of air pollutants). I would recommend that a single main research paper or a set of related research papers (sometimes incremental improvements by the same group is presented in two or three papers) be given the most consideration.


I am asking that you hand in or send me (email is o.k. for this) a prospective title and brief abstract (5 sentences max) describing the scientific problem and the separation methodology by Oct. 16. The application topic should not be on something you are currently working on in research (but can be related to your research). I expect that most topics will be approved without problems. Exceptions will be if more than one student has selected the same scientific problem and separation technology.


The paper (due Dec. 7th) should be no more than 5 pages of text with a maximum of 1 page additional of figures and tables (the figures and tables can be placed within the text but should take up no more than 1 page worth of space) and an extra page for references. Please use Times New Roman font size 12, double spaced. The paper should include an introduction, a description of methods employed, a results/discussion section, and a brief conclusions section. The introduction should explain the specific scientific problem investigated (e.g. explain why the problem is important) and give a background of past approaches to solving the problem. The description of the methods employed should be understandable to your classmates and be fairly specific as to equipment used. In the results and discussion section, you should assess the performance of the separation/detection using performance criteria discussed in class, and the conclusion should compare the new methodology with existing methodology.