Source: Laboratory of Dr. B. Jill Venton - University of Virginia
Gas chromatography (GC) is used to separate and detect small molecular weight compounds in the gas phase. The sample is either a gas or a liquid that is vaporized in the injection port. Typically, the compounds analyzed are less than 1,000 Da, because it is difficult to vaporize larger compounds. GC is popular for environmental monitoring and industrial applications because it is very reliable and can be run nearly continuously. GC is typically used in applications where small, volatile molecules are detected and with non-aqueous solutions. Liquid chromatography is more popular for measurements in aqueous samples and can be used to study larger molecules, because the molecules do not need to vaporize. GC is favored for nonpolar molecules while LC is more common for separating polar analytes.
The mobile phase for gas chromatography is a carrier gas, typically helium because of its low molecular weight and being chemically inert. Pressure is applied and the mobile phase moves the analyte through the column. The separation is accomplished using a column coated with a stationary phase. Open tubular capillary columns are the most popular columns and have the stationary phase coated on the walls of the capillary. Stationary phases a…
Source: Laboratory of Jeff Salacup - University of Massachusetts Amherst
Throughout this series of videos, natural samples were extracted and purified in search of organic compounds, called biomarkers, that can relate information on climates and environments of the past. One of the samples analyzed was sediment. Sediments accumulate over geologic time in basins, depressions in the Earth into which sediment flows through the action of fluid (water or air), movement, and gravity. Two main types of basins exist, marine (oceans and seas) and lacustrine (lakes). As one might guess, very different types of life live in these settings, driven in large part by the difference in salinity between them. Over the last few decades, organic geochemists discovered a toolbox of biomarker proxies, or compounds that can be used to describe climate or environment, some of which work in marine environments and some of which work in lacustrine. We turn our attention here to the marine realm and alkenone paleothermometry using the Uk'37 sea surface temperature proxy.
The most well-established and widely applied open-ocean biomarker sea surface temperature (SST) proxy is Uk'37.
Uk'37 = (C37:2) / (C37:2 + C37:…
Source: Laboratory of Dr. Jay Deiner — City University of New York
Extraction is a crucial step in most chemical analyses. It entails removing the analyte from its sample matrix and passing it into the phase required for spectroscopic or chromatographic identification and quantification. When the sample is a solid and the required phase for analysis is a liquid, the process is called solid-liquid extraction. A simple and broadly applicable form of solid-liquid extraction entails combining the solid with a solvent in which the analyte is soluble. Through agitation, the analyte partitions into the liquid phase, which may then be separated from the solid through filtration. The choice of solvent must be made based on the solubility of the target analyte, and on the balance of cost, safety, and environmental concerns.…