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Uses of Chromatography

Chromatography has gained immense popularity in the past few years in almost every field. Its use is seen in almost every extent around us. It is widely used in the field of chemistry, industry, medicines. It has plentiful applications in the field of biological research.

The uses of chromatography in the field of chemistry, medicines, and industries and in everyday life are discussed below.

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Uses of Chromatography in Chemistry

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Chromatography has gained immense importance in the field of chemistry from detecting the optical isomer to determining the amount of mixture present in a sample. Following are some of the uses of chromatography in chemistry.
  • Chromatography is used to figure out the relation of different mixtures with one another.
  • It is very effective technique to test the purity of the sample.
  • The amount of mixture present in a sample can be calculated by using chromatography.
  • Chiral compounds which are very similar in molecular weight, elemental composition, and physical properties and differ only in optical isomers can be separated using chromatography.
  • It is used for the separation of mixture of compounds. Paper chromatography is particularly very effective in detection and separation of mixture of compounds.

Uses of Chromatography in Medicine

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Chromatography in field of medicines has an extended use. Some of the uses of chromatography in medicine are:
  • In pharmaceutical companies large amount of pure chemicals for making further medicines is prepared by using chromatography.
  • Paper chromatography is used to separate the various inks or dyes from the mixture.
  • Presence of alcohol or some other drugs in blood or urine are detected by using gas chromatography.
  • Chiral compounds resemble to each other greatly in terms of molecular weight, physical composition and elemental weight. But they have different optical isomers due to which they have different biological activities. Chromatography is very effective technique to separate the isomers. For example thalidomide is compound with two isomers one of them causes birth defects, chromatography is used to separate the isomer from its harmful counterpart.
  • In pharmacy chromatography is very important to analyse whether correct medicine is manufactured or not.
  • In forensic science it helps in solving many cases by detecting residual burnt particles and flammable chemicals present in the body parts in case of fire or explosions.
  • Paper chromatography and Gas chromatography are employed in finger print, DNA RNA analysis.

Uses of Chromatography in Everyday Life

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Chromatography is used in almost everywhere around us. Some examples are given below:
  1.      It is used in the laboratories for making pure sample of any compound.
  2.      It is also used to derive the amount of reactants or products.
  3.      Percentage purity is also found by chromatography.
  4.      Analytical chemistry use chromatography for various experiments
  5.      The detection and separation of pure compound is carried by chromatography.
  6.      It helps in checking the level of pesticides, fungicides and contaminants in the food and drinking water.
  7.      It is also used to check the level of adulterants in the manufactured food
  8.      It is applied in forensic science for investigation.

Uses of Chromatography in Industry

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There are many industrial uses of chromatography. Different chromatography techniques are used in various industries like food industries, drinking water treatment plants and other industries. Some of the uses of chromatography in industry are:

  • It is used in the food industries for analysis of different additives in the food. For example milk is consumed all over the world. The common adulterant that can be added in milk is pyruvic acid. Pyruvic acid is derived from lactic acid bacteria. Chromatography is employed acid bacteria. Chromatography is employed to check the quality of milk.
  • Paper chromatography is particularly used to check the quality of food by examining different vitamins, preservatives, amino acids and proteins.
  • Chromatography is also used to separate the contaminants, traces of harmful chemicals and other micro-organisms in food.
  • Gas chromatography is used in the manufacture and separation of essential oils.
  • It is used in industries for separating different components whose amounts can range from milligrams to tons.
  • The manufactured food is checked for quality. For example malic acid is added in apple juice to prevent it from getting spoiled and to maintain its taste. As malic acid is found in apple juice, therefore it is very difficult to check its content in apple juice. In order to check the level of maleic acid in apple juice, chromatography is employed. Fumaric acid is a contaminant of malic acid, so to check the quantity of synthetic malic acid, the level of fumaric acid is determined.
  • Thin layer chromatography is used to check and remove Polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides and insecticides in ground water and fish contaminated by these.
  • Environmental and governmental agencies also use chromatography to test drinking water.
  • Gas chromatography is also used in the environment field. Fixed monitors are employed to check the emission levels of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. It is also used to detect the quality of air.
  • Gas chromatography is used to monitor variation present if any in the industrial processes.
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