3 x 50-minute lectures weekly
6 x 3-hour laboratories per semester
1 of CHEM1011, CHEM1102
Enrolment not permitted
1 of CHEM2003, CPES2009 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
SACE Stage 2 (Year 12) Mathematical Studies or Mathematical Methods or equivalent. Second year of an undergraduate degree including study in either Chemistry or Physics.
Topic description

This topic introduces the various modes of separation used in Chemistry. Areas of study include sample preparation, solid-phase and liquid-liquid extraction, chromatography, electrophoresis and microfluidics. A considerable focus will be on the mechanisms of separation, analytical performance and utility of each technique along with instrumentation and sample requirements.

Educational aims

This topic aims to introduce students to the various commonly used chemical separation methods. Specifically, this topic aims to give students:

  • An understanding of the various separation mechanisms used by chemists
  • An in-depth understanding of the thermodynamic and kinetic theory of separations
  • The ability to explain the various modes of band broadening in chromatography and electrophoresis
  • The ability to assess the quality of separations
  • A comprehensive knowledge of the instrumental requirements of each separation technique
  • Hands-on training in the use of a range of separation instruments to analyse and/or quantify a range of substances within a guided laboratory setting (including various sample extraction methods, GC, HPLC, ion chromatography and electrophoresis)
  • Further training in the preparation of written reports
  • An opportunity to work individually or as part of a team in order to investigate a range of analytical problems
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of various separation techniques available to chemists, including the underlying thermodynamic and kinetic theories and the ability to identify appropriate methods for the separation of substances from within different matrices
  2. Explain the various modes of band broadening and their impact on the quality of a separation
  3. Use mathematical methods to assess the performance of a separation
  4. Demonstrate understanding of the instrumental requirements of each technique
  5. Use the various separation techniques to analyse and characterise substances within a laboratory setting
  6. Prepare written reports
  7. Work individually or as part of a team in order to investigate a range of analytical problems