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Importance of Analytical Chemistry in Hong Kong. Chemistry-related jobs in HK. Government LaboratoryTesting LaboratoriesJockey Club Racing LaboratoryHospital LaboratoryEnviropace LimitedProductivity CouncilPharmaceutical companiesPrivate laboratories, such as BV, SGS,

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NSS Chemistry ElectiveAnalytical Chemistry

Chan T.W. Dominic

Department of Chemistry,

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

importance of analytical chemistry in hong kong
Importance of Analytical Chemistry in Hong Kong
  • Chemistry-related jobs in HK
  • Government Laboratory
  • Testing Laboratories
    • Jockey Club Racing Laboratory
    • Hospital Laboratory
    • Enviropace Limited
    • Productivity Council
    • Pharmaceutical companies
    • Private laboratories, such as BV, SGS,…etc.
  • Secondary School Teaching
  • Sales and Marketing
importance of analytical chemistry in hong kong3
Importance of Analytical Chemistry in Hong Kong
  • Undergraduate Curriculum in Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry

¼ - ⅕ weightings

  • Postgraduate Programmes in Chemistry
  • MSc in Analytical Chemistry (HKBU)
  • MPhil / PhD in Analytical Chemistry Disciplines
Curriculum Comparison between NSS, CE and AL for Analytical Chemistry

Detecting the presence of chemical species (Ch 61)

  • Detection of gases
  • (Mostly covered in HKCEE, except the detection of HCl)
  • Detecting the presence of some metal ions by flame tests
  • (Covered in HKCEE)
  • Qualitative analysis of ionic compounds – cations and anions
  • (Mostly covered in HKCEE, except thedetection of Mg2+)
  • Chemical tests for some functional groups of carbon compounds
  • (Functional groups include C=C, −OH, −CHO, >C=O and −COOH)
  • (HKAL: only addition-elimination (condensation) reactions with hydrazines)
  • Separation of a mixture of known substances
  • (Covered in HKCEE)
Curriculum Comparison between NSS, CE and AL for Analytical Chemistry

Separation and purification methods (Ch 62)

  • Separation and purification methods
    • - Crystallization, distillation / fractional distillation, liquid-liquid
    • extraction, column and thin layer chromatography
    • (Mostly covered in HKAL, except column chromatography)
    • - Determine the Rf values of substances in a chromatogram
    • - Justify the choice of an appropriate method used for the
    • separation of substances in a mixture
  • Tests for purity
    • - Determine the melting point or boiling point of a substance
    • - Examine the purity of a substance by measuring its melting
    • or boiling point


Curriculum Comparison between NSS, CE and AL for Analytical Chemistry

Quantitative methods of analysis (Ch 63)

  • Gravimetric analysis
  • Volumetric analysis
  • - (HKCEE: Simple volumetric work involving acids and alkalis)
    • - (HKAL: Acid-base titration and the choice of indicator
  • plus general knowledge acquired from experiments under
  • TAS scheme)
  • Process of a quantitative analysis
Curriculum Comparison between NSS, CE and AL for Analytical Chemistry

Instrumental analytical methods (Ch 64)

  • Colorimetry
  • - (HKAL: Treated briefly in “rate of chemical reaction”)
  • - Construct a calibration curve and use it for the determination of the
  • concentration of an unknown solution
  • Infrared (IR) spectroscopy
  • - (HKAL: Structure determination of organic compounds)
  • - Identify C-H, O-H, N-H, C=C, CΞC. C=O & CΞN from an IR
  • spectrum using a correlation table
  • Mass spectrometry
  • - (HKAL: A brief account of the mass spectrometer in determining
  • relative isotopic, atomic and molecular masses)
  • - Identify R+, RCO+ and C6H5CH2+ from a mass spectrum
Curriculum Comparison between NSS, CE and AL for Analytical Chemistry

The role of analytical chemistry in our daily lives (Ch 66)

  • 1. Analysis of food and drugs
  • Environmental protection
  • The chemistry aspects of forensic science
  • Clinical diagnoses

(Not covered in HKCEE & HKAL)

Overview of Chemical Analysis

Purpose of the analysis

Real Samples:

Mixture Analysis

Separation & Purification


Target Specific Analysis



  • Limit of detection
  • Accuracy of the measurement
  • Uncertainties


Qualitative Analysis
  • Chemical tests for gases, O2, H2, HCl, …
  • Flame test for metal ions
  • Chemical tests for functional groups of organic compounds
  • Identification of common cations and anions
Introduction of Separation Sciences
  • Importance of sample purity for chemical analysis
  • Conventional separation sciences



Liquid-liquid extraction

- Advanced separation methods


(paper chromatography)


(mobile/stationary phases)


Indexing method


Simple classification

(thin-layer & column)

Spectroscopic Analysis


- quantitative analysis

Infrared Spectrometry

– functional group analysis

Mass Spectrometry

- molecular mass measurement and

structural analysis

Web Resources for IR and MSInformation

Spectral Database for Organic Compounds SDBS

- by National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan

University of Wisconsin-Madison – Chemistry Library

NIST Chemistry WebBook

- by National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Role of Analytical Chemistry

Forensic science



Analysis of

food and drugs

Environmental protection



Doping control

Gemstones and Antiques



Analysis of Food and Drugs
  • Residual pesticides in vegetables
  • Malachite green§1 in eel and other fish products
  • Harmful additives in food: e.g. Melamine in milk§2 products

Hong Kong Standard,

23 Sept 2008

  • Related Organizations:
  • Government Laboratory – Forensic Sciences Division
  • Food and Environmental Authority

§1Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 1998;12(21):1625-34


Environmental Protection
  • Heavy metal analysis in drinking water
  • Air pollutants, e.g. formaldehyde, NOx, O3, SOx,.. etc
  • Dixoin (75 congeners) and polychlorinated
  • biphenyls (209 congeners) analysis§
  • Related Organizations:
  • - Government Laboratory – Environmental Monitoring Division
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Enviropace Limited
  • Greenpeace
  • Water Department

§More information:

The Chemistry Aspects of

Forensic Science

  • Development of latent fingerprints, e.g. Ninhydrin, cyanoacrylate fuming, laser luminescence
  • Body fluid analysis, e.g. DNA fingerprinting
  • Analysis of unknown powders/pills

Andrzej Tokarski/

  • Related Organization:
  • Government Laboratory – Forensic Sciences Division
Clinical Diagnosis
  • A biomarker is a substance that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biologic processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.
  • e.g. Glucose level  Diabetes
  • Creatinine  Kidney malfunction
  • Dopamine  Parkinson’s disease

Genomics, Proteomics, Metabolomics

  • Related Organizations:
  • Hospital Authority
  • Clinical testing laboratories
Who should take Analytical Chemistry?

Students with:

  • good mathematical ability: calculations and plot graphs
  • good analytical ability: interpreting different spectra (IR and MS), qualitative analysis