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    TLC and Ethyl Acetate

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    a) Caffeine is soluble in ethyl acetate. Do you think that the purity of the product could be checked by TLC using ethyl acetate as an elution solvent?
    b) We draw color spots on TLC plates for easier visualization after elution with solvent, the plates can be "developed" in a sealed chamber containing solid iodine. Explain how the solid-vapor equilibrium operates in this instance.

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    Solution Preview

    Caffeine is soluble in a number of solvents, as we all know soluble in water as well. When you run any type of chromatography, you want your sample to be only partially soluble, that way it spends time on the plate as well as time in the solvent. Usually a mixture of solvents are needed, a polar and a non-polar solvent is the best way to really separate compounds, but the solvents do have to mix. ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution answers the problems involved with using TLC as a check for purity using an ethyl acetate elution solvent in a clear, easy-to-follow manner by drawing on the relevant theory and equations.