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The chromatography technique is one of the most powerful methods for separating a sample, such as a synthesized mixture or a biological crude extract, into its single components.
Steam distillation is a separation process used to isolate compounds for quantification, such as ammonia originating from proteins.
The distillation process is used to remove volatile solvents from liquid mixtures through vaporization and subsequent condensation. In the lab, chemists and biochemists frequently use the distillation process and the rotary evaporator.
Freeze drying, also known as lyophilization, is a key method to extract liquids – typically water – from sensitive substances.
The lyophilization process involves freezing a sample before applying a strong vacuum; this leads to the sublimation of the liquids, which helps keep the sample's overall integrity/structure. Therefore, lyophilization is widely used in the food industry to preserve the taste and quality of food and maintain its visual appearance. As this process avoids the high temperatures required by alternative methods, it has many applications for pharmaceutical and life sciences.
While freeze drying can be done manually, more consistent results are achieved using dedicated freeze dryers, which are available for various sample sizes and applications.
Encapsulation is used to protect substances or control their delivery. In the encapsulation process, a target substance is coated in a protective but permeable layer. It is even possible to encapsulate living materials such as cells. Microencapsulation can deliver capsules on a microscopic scale and has numerous life sciences, medicine, and food production applications.
There are various encapsulation methods. Classic procedures are pan coating encapsulation or encapsulation via centrifugation. More controllable results are obtained by spray drying using a vibrational nozzle. In this method, controlled vibrations are applied to a laminar flow through a nozzle, which generates even-size capsules and allows various coatings.
There are various methods for solid-liquid extraction. For many applications, the most elegant and efficient is Soxhlet-Extraction. It allows for the continuous extraction of a sample by ongoing distillation of the solvent. For this, the solid sample is placed into a thimble above the solvent. The solvent is evaporated and then condensed again in a condenser above the thimble. It flows down into the thimble, where the extraction takes place. Once the thimble is full, the extract is siphoned back into the solvent container. The solid sample can gently and continuously be extracted with fresh solvent. The entire process can be fully automated with BUCHI's range of extraction instruments.
Near Infrared (NIR) Spectroscopy
NIR spectroscopy measures the absorption of substances in the 780 nm to 2500 nm wavelength range. Although NIR is not especially sensitive, it has the advantage of being able to penetrate samples better than other spectroscopic methods such as mid-range IR. Therefore no, or only minimal, sample preparation is required. In addition to classical laboratory applications, NIR is used to analyze incoming goods or directly in the production process. It allows for the determination of various components from food to plastics and pharmaceuticals. Chemometric methods are applied to determine the content of mixtures and natural products such as grain or meat: The complex NIR spectrum is compared to reference spectra via specialized NIR software.
BUCHI offers a wide range of NIR equipment, from high sensitivity lab instruments to online solutions and handheld devices.
Melting Point Determination
Melting Point determination is one of the oldest methods used, primarily, to analyze the purity of a substance. It remains one of the most simple checks for purity even today. Based on the fact that every chemically pure (solid) substance has a well-defined melting temperature. The less pure a substance is, the more the melting temperature is lowered.
Melting point determination is straightforward: A sample is heated slowly, and the sample temperature is observed. However, this process is very time-consuming; therefore, BUCHI has entirely automated the process with dedicated melting point instruments. They offer visual inspection of the process and specific methods/programs for various substances. It is also possible to record the critical phase transition for subsequent analysis.