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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Separation Techniques
Module Code CS302
School School of Chemical Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Ruairí Brannigan
Semester 2: Ruairí Brannigan
Autumn: Ruairí Brannigan
Module TeachersAoife Morrin
Brian Kelleher
Fiona Regan
Ruairí Brannigan
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

To introduce the student to the fundamental theory and practices of modern separation techniques. To provide the necessary technical background on analytical instrumentation to allow the student to understand the bases of different techniques and be able select an appropriate separation technique for a given analysis. To introduce the student to the application of chromatography in a wide range of environments e.g. industrial, pharmaceutical, environmental.

Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the thermodynamic and molecular basis for equilibrium separation.
2. To introduce and explain the concept of Chromatographic Resolution (RS), define the Resolution Equation and chromatographic parameters and to show how these parameters can be determined and optimized.
3. To illustrate and explain the principle of Band Broadening in HPLC, to define the Van Deemter equation and explain the terms of the equation and demonstrate the effects of these parameters on the efficiency of chromatographic peaks.
4. Understand chromatographic principles, method development approaches, technical instrumentation requirements and sample preparation as it relates to analytical techniques including (i) gas chromatography, (ii) high performance liquid chromatography including ion chromatography, (iii) capillary electrophoresis and (iv) mass spectrometry.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Tutorial10Tutorial sessions
Independent Study89Review of content, complete tutorial sheets, preparation for continuous assessments and final exam
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Chemical Equilibria
chemical equilibria; activity, acid-base chemistry, formation constants, solubility products

Thermodynamics of separation
distribution coefficients, chemical potential and conditions for equilibrium, solvent extractions

Molecular basis for equilibrium separation
the effect of molecular structure on the distribution of a compound between two phases

Chromatography separation
definition and classification of chromatographic mechanisms, sorption isotherms, retention behaviour, distribution co-efficients, capacity factor, column selectivity, column efficiency, band broadening theory, diffusion, mass transfer, resolution, quantitative methods

Sample preparation
solid phase extraction and derivatisation

Gas chromatography
principles, stationary phases and instrumentation

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
classification, LC instrumentation (pumps, injectors, columns, detectors), stationary phases and chromatographic modes (reversed-phase, normal-phase, ion-exchange, size-exclusion, affinity) and applications

Capillary electrophoresis (CE)
classification, basic CE concepts (m, v, EOF, N and R), instrumentation used (power supply, injectors, capillaries, detectors), CE modes (CZE, CGE, MECC, CEC, chiral CE)

Ion chromatography
ion suppression, ion interaction/ion-pair, ion exchange

Mass Spectrometry
GC and LC-MS instrumentation and basic interpretation of spectra

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
In Class Testn/a20%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 3
Indicative Reading List

  • Agilient: 0, https://www.chromacademy.com,
  • Daniel C. Harris: 2007, Quantitative chemical analysis, 7th, W. H. Freeman, New York, 0716776944
  • Douglas A. Skoog, F. James Holler, Stanley R. Crouch.: 2007, Principles of instrumental analysis, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA, 9780495012016
Other Resources

35452, Website, 0, Chromacademy, https://www.chromacademy.com,
Programme or List of Programmes
ACBSc in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sc.
AIChemistry with Artificial Intelligence
ASBSc in Analytical Science
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
ESTBSc in Environmental Science & Tech
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SMPSCSingle Module Prof. Science and Health
Date of Last Revision24-JAN-12

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