How to perform a TLC?

Choice of the eluent (mobile phase)

The eluent consists of a solvent or a mixture of solvents. In the latter case the solvents must then be MISCIBLE. Often the mixture consists of a polar solvent and an apolar solvent.

The choice of the eluent is adjusted according to the polarity of the compounds to be separated.

  • Petroleum ether / diethyl ether
  • Cyclohexane / ethyl acetate
  • Dichloromethane / ethanol
The choice is made according to the compounds to be analyzed:
  • Aliphatic ketones: toluene / diethyl ether
  • Aromatic carbonyls: hexane / ethyl acetate
  • Alcohols: petroleum ether / diethyl ether / ethanoic acid (90/9/1)
Click on each box to see the examples.
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