This material is a free resource for HPLC simulation in which experimental parameters can be adjusted to determine their effect on the HPLC spectrum of a given compound. The website includes resources such as problem sets and virtual labs.
Type of Material:
This tool could be used on the undergraduate level for students taking instrumental analysis or it could even be used as a graduate tool to assist in developing parameters for HPLC analysis.
The most recent version of Java and the most up-to-date internet explorer or equivalent web browser are required.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The learning goals are to: 1. Equip students with tools necessary to predict retention times of compounds 2. Increase student knowledge with respect to HPLC 3. Allow students to view the effect on a chromatogram when changing parameters in real time 4. Use critical thinking to solve HPLC problems.
Target Student Population:
Students taking analytical chemistry and/or instrumental analysis would benefit the most. Could also be used by students taking forensic chemistry.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The user will need a basic understanding of how the instrument functions. It would also be good to have taken organic chemistry too in order to fully understand what is happening with the separation.
This is an excellent tool. Compounds can be added to the pre-loaded compounds. The simulation does not show in "real time" but simply gives the retention time that a particular compound should elute. The resolution can be increased or decreased based on normal HPLC parameters, i.e. flow rate, solvent composition, solvent polarity etc.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The teaching goals are not explicit but they are definitely implied based on the homework downloads that are available. I went in and tried a couple of the homework problems and I was pretty amazed that you could choose from pre-loaded compounds or you could add compounds as well.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Easy to use, clear instructions. Results are instant so it is quite gratifying to not have to wait a full run on a real HPLC too see the results.
Other Issues and Comments:
There are no other issues with this simulator. It is easy to use and the controls all work effortlessly. Parameters are easy to adjust and the results are immediate on screen. The only drawback is the solvents are limited to water, acetonitrile and methanol.
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