Aren't you loving orgo lab?? Or are you feeling its wrath?! Fortunately, the Lazy Chemist is here to help you understand basic methods and principles performed in the lab and also help you approach difficult problems such as NMR analysis.
Ever wonder why the first few labs you learn extraction, distillation, recrystallization, and chromatography? What's the point of them? Are they related?
These are the four main types of separation techniques an organic chemist uses. With extraction, you are dealing with immiscible liquids. Distillation you are dealing with miscible liquids (often). Recrystallization is for solids. Chromatography is typically for complex mixtures (liquids or solids). In organic chemistry, we are always looking to separate our molecule of interest from impurities and other reagents. In one experiment, our molecule of interest might be liquid. In another experiment, our molecule of interest might be a solid. It is advantageous to have various options to separate our product from whatever else is there (solvent, impurities, byproducts, unreacted reagents), and based on the properties of the product and the other things, we can select the best and/or easiest method(s) for purification! Click on the links below to learn more about each technique as well as some tips for lazy chemists: