What is Analytical Chemistry | Applications, Methods

Definition of Analytical Chemistry

Analytical chemistry is the study of the composition of matter. It focuses on separating, identifying, and qualifying chemicals in sample of matter. 
analytical chemistry

An analytical chemist may use complex instruments to analyze an unknown material in order to determine its various components. Everything is made of chemicals, analytical chemistry determine what and how much is.

The identification of the analyte substance is achieved via the method of qualitative analysis. The concentration of the analyte in a given mixture can be with the method of quantitative analysis.

Today, the field of analytical chemistry generally involves the use of modern, sophisticated instruments. However, the principles upon which these instruments are built can be traced to more traditional techniques

Analytical chemistry is also focused on improvements in experimental design, chemometrics, and the creation of new measurement tools. Analytical chemistry has broad applications to medicine , science and engineering.

Several examples are in popular use today and new hybrid techniques are under development. For example, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, gas chromatography-infrared spectroscopy, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography-NMR spectroscopy.

Analytical chemistry is the science of obtaining, processing and communicating information about the composition and structure of matter. In other words, it is the art and science of determine what matter is and how much of it exists. Analytical chemists use their knowledge of chemistry, instrumentation, computers and statistics to solve problems in almost all areas of chemistry and for all kinds of industries.

For example-: Their measurements are used to assure the safety and quality of food, pharmaceutical and water to assure compliance with environmental. And their regulations to support the legal process, to help physicians diagnose disease. And to provide measurement and documentation essential to trade and commerce.


History of analytical chemistry

Analytical chemistry has been important since the early days of chemistry, providing methods for determining. Which elements and chemicals are present in the object in question. During this period significant contributions to analytical chemistry include the development of systematic elemental analysis by Justus Von Leibig. And systematized organic analysis based on the specific reactions of functional groups.

The first instrumental analysis was flame emissive spectrometry developed by Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff who discovered rubidium and caesium in 1860. Most of the major developments in analytical chemistry take place after 1900. During this period instrumental analysis becomes progressively dominant in the field. In particular many of the basic spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques were discovered in the early 20th century.

The separation sciences follow a similar time line of development and also become increasingly transformed into high performance instruments. In the 1970s many of these techniques began to be used together as hybrid techniques to achieve a complete characterization of samples.

Starting in approximately the 1970s into the present day analytical chemistry has progressively become more inclusive of biological questions. Whereas it had previously been largely focused on inorganic or small organic molecules. Lasers have been increasingly used in chemistry as probes and even to initiate and influence a wide variety of reactions.

The late 20th century also saw an expansion of the application of analytical chemistry from somewhat academic chemical questions to forensic, environmental, industrial and medical questions, such as histology.

Modern analytical chemistry is dominated by instrumental analysis. Many analytical chemists focus on a single type of instrument. Academics tend to either focus on new applications and discoveries or on new methods of analysis.

The discovery of a chemical present in blood that increases the risk of cancer would be a discovery that an analytical chemist might be involved in. An effort to develop a new method might involve the use of a tunable laser to increase the specificity and sensitivity of a spectrometric method.

Methods Used In Analytical Chemistry

The methods used to determine the identity and the quantity of the analytes in the field of analytical chemistry can be broad ly divided into classical and instrumental methods.

Classical Methods

  1. There exist many classical methods of checking for the presence or absence of a particular compound in a given analyte. One such example is the acid test for gold.
  2. Another example of a classical method for qualitative analysis is the Kastle-Meyer test. Which employs phenolphthalein as an indicator to check for the presence of hemoglobin in the given analyte
  3. Flame tests can be used to check for the presence of specific elements in an analyte by exposing it to a flame. And observing the change in the color of the flame.
  4. Gravimetric analysis is a classical method of quantitative analysis. Which can be used in analytical chemistry to determine the amount of water in a hydrate by heating it. And calculating the weight of the water lost.
  5. One of the better known classical methods of quantitative analysis is volumetric analysis (also known as titration). In the titration method, a reactant is added to the analyte till an equivalence point is obtained.

Instrumental Methods

  1. Spectroscopy involves the measurement of the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and the atoms or molecules belonging to a sample.
  2. With the help of electric fields and magnetic fields. The method of mass spectroscopy is used to measure the ratio of the mass of the molecule to its charge.
  3. A common instrumental method used in the field of analytical chemistry is electrochemical analysis. In this method, the analyte is placed in, an electrochemical cell. And the voltage or the current flowing through it is measured.
  4. The interaction between the analyte and energy in the form of heat is studied in the discipline of analytical chemistry known as calorimetry. A calorimeter is an instrument that is used to measure the heat of a chemical reaction.
It can be noted that even biological measurements are made with the help of this branch of chemistry, and this field is known as bio analytical chemistry.

Applications of Analytical Chemistry

applications of analytical chemistry
  • Analytical chemistry has applications including in forensic science, bioanalysis, clinical analysis, environmental analysis, and material analysis.
  • Analytical chemistry research is largely driven by performance and cost. Among the main branches of contemporary analytical atomic spectrometry, the most wide spread and universal are optical and mass spectrometry.
  • In medicine, analytical is the basis for clinical laboratory tests which help physicians diagnosis disease and chart progressin recovery.
  • In industry, analytical chemistry provides the means or testing raw materials. And for assuring the quality of finished products whose chemical composition is critical. Many household products, fuels, paints, pharmaceuticals, etc. are analyzed by the procedures developed by analytical chemists before being sold to the consumer.
  • Environmental quality is often evaluated by testing for suspected contaminants using techniques of analytical chemistry.
  • The nutritional value of food is determined by chemical analysis for major components such as proteins and carbohydrates. And trace components such as vitamins and minerals. Indeed, even in the calories in a food are often calculated from the chemical analysis.
  • Forensic analysis- analysis related to criminology. DNA fingerprinting , fingerprint detection , blood analysis.
  • Bioanalytical chemistry and analysis- detection and or analysis of biological components (i.e., proteins, DNA, RNA, carbohydrates, metabolites, etc.).
  • Analytical toxicology is concerned with the detection, identification and measurement of drugs and other foreign compounds ( and their metabolites in biological and related specimen).
  • Much of our daily life is dependent on chemical analysis. Accurate quality-control analysis ensured the quality of the food we eat, the medicine we use, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Among the sciences, analytical chemistry stands out as a practically versatile, useful and important field.
  • In agricultural research for development, analytical chemistry provides the means to generate essential technical data on soil, water, plant and animal material. It is a starategic direction of the vision to grow the agricultural sector, but how to do this remains a challenge.

Scope of Analytical Chemistry

  • Agriculture: Nitrogen content of fertilizers, P and Fe contents of soil.
  • Environment: As, Pd, Hg and other heavy metals, pesticides etc. in environment.
  • Forensic: trace elements from gun’s powder on accused’s hands.
  • Clinical: vitamins, hormones, glucose level, diagnose of diseases.
  • Manufacturing: quality control(c-content of steel), testing of raw materials(fuels,, paints, pharmaceuticals).
  • Metallurgy: ore-content of desired elements.
  • Pharmaceuticals: quality control, purity of drugs, active ingredients In drugs.

The main task of Analytical Chemistry is to identify the chemical composition (elements, ions, functional groups, or compound s) of the substance, to determine the content of the relevant components of the substance and the structure of the substance (chemical structure, cry stal structure, spatial distribution).

The existence of the form(valence state, coordination state, crystalline state) and its relationship with the nature of the material, mainly for structural analysis, morphological analysis, energy analysis.

Analytical chemistry has very high practical value, made an important contribution to the material civilization of mankind, w idely used in geological survey, mineral exploration, metallurgy, chemical industry, energy, agriculture, medicine, clinical laboratory, environmental protection, commodity inspection, Archaeological analysis, forensic criminal investigation and other fields.

Analytical methods should be simple, not only field work (such as geological survey, chemical prospecting, environmental monitoring, soil testing, etc.), but needs simple and effective chemical analysis methods and indoor routine analysis work as well. Because the method is simple and these steps are small without compromising the required accuracy and precision, this means saving time, manpower and expense.

For example The gold shop to buy gold jewelry, it is in the test stone slabs, and then from the color of the stripes to identify the fineness of gold. The striping method is still used in mineral identification.

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