Topics - Analytical Chemistry
Analytical chemistry is a branch of chemistry that determines the nature and identity of a substance and its composition. In the early twentieth century there were only four accepted branches of chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry. At that time, analysis was considered to be a service to the other four branches. Its importance grew, and in the process, absorbed techniques and skills from all other four branches so by the 1950s, analytical chemistry
was finally accepted as a branch of chemistry in it own right. There are basically two types of analysis, qualitative analysis
and quantitative analysis
. The former identifies the nature of substance, and if it is mixture, the nature of the components present, whereas, the latter determines the elemental composition of the substance and/or the quantitative distribution of each component. Most analytical procedures start with some type of separation process, filtration, distillation, extraction, centrifugation and, what is most likely today, some form of chromatography. Chromatography, in any one of its different forms, is probably the most important technique available to the analyst. Chtromatography not only separates a mixture into its constituents, but also provide assistance in their identification and gives a quantitative estimation of the amount of each constituent present in the mixture. Any analytical laboratory devoid of any chromatographic technique would, indeed, be restricted in its scope and performance.