MCAT Organic Chemistry Review

Separations and Purifications

Introduction

We’ve spent a lot of time discussing how to theoretically get various products from a range of reagents. However, as we’re sure you’ve learned in your organic chemistry labs, chemistry isn’t as straightforward in the real world as it is on paper. Much of the time spent in the lab is dedicated to the isolation and purification of the desired product after the reaction has occurred. Throughout this chapter, we will discuss several techniques for this. Good news, though—there isn’t a lab practical on the MCAT, of course! All you need to understand is when these techniques are used and why they work.

MCAT EXPERTISE

Purification and separation techniques are procedures that exploit different physical properties. These show up on the MCAT to test your knowledge of the basic principles of each of these techniques.