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NAME: Evan Pfeifer

DATE: 7/8/2016
Organic Chemistry: Extraction of Fat and Thin-Layer
In this lab, students measure fat in potato chips and determine the
polarity of several solvents with a chromatography. When measuring chip fat,
the students use a solvent to draw out the fat by evaporating the solvent to
obtain fat. Students build on chromatography skills learned in CHEM 1001,
but focuses on the polarity aspect to discover the composition of an
unknown substance.

Part 1: Extraction of Fat from Potato Chips
Sample 1 (Regular)
Mass of dish +
Mass of empty

Sample 2 (Baked)

27.85 g

29.73 g

25.17 g

26.40 g

2.678 g

3.327 g

29.59 g

26.53 g

28.74 g

26.40 g

Mass of fat

0.8470 g

0.1260 g

Percent fat in

31.63 %

3.787 %

Mass of chips
Mass of beaker
+ fat
Mass of empty

A simple calculation will allow you to determine if you fat content agrees with
that reported by the manufacturer. The mass of potato chip is mostly fat,
carbohydrate, water, and protein. Assuming the water content is low, use
the information from the chip package to perform the following calculation:
Fat Content (grams):
__10.00 g______________2.000
Carbohydrate Content (grams):

__15.00 g______________23.00

Protein Content (grams):


__2.000 g______________2.000

Total (grams):

__27.00 g_______________27.00

Percent Fat from Package =

%_______________7.407 %_____


Do your results agree? If not, why not?

Both types of chips were only a few percentage points off, about
4.000% for regular and 2.500% for baked. The differences in fat
concentration resulted from errors in measurements or errors while
extracting the fat.

1. What can you conclude about low-fat products from your analysis?
The carbohydrate content in low fat chips become fat and oil in
regular chips. This reaction probably happens when the potatoes
are fried in oil.
2. Potatoes are naturally low in fat. Where does the fat come from?
Potato chips are fried in oils and fats, which makes chips
3. What do chemists mean by extraction?
The removal of a part, usually a specific part or element, of the
molecule from the rest of the molecule.

Part 2: Examining solvent polarity by Thin-layer

Qualitative Interpretation of your TLC Plate
Did the known pure substances each produce a single spot? Did these spots
move different distances?
Yes, each pure substance moved to a single spot on the plate and
stayed in a concentrated area.
Rf Values
Calculate the Rf value for each spot, and report in the table below.


Label on
TLC Sheet

Distance to
Center of

Distance to

4.300 cm

4.500 cm



3.100 cm

4.500 cm



No data

4.500 cm

No data


3.400 cm

4.500 cm



3.400 cm,
4.100 cm

4.500 cm


How many spots did your unknown produce? Can you identify which
compounds are present?
The unknown produced 2 spots, which were closest to aspirin and
caffeine. Caffeine had the same Rf, while the second sample traveled
0.2000 cm less than aspirin. This suggests that aspirin and caffeine
were present in the compound because the 2 dots produced by the
compound traveled the same distance as aspirin and caffeine.
Draw (or upload) a picture of your TLC plate below.

Note: ibuprofen did not leave a dot anywhere on the plate, which prevented
data from being gathered for this sample.


1. What would be the advantage or disadvantage of using a taller TLC

If capillary action allows the solvent to move that far, the taller
sheet would allow the samples to separate more, but would also
take more time.
2. From your results, predict the relative polarity of the pure compounds
you used. Can you justify your answer based on the molecular
structures shown below:




Aspirin is partially polar because the top half has a carboxyl

group, which has a hydroxide atom, but the oxygen atoms at the
bottom pull ions back towards them.
Acetaminophen is not very polar because the oxygen and
hydrogen interaction in the hydroxide molecule make it polar,
but the nitrogen also attracts ions and balances the polarity of
the molecule.
Ibuprofen is very polar because it has a hydroxide in a carboxyl
group on the same end, which pulls electrons towards them,
though this cannot be proven based on the chromatography
Caffeine is somewhat polar because the oxygen and nitrogen
atoms interact with electrons, but each pull them towards
themselves to spread out the polarity.
3. If two compounds have the same Rf, do they necessarily have the
same structure? Justify your answer.
Not necessarily. Although there was no result for ibuprofen in the
chromatography and thus makes it difficult to compare the other
groups (it is possible it could have the same Rf as another
molecule), compounds can be very different. For example, if the
location of just one oxygen atom is changed in aspirin, it would
most likely travel a very different distance, not to mention
becoming a different molecule.

In this lab, students experimented with chromatography and extraction
of fat. In the fat extraction portion, the percentage of fat in my potato chip
sample was representative of the actual nutrition information found on the
label. My value of regular chips was 31.63%, only 5.410% away from the
actual percentage, which is 37.04%. My value of the baked chips was
3.787%, off by 3.620% from the official value of 7.407 %. These errors could
have been caused by improper measurements or procedural errors. For
example, when extracting the solvent from the fat on the hot plate, too much
or too little might have been extracted from the mixture and would have
affected the remaining amount.
In the chromatography section, I determined that unknown #3
contained aspirin and caffeine because of the Rf and distance traveled. Rf
values were the same for caffeine, and aspirin was off by 0.2000 cm, but that
is a small difference. These samples moved because they were polar and
interacted with the paper. The more polar they were, the less they moved
because they interacted more with the paper. Therefore, the most polar
molecule is caffeine and the least polar is aspirin. Ibuprofen did not show any
sign of action. There was no dot on the starting line, nor anywhere on the
plate. I confirmed with other students in the lab, and they did not achieve
any results with the ibuprofen sample either. This might be because the
ibuprofen sample was ineffective and simply did not interact with the plate.
Avoiding errors in future recreations of this experiment can be done by
ensuring that all samples are pure and effective. This will ensure that the
experiment can be done without unexpected errors.