Sunday, 11 July 2010

Column Chromatography

A two-foot long glass column
of inch diameter
with STO3-4 tap
A plug of cotton wool
Column of benzene
One hundred and fifty grams
alumina(Spence) to settle
compact in its benzene bed
Run out solvent to within
a millimetre of the tap
Carefully add the mixture — two compounds,
each making the other impure

Avoid disturbing the surface
of the alumina
Run out solvent
Not quite let it run dry
Extra care More solvent added
The set-up is set up
The work of separation begins
Fractions of 50ml are collected,
thirty-seven in all
Each compound
purified by some other technique
More exacting work
can then begin

My love,
we too
were separated
in a different column,
less carefully,
but for a similar reason
© Gerald England

Composed: Sheffield, 1st May 1971


1996 Pulsar (UK)

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