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Homework Help: Higher Rf Value? (TLC Chromatograpghy)

  1. Oct 13, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Suppose you carry out a TLC separation of acetaminophen and phenacetin on silica gel using a nonpolar developing solvent. Which should have the higher Rf value, and why?

    2. Relevant equations
    Im not sure. Is polarity a factor here? I don't think the polarity difference is that great here. Could molecular weight play a factor?

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2009 #2


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    It is mostly polarity. Look at the structures! Both structures contain the same aromatic acetamide functionality but Acetaminophen has a phenolic group whereas phenacetin has an aromatic ether on the aromatic ring. Can you estimate which will be most polar and least polar?
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