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This is an example in a Princetown Review prep book. I am not understanding the statement "his separation was only partial (because two different peaks are recorded)." This is implying that Compounds A and B did not separate, but um... there were two peaks? Doesn't that imply that it was separated?

Unless there is a solvent peak? But I did a lot of Googling, and didn't find any indication that there should be a solvent peak under normal circumstances.

Why did the example say that the 2 compounds weren't separated despite the fact that there are 2 peaks?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I think it means the distillation was unsuccessful. Hence two peaks in the GC whereas pure compound would have only one $\endgroup$
    – NotEvans.
    Dec 28, 2016 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


The GC is the instrument used (in this case, although for very small amounts, there is no reason GC couldn't be used to separate materials - assuming collection after detection (via, say, refractive index - for obvious reasons flame ionization, etc. wouldn't be usable)) to determine if his primary separation technique was effective. It wasn't.


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