Letter | Published:

Separation of NorAdrenalin and Adrenalin

Naturevolume 166pages6768 (1950) | Download Citation



A METHOD of separating these two substances on paper chromatograms, using phenol as solvent, has been described earlier1. No satisfactory second solvent, enabling a two-way chromatogram to be performed, was found at the time, and it was necessary to use the substances as hydrochlorides, the free bases being insufficiently stable. Movement in n-butanol was very slight. More recently, von Euler and Hamberg2 have reported separation of adrenalin and l-nor-adrenalin, using n-butanol saturated, with N hydrochloric acid. Their results are recorded in a photograph of a small part of the chromatogram and no data are given for the rf values or the time necessary to obtain separation. On repeating their experiment, we found that movement was very little greater than in our original n-butanol – water system, and that, to obtain separation, the chromatogram had to be run for forty-eight hours or longer, allowing the solvent to drip from the end of the paper. It was, therefore, not possible to determine rf values.

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  1. 1

    James, W. O., Nature, 161, 851 (1948).

  2. 2

    Euler, U. S. von, and Hamberg, Ulla, Nature, 163, 642 (1949).

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  1. Oxford Medicinal Plants Scheme, Department of Botany, Oxford

    • W. O. JAMES


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