Letter | Published:

Improved Gas Chromatography of Unesterified Fatty Acids

Naturevolume 192pages966967 (1961) | Download Citation



IT has been demonstrated by Böttcher et al.1 and by Hunter et al.2 that unesterified fatty acids can be separated, by gas chromatography, by the use of ‘liquid’ phases of the polyester type. Metcalfe3 has pointed out the necessity to have a highly acidic ‘liquid’ phase in order to suppress the association of the carboxyl group of the fatty acids, and has shown that the separation of C4–C22 fatty acids is very much improved by the incorporation of phosphoric acid in the polyester ‘liquid’ phase. Using a column packing of ‘Celite 545’ previously coated with 25 per cent of diethylene glycol adipate polyester and 2 per cent of phosphoric acid, mixtures of fatty acids were separated at temperatures of 220–235° C., yielding well-defined symmetrical peaks and separating saturated and unsaturated acids from each other.

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  1. 1

    Böttcher, C. J. F., Clemens, G. F. G., and van Gent, C. M., J. Chromatogr., 3, 582 (1960).

  2. 2

    Hunter, I. R., Ortegren, V. H., and Pence, J. W., Anal. Chem., 32, 682 (1960).

  3. 3

    Metcalfe, L. D., Nature, 188, 142 (1960).

  4. 4

    Bohemen, J., and Purnell, J. H., Gas Chromatography, edit. by Desty, D. H., 6 (Butterworths Scientific Pub., London, 1958).

  5. 5

    van Deemter, J. J., Zuiderweg, F. J., and Klinkenberg, A., Chem. Eng. Sci., 5, 271 (1956).

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  1. Armour Hess Chemicals, Ltd., Littleborough, Lancashire

    • P. JOWETT
    •  & B. J. HORROCKS


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