Course Title: Apply routine chromatographic techniques

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2014

Course Code: ONPS5663C

Course Title: Apply routine chromatographic techniques

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5282 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Biotechnology)

Course Contact: Amberlee Mitton

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8053

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Kirsten Balding

contact by email, or talk in class

Nominal Hours: 120

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

MSL974003A Perform chemical tests and procedures
MSL973007A Perform microscopic examination
MSL974006A Perform biological procedures
MSL974001A Prepare, standardise and use solutions

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to analyse samples using routine chromatographic techniques.
The unit also includes establishing client needs for routine and non-routine samples, optimising enterprise procedures and instruments for specific samples, obtaining valid and reliable data and reporting test results.
Personnel are required to recognise atypical test data/results and troubleshoot common analytical procedure and equipment problems.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL975009A Apply routine chromatographic techniques


1. Establish client needs and schedule analysis

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Liaise with client or sample provider to determine client needs and sample history
1.2. Record sample description, compare with specification and record and report discrepancies
1.3. Identify non-routine samples and the possible need to vary enterprise procedures
1.4. Seek advice from supervisor about any proposed variations and document all approved changes
1.5. Schedule analysis using enterprise procedures


2. Prepare samples and standards

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Obtain a representative analytical portion of the laboratory sample
2.2. Prepare sample in accordance with testing requirements
2.3. Prepare validation checks for analytical portion


3. Set up and optimise instrument

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Perform pre-use and safety checks in accordance with enterprise procedures
3.2. Start up and condition the instrument using enterprise procedures
3.3. Optimise instrumental parameters to suit sample and test requirements
3.4. Check calibration status of instrument and perform calibration using specified standards and procedures, if applicable


4. Perform analysis

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Measure analyte response for standards, validation checks and samples
4.2. Conduct sufficient measurements to obtain reliable data
4.3. Return instruments to standby or shutdown condition, as required


5. Process and analyse data

Performance Criteria:

5.1. Confirm data is the result of valid measurements
5.2. Perform required calculations and ensure results are consistent with standards or estimations and expectations
5.3. Record results with the appropriate accuracy, precision and units
5.4. Analyse trends in data and/or results and report out of specification or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel
5.5. Troubleshoot analytical procedure or equipment problems which have led to atypical data or results


6. Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

6.1. Identify risks, hazards, safety equipment and control measures associated with sample handling, preparation and analytical method
6.2. Use personal protective equipment and safety procedures specified for test method and materials to be tested
6.3. Minimise the generation of wastes and environmental impacts
6.4. Ensure the safe disposal of laboratory wastes
6.5. Clean, care for and store equipment and consumables in accordance with enterprise procedures


7. Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

7.1. Enter approved data and results into laboratory information management system (LIMS)
7.2. Maintain equipment logs in accordance with enterprise procedures
7.3. Maintain security and confidentiality of laboratory data and enterprise information
7.4. Communicate results to appropriate personnel

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities for this course will include:
• Teacher directed face-to face delivery of lessons
• Whole class Discussion
• Pair/group discussion
• Small group workshops
• Online quizzes & theory activities
•  Worksheets including Revision
• Laboratory experiments
• Record keeping of experiments
• Presentations
• Research activities

See the Teaching Schedule (below) for details.

Teaching Schedule

Date (Mon)WeekTheory (online)Prac (4 hr)Assessment
7/71* Course OverviewSafety in the Chromatography Lab
Making solutions

 Safety checks


 * Paper Chromatography Theory - concepts & calcs  
14/7 2 Paper Chromatography Theory Paper Chromatography of food dyes Logbook
21/7 3 TLC Theory concepts & calcs Thin Layer Chromatography of Vegetable pigments 

Week 3 Quiz
28/7 4 Gel Chromatography (Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC)) Theory SEC ChromatographyGroup 1 oral prac report*
4/85 Ion Exchange (IE) Chromatography Theory Ion Exchange Chromatography

Week 5 Quiz 

Group 2 oral prac report*

11/86Affinity chromatography & Multistep chromatography - concepts

Case study: CSL 

 Multistep chromatography
CSL case study


Week 6 Quiz -
CSL case study

Group 3 oral prac report*

18/8 7 Revisionno prac class 
Week of 25/8 8 Exam Week Test 1 (theory)  Test 1
1/9 9 HPLC theory & calculations - peak area, retention time, internal standards

Solid Phase Extraction (SPE)
Solution Making for HPLC
GFP &/or BFP from E. coli cells.

Week 9 Quiz

Group 4 oral prac report*

 8/9 10 HPLC - isocratic v’s gradient chromatography theoryHPLC of caffeine in drinksGroup 5 oral prac report*

Prac Report 2 - caffeine in drinks (experiment)
 15/911 HPLC - isocratic v’s gradient chromatography theory HPLC of caffeine in drinks -
interpreting results
 Prac Report 2 - caffeine in drinks (analysis)
Week of  22/9 

Student vacation

 29/9 12Example calcs for analgesics HPLC prac,  interpreting results, practising calcs & answering Q’s  HPLC of Analgesics  (Painkiller) Tablets

TLC of aspirin, caffeine & paracetamol
 Week 12 Quiz
6/10 13 Example calcs for analgesics HPLC prac,  interpreting results, practising calcs & answering Q’s HPLC of Analgesics  (Painkiller) Tablets  interpreting results Submit Logbook
13/1014 GC theory & calculations
Internal standards
 GC @ Applied Chemistry
Gas Chromatography of Xylene
(to be confirmed)
Week 14 Quiz
 20/10 15 Revision  
 Week of 27/10
 16 Exam Week Test 2Test 2
 Week of 3/11
 17 Alternative assessment (special consideration only)  
   * Oral practical report
= powerpoint presentation to class, experiment done 2 weeks earlier

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Perform Routine Chromatographic Techniques Practical Manual (available online)

• J Crowe, T. Bradshaw, P. Monk (2006)
Chemistry for the Biosciences. The essential concepts.
pp 270-274 Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Available from the course Blackboard or directly from the RMIT Library’s eReserve collection & is available after login from the following link:

Also available in Carlton Library as Hardcopy : Call No. 540.078 C953


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course may include laboratory reports, assignments, exams and practival assessment in the laboratory

Assessment Tasks

Assessment 1.
Theory Online Quizzes
Week 3: TLC, Paper chroma
Week 5: SEC, IEC
Week 6: CSL Case study
Week 9: AC, HIC, SPE
Week 12: HPLC
Week 14: GC Experiment

Must have an average pass grade for all quizzes
Value: 20%

Assessment 2.
2 Theory Exams
Exam 1 Topics: Paper Chromatography, TLC, SEC, IEC, and multistep Chromatography
Exam 2 Topics: HPLC & GC only
End of terms 3 and 4
Value: 25%+ 25% = 50%
Must pass exams on average

Assessment 3. Laboratory practice.
a. Safety checks

When: Week 1 - Done in class
Value: Satisfactory completion required

b. 2 Prac Reports

1: Oral group report* (powerpoint presentation to class)
2: HPLC of Caffeine in drinks spreadsheet assignment

Report 1:
When: 1 group per week only for experiments done during weeks 2, 3, 4, 5.
Talk done 2 week’s later at start of class

Report 2:
When: Complete during class weeks 10 & 11

Value: 15%+ 15% = 30%
Must pass reports on average

c. Logbook:
Each week’s entry is to be signed off by student and teacher when it is considered ‘competent’** and complete. Students must write up their logbook for at least 80% of labs.
Only labs where the student was present may be written up.

When: All lab sessions attended
Due: Submit completed logbook by Monday 5pm of week 14
Value: Satisfactory completion required
Total 100%

*The topic of the presentation is 2 weeks before the talk. For example, TLC of vegetable pigments is done in week 3 lab class, the talk on this topic will be held in week 5. The presentation should contain a brief explanation of how the separation works, results and a short discussion of trends in the data and what the results tell you about the mixture being separated. Talks should be no more than 10 minutes long. All group members must present part of the talk.
** see logbook information for what is required.

**Students must attend > 80% of practical classes AND pass all assessments to pass the course**.

If you miss a prac class you need to provide a copy of your medical certificate or other evidence (court appearance, funeral notice, statutory declaration) to the teacher.
Oral Practical Reports
• If you miss the experiment that you are to present as an oral presentation, you may present a different experiment as long as you provide a medical certificate
Practical Reports
• If you miss a prac report class you will only be eligible to write up/present a different prac if you provide a medical certificate. For this to occur you need to discuss your situation with the teacher as soon as possible. Other reasons for missing a write up prac do not mean that you can write up a different report. If you miss an oral report presentation day you will be able to present it at the next class you attend as long as you provide a medical certificate.
• Reports will be submitted online via blackboard at the link for each report.
Reports will be reviewed for plagiarism by Turnitin.
Reports found to contain an inappropriate amount of copied text will be required to be resubmitted within one week of notification by email. Students should aim to have less than 20% of text detected by Turnitin. 

• Practical report 2 (a spreadsheet activity) is due in the analysis session.
• Each quiz has a published due date. Quizzes are to be done before the class in the same week to help you prepare for the class. Quizzes may include questions on safety.
• To pass the quizzes component you must get an average pass for all quizzes (ie. 50% average). The score for quizzes is calculated from the average grade of all quizzes. If you miss a quiz and have submitted a medical certificate you may do it later than the due date as long as you contact the teacher asap after your absence.

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Assessment Information
• To pass the course you need to pass, on average, each type of assessment (exam, prac reports, and assignments etc.). For example, if there are two tests you need to have an average of 50% to pass. But you also need to have passed the other assessments as well. You can’t make up marks from one type of assessment to another (e.g. pass the tests but fail the prac reports).
• Extension of time for submission of assessable work- A student may apply for an extension of up to 7 days from the original due date. They must lodge the application form (available on the web ) at least the day before the due date. The application is lodged with the School Admin Office on Level 6, Bdg 51. Students requiring longer extensions must apply for Special Consideration (form available on the Web). For missed assessments such as exams- you (& your doctor if you are sick) must fill out a special consideration form. This form must be lodged at the HUB or online with supporting evidence (eg medical certificate), prior to, or within, 48 hours of the scheduled time of examination.
• Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected.
• If you miss an assessment task due to unavoidable circumstances, you need to follow the procedure of special consideration and apply within the allowed time frame.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview