Multicomponent continuous flow kinetic analysis

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

An instrumentation system for Multicomponent Continuous Flow Kinetic Analysis has been designed and constructed. Evaluation of the system shows that it is useful for performing dilutions, flow injection analysis and continuous flow kinetics with relative standard deviations of less than 10 percent.

Modern electronic technology was used to construct a flow controller which was able to regulate the flow of a conducting liquid to ± 0.1 ml/min at flow rates of 2 to 10 ml/min. An inexpensive Light Emitting Diode colorimeter was able to detect KMnO₄ linearly at concentrations of 10 to 600 μm, with better than 1 percent relative standard deviation at the higher concentrations.

Several concepts of hardware-software and software-operator interaction were introduced and developed. The multiprogrammed Fourth Programming System provided the instrument with much more capability and ease of use than might have been expected otherwise.

The reaction of KMnO₄ with KI was employed as a single component continuous flow test reaction. Rate constants were in good agreement with literature values obtained by stopped flow methods. The ligand exchange reaction between metal-Zincon complexes and CyDTA, using zinc and mercury, demonstrated the feasibility of the instrument for multicomponent continuous flow kinetic analysis. The implementation of suggested instrumental improvements should extend the range of usable reaction rates and improve the accuracy of the determinations.

The flowmeter and flow controller are potential alternatives to the relatively expensive pumps used for flow injection analysis. Evaluation of the instrument’s operation in flow injection mode indicates that it is useful as a convenient continuous flow kinetic detector for flow injection analysis and for testing developments in flow injection theory.