Separting the Components of Panacetin

The purpose of this experiment is to investigate the composition of a simulated pharmaceutical preparation Panacetin, a proposed type of pain-killer. Panacetin is typically made up of sucrose, aspirin, and acetaminophen, but the third component in this experiment is unknown. The unknown component is suspected to be a chemical relative of acetaminophen, either acetanilide or phenacetin. Using techniques such as extraction, evaporation, and filtration, the three components will be isolated based on their solubilities and acid-base properties.

The percent composition of Panacetin will also be deduced based on the masses of the three dried components; this is done to verify the composition attained is consistent with those listed on the preparations label. As a result of this investigation, my teammates and I allowed the Panacetin to undergo gravity filtration and separation techniques in order to identify whether there are any discrepancies in the components of the Panacetin.

Furthermore, recrystallization and purification methods were used to determine if the unknown substance were similar in properties to either of the suspected unknown substances by comparing factors such as melting points to the chemical properties of phenactin and acetanilide. The results were as expected, based on the molecular weights and ratios of each separated chemicals, as well as the boiling point of the unknown it was determined that these ranges were close enough to indicate that the label is reasonably accurate in its composition.

To add on however the identity of the unknown component differed from what the label indicated. In the end, the percentage composition attained based on our observations and yield confirmed that indeed the chemical composition of Panacetin were as indicated on the preparations label. The identity of the unknown component however suggested that the preparation did not contain acetaminophen as indicated, but instead was consistent with the chemical properties of acetanilide.