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The Partition Coefficient Formula

Partition coefficients are described as the concentration ratio of a chemical amidst the two media at equilibrium. The media can be gases such as air, liquids such as water or olive oil, or complex mixtures such as blood or other tissues. However, the partition coefficients of an uncharged solute in two different two-phase systems of identical Δw2, in general, are unequal.


The formula for partition coefficient is,


In stationary phase, the concentration of the solute is Cs,

In mobile phase, the concentration of the solute is Cm.

Partition Coefficient Problems

Explained problems based on Partition Coefficient Formula Problems are provided below:

Problem 1: The concentration of solute in the mobile phase is 5.00M and 7.00M in the stationary phase. Compute the partition coefficient Kd between water and hexane.


Known info:

Cs = 7.00M

Cm = 5.00M

Apply the numerics in the corresponding formula given below

Kd = 1.4


Problem 2: Think of an aqueous solution of chloroform and water, in which the Kd is provided as 6.40 and the concentration of solute in the mobile phase is 0.415M. In a stationary phase, find the concentration of solute.


Known info:

Kd = 6.40

Cm = 0.415M

Substitute the values in the corresponding formula.

Cs = 2.656

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