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Speeding Fluorine Analysis with NMR

Fluorine plays a key role in a diverse array of applications, such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, polymers and aluminium production. However, accurately measuring and quantifying its presence can be a time-consuming and messy affair. Using benchtop Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) can transform the analysis process, making it faster, cleaner and more accurate.

The use of fluorinated compounds is increasing every year – for example, 20% of newly developed drugs are produced using fluorine, while it is also a critical component of each of the many lithium batteries produced daily. That means that companies of all sizes need a reliable, fast and affordable way to analyse fluorine content.

Traditionally, the measurement of fluorine content would mean using a wet lab with copious amounts of solvent and harmful chemicals to break down the molecular matrix. Not only is this potentially dangerous, expensive and time-consuming, it also requires trained operators. Thankfully, Time Domain NMR (TD-NMR) offers a quicker, cleaner and more accurate way to measure and quantify fluorine. Moreover, our instruments are incredibly easy to use with minimal training required.

The MQC+ TD-NMR analyser can be used to analyse the fluorine content of fluorspar ore, also known as fluorite. MQC+ measures total fluorine content in a variety of materials as is, without the need to break down the matrix first using high temperatures and harmful chemicals. It provides a fast, easy and accurate method to quantify the content of fluorine or fluorine containing materials.

Meanwhile, X-Pulse, our benchtop NMR spectrometer, can be used to monitor the chemistry of fluorochemicals either in development or production. It provides high-resolution NMR spectra of fluorine (and other nuclei) allowing different fluorochemicals to be distinguished and quantified in a solution. The wide chemical shift dispersion of fluorine in comparison to hydrogen NMR spectroscopy means that compounds are easy to identify even at low field. X-Pulse uses a 60MHz permanent magnet with high homogeneity and temperature stability, making it easy to position in any lab and requiring no liquid cryogens.

We have highlighted here a few select areas where NMR can shine.

Quantifying fluorine concentration in toothpaste using MQC+

One of the most important consumer healthcare products is toothpaste. Most toothpastes contain fluoride, an important additive used to reduce the incidence of tooth decay. Fluorine-containing compounds (fluorides) are important additives of modern toothpastes as they protect the enamel by decreasing the number of bacteria and preventing demineralising of teeth.

However, there are strict regulations on the amount of fluorine permitted. It is therefore essential to make accurate measurements of fluorine concentration in the final product. The MQC+ delivers fast, accurate measurements which are routinely used for quality control in manufacturing plants of many of the world’s leading healthcare companies.

Measuring fluorinated coatings on textiles using MQC+

Fluorinated coatings are often applied to fibres and textiles to provide oil/water resistance, easy cleaning and fire-retardant properties. They are commonly used for carpets, outdoor and other high-performance clothing. It is important to regulate the amount of fluorinated coating to optimise the process and, as a result, the properties of the product. The MQC+, provides a fast, simple and accurate method for measuring fluorinated coatings.

Analysing the structure of compounds containing fluorine using X-Pulse

Fluorine is an important element in industrial chemistry and has applications in a wide range of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, polymers, surfactants and solvents. It is estimated that more than 20% of all pharmaceutical compounds contain fluorine. This includes some of the commercially important drugs such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Paxil (paroxetine).

NMR spectroscopy, using the X-Pulse, is a valuable technique for determining the molecular structure of compounds containing fluorine, especially organofluorine compounds. X-Pulse is a high-performance benchtop NMR spectrometer that does not require external services, such as liquid cryogens or compressed air, and can be placed in the laboratory rather than in a specialised NMR facility. Spectra can be collected within a couple of minutes using standard 5mm NMR tubes.

Why Oxford Instruments?

Both TD-NMR and benchtop NMR spectroscopy provide clean, fast and reliable methods that require minimal training and are available at an affordable cost. They deliver accurate results across the fluorine analysis process. If you rely on the accurate, swift and affordable analysis of fluorine, our range of instruments will meet your needs.

To arrange a demo of the MQC+ or X-Pulse and see for yourself the benefits benchtop NMR can bring, contact us today.

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