Chemical Test for Caffeine
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Hong Kong Chemistry Olympiad for
Secondary Schools (2013-14)
Chemical Test for Caffeine
Christian Alliance S C Chan Memorial College
Ho Chun Lok
(何晉樂)
Kwok Man Kit
(郭文傑)
Chan Kam Tung
(陳淦童)
Tse Sze Ho
(謝思昊)
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Contents
Abstract ............................................................................................. 3
Objective ............................................................................................... 4
Principle ........................................................................................... 5-7
Solvent Extraction ...................................................................................... 5
Thin Layer Chromatography ......................................................................................... 5
Iodometric Back Titration ............................................................................................ 6
Spike test……………………………………………………………………………………………….7
Apparatus and Chemicals .................................................................... 8
Experimental Methods and Procedure .......................................... 9-13
Solvent Extraction ...................................................................................... 9
Thin Layer Chromatography ...................................................................................... 11
Iodometric Back Titration ......................................................................................... 12
Spike test ………………………………………………………………….…………………………..13
Result ...........................................................................................14-18
Solvent Extraction .................................................................................... 14
Thin Layer Chromatography ...................................................................................... 16
Iodometric Back Titration ......................................................................................... 18
Spike test …………………………………………………………………………………..………….17
Discussion .........................................................................................21
Conclusion ........................................................................................22
Further Work ....................................................................................23
Reference ..........................................................................................24
Acknowledgement…………………………………………………………………………….25
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Abstract
We are interested in the alkaloid --- caffeine (C8H10N4O2) which is
very common substance in many drinks, such as coffee, tea, Coca-Cola
etc. Adults or even students will drink a cup of coffee to temporarily
restoring alertness and warding off drowsiness. However, how much
caffeine in our coffee? How can we determine the amount of caffeine
in coffee?
The following project will investigate the chemical test for caffeine.
At first, we extract caffeine from coffee. Then we need to prove that
the extraction contain caffeine. Finally we try to find out the amount of
caffeine in coffee.
We’ll first follow the common procedure, which is the solvent
extraction and the thin layer chromatography. We also do some
research on other chemical test for caffeine. We come up with the test
of iodometric back titration.
All the tests we investigate can be done in school laboratory, and
pure caffeine is bought for verifying and investigating these chemical
tests.
We hope that these tests can be further developed in order to
become more popular, more efficient, lower the cost and less pollute to
environment.
Structure of Caffeine [1]
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Objective
First, we try to extract caffeine from coffee by a suitable method.
Then, by using chemical tests to analysis the amount of caffeine in
coffee and extract.
Last, we want to validate the efficiency of the extraction method.
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Principles
Solvent extraction [2]
It mainly based on the difference of solubility of caffeine in different
solvent. Caffeine is sparingly soluble in water at room temperature but
highly soluble in boiling water (100 °C). Thus we can extract most of
caffeine in raw coffee powder to a coffee solution.
Then, in order to extract crude caffeine from coffee solution, we can
base on the property that caffeine is more soluble in organic solvent
(here we use chloroform (CHCl3)) than that in water at room
temperature. Also chloroform is much denser than water and insoluble
in water, the caffeine in coffee solution are transferred to the chloroform
and separated out.
Caffeine
solubility
Water (25 °C )
Chloroform (25 °C)
Water (100 °C )
2.17 g/100 cm3
15.8 g/100 cm3
67.0 g/100 cm3
[3]
Then to prove that the extraction is mainly caffeine, we can carry out
two tests, which are Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and iodometric
back titration.
Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)
There are different types of chromatographic methods such as paper
chromatography, thin-layer chromatography, column chromatography,
gas chromatography, etc. They have the same principle :
(1) Different solutes have different solubility in a solvent /different
solutes have different degrees of tendency to be dissolved in the
same solvent.
(2) As the solution ( contains the solvent with the dissolved solutes )
moves along a stationary solid surface ( a solid surface ) , different
solutes adsorbed onto the solid surface in different extent as they
have different degree of adsorption characteristics ( due to the
different degrees of dissolve tendency).
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(3) The “less soluble” solute will be retained first, and the “more
soluble” solutes will be retained afterwards.
( Note : No two substances have the same solubility and adsorption
characteristics. )
(4) Different solutes will then be separated on the different positions of
the solid surface.
(5) Retention Factor (Rf) of each components is calculated as follow
Rf
=
distance traveled by the component substance form the baseline
distance traveled by the solvent from the baseline
Pure caffeine and the extract are analyzed in the same TLC plate and
compare any differences of their Rf .
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Iodometric Back Titration
Caffeine reacts with excess accurately known amount of iodine in acidic
environment, forming insoluble precipitate. Then the insoluble
precipitate is removed by filtration. Using titration by a standard
sodium thiosulphate solution with starch solution as indicator, we can
determine the amount of remaining iodine, and thus the amount of
caffeine can be found. Here are the chemical equations [4]:
C8H10N4O2 + 2 I2 + KI + H2SO4 → C8H10N4O2 .HI .I4 + KHSO4
I2 + 2 Na2S2O3 → 2NaI + Na2S4O6
Note :
Where the second equation is to determine the remaining iodine
(I2 is the remaining Iodine)
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Spike Test
By adding known amount of standard caffeine in distilled water and raw
coffee solution , then carry out solvent extraction. By comparing the
extraction results, we can analyze the recovery percentage of the spiked
caffeine and efficiency of solvent extraction.
Chemicals
Caffeine (C8H10N4O2 , chemical pure grade, min 98.5%)
Solvent Extraction :
Chloroform (CHCl3)
TLC
Ethyl Acetate (C4H8O2)
Ethanoic acid
Iodometric back titration
Standard caffeine solution
Standard Na2S2O3 solution
Standardized iodine solution
Starch solution
Apparatus
Separating funnel
TLC plate ( 0.25mm silica gel )
Burette
Pipette
Volumetric flask
Analytical balance
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Experimental Methods and Procedures
(A) Extraction of caffeine from raw coffee power
Preparation of raw coffee solution
1. 4.58g of fine grinded raw coffee powder is weighted, add 100 cm3
of distilled water and 3.0g of sodium carbonate to increase
solubility of Caffeine (alkaloid) and boil it and brew it by following
the instruction on the Coffee package (one tablespoon of coffee
powder in 100 cm3 of hot water, about 4.58g /100 cm3).
2. Cool down the raw coffee solution to room temperature
Solvent Extraction
1. Rinse all apparatus with chloroform.
2. Transfer the raw coffee solution to separating funnel (Figure a).
3. Add 10 cm3 of chloroform and swirl vigorously, (*Don’t shake
the mixture because an emulsion will form*)(Figure b). Allow
the mixture to stand and separate out the bottom chloroform
layer to a beaker. Repeat this step for 5 times.
4. Add calcium sulphate to the separated chloroform to remove
water. Shake well and stop until fluffy, cloudy effect.
5. Weight the beaker which is going to hold the filtrate.
6. Filter out the excess calcium sulphate. (Figure c)
7. Put the beaker with filtrate into hot water bath to evaporate
chloroform (Boiling Point : 61.2 oC) (Figure d)
8. Weigh the powder and calculate the amount of powder extracted.
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Figure a
Figure b
Figure c
Figure d
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(B) Qualitative analysis of caffeine by Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)
1. Dissolve the extract and pure caffeine into distilled water separately.
2. Prepare the TLC plate ( silica gel coating, and cut it to 3 cm x 10 cm ).
3. Use a pencil to draw a horizontal line 0.5 cm above the bottom of the
TLC plate.
4. Spot the extracted caffeine and pure caffeine by 10µ L micro-capillary
tubes separately on the pencil line of the TLC plate.
5. Immerse the TLC plate into the solvent ( a mixture of 20:1 of ethyl
acetate : ethanoic acid ).
6. Let the plate stand and develop the chromatogram.
7. Visualize the result with a UV lamp, use a pencil to circle the spot
seen under UV light.
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(C) Quantitative analysis of caffeine by iodometric back titration
1. Transfer 15.00 cm3 of standard caffeine solution / the solution
prepared by the extract to a conical flask and add 10 cm3 sulfuric
acid .
2. Add 25.00 cm3 of standardized iodine solution to the mixture and
swirl gently, brown-red precipitate will form.
3. Filter the solution.
4. Take down the initial reading of burette.
5. Titrate the filtrate against a standard sodium thiosulphate solution
(Na2S2O3).
6. Add a few drops of starch solution when the titrand becomes pale
brown.
7. Slowly run Na2S2O3 until titrand become colorless from dark blue.
8. Take final reading of burette.
9. Repeat the above steps until two to three consistent results are
obtained.
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Results
(A) Solvent Extraction
For the first time of the solvent extraction, we use the 3 in 1
instant coffee and lots of emulsion formed and we failed. Then we use
fine grinded raw coffee powder in the later analysis.
We also use Coca cola for
extraction, nearly no caffeine can
be extracted but after evaporation
of boiling water bath, the beaker
holding “the extraction” has
strong, sweet, coca cola’s smell.
During extraction, the chloroform
become pale brown. (Refer to
Picture 1).
Picture 1
After Solvent Extraction, we
obtain powder of pale yellow (In
the left bottle in Picture 2) with
irritating, choking, distinct,
strong smell like soot of
cigarette and coffee.
Comparing with pure caffeine
(In the right bottle in Picture 2)
and by observation, it’s obvious
that the extraction does contain
impurities (where pure caffeine
is white powder).
Picture 2
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(B) Mass of extract obtained from raw coffee solution
Volume of raw coffee solution used in each extraction = 100 cm3
Concentration of raw coffee powder in raw coffee solution
= 4.58 mg/ 100 cm3
Mass of Beaker (g)
Mass of Beaker with
extracted Crude Caffeine (g)
Mass of Extract (mg)
Extraction 1
48.5210
Extraction 2
48.5176
Extraction 3
48.8572
48.5822
48.5773
48.9097
61.2
59.7
52.5
Average mass of extract in 100 cm3 of raw coffee solution :
= (61.2+59.7+52.5)/3
= 57.8 mg
We extracted average of 57.8 mg of solid from 100 cm3 of raw
coffee solution ( with 4.58 mg dry coffee powder dissolved in 100 cm3
hot water which is the normal concentration in brewing drinkable
coffee).
There is caffeine loss during the extraction process. Thus we carry
out spike test to find out the percentage recovery of caffeine in raw
coffee solution and distilled water after the solvent extraction process.
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(C) Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)
We carry out TLC to prove the existence of caffeine in the extracts.
By the results of comparing Retention Factor (Rf) of the developed spots
on chromatograms, we find out that there are caffeine in the extract and
no obvious impurities are observed under UV light.
Also, we have tried different solvents and solvent’s combination
and we found out that 5% ethanoic acid in ethyl acetate is the better
solvent. Here is the chromatograms :
Standard Caffeine solution ,
(red)
Extract from coffee solution , Raw coffee solution
(blue)
(brown)
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(D1) Spike test--- Raw Coffee Solution
For each of the following trials, an accurate known amount of standard
caffeine solution was added into the raw coffee solution, then extracted
it by the above extraction process and analyze by the iodometric back
titration.
*Concentration of standard caffeine solution used : 4.8308 mg/cm3
*100 cm3 of raw coffee solution was used in each extraction sample
* Refer to Result in Part (B), we assumed that each 100 cm3 of raw coffee
solution can obtained 57.8 mg of extract
Volume of
standard
Mass of
caffeine
Trial
caffeine
solution spiked
(cm3)
spiked (mg)
1
10
48.3080
95.63
37.83
78.31%
2
20
96.6160
105.87
48.07
49.75%
Mass of the
extract
obtained
(mg)
Mass of
spiked
Recovery
caffeine
percentage
recovered (mg)
(D2) Spike Test--- Distilled Water
*Concentration of standard caffeine solution used : 4.8308 mg/cm3
*100 cm3 of hot distilled water was used in each extraction sample.
Trial
Volume of
Mass of
standard caffeine caffeine spiked
solution spiked
(mg)
3
(cm )
Mass of
spiked caffeine
recovered (mg)
Recovery
percentage
1
10
48.3080
29.46
60.99 %
2
20
96.6160
60.95
63.08 %
Averaged Recovery Percentage is about 62%
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Recovery Percentage of Standard Caffeine in
Recovery Percentage (%)
distilled water and raw coffee solution
100
80
60
40
Coffee
20
Water
0
10
20
Volume of Standard Caffeine Solution added
(cm3)
(E) Iodometric Back Titration
(1) To find the accuracy of the back titration method.
*Concentration of standard caffeine solution used :
*Concentration of the standard Na2S2O3 solution :
*Concentration of the standard iodine solution
:
0.421 mg/cm3
0.00595 M
0.0028 M
Volume of standard caffeine solution used in each titration: 15.00 cm3
3
Initial Reading (cm )
Final Reading (cm3)
Volume of Na2S2O3 added (cm3)
Trial 1
0.90
3.00
2.10
Run 1
3.00
5.30
2.30
Run 2
5.30
7.60
2.30
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Averaged amount of Na2S2O3 added = (2.30 + 2.30)/2
= 2.30 cm3
Number of mole of I2 originally added = (25/1000)*0.0028 = 7*10-5 mol
Number of mole of Na2S2O3 added = (2.3/1000)*0.00595
= 1.3685*10-5 mol
By the following equation,
I2 + 2 Na2S2O3 → 2NaI + Na2S4O6
Number of mole of I2 reacted with Na2S2O3 (remaining I2)
= (1.3685*10-5)/2
= 6.8425*10-6 mol
Number of mole of I2 reacted with caffeine
= 7*10-5 - 6.8425*10-6
= 6.31575*10-5 mol
By the following equation,
C8H10N4O2 + 2 I2 + KI + H2SO4 → C8H10N4O2 .HI .I4 + KHSO4
Number of mole of Caffeine = (6.31575*10-5)/2
= 3.157875*10-5 mol
Mass of caffeine found in the 15.00 cm3 of standard solution
= 3.157875*10-5 - 194.19
= 6.1323*10-3 g
= 6.1263 mg
Original mass of caffeine contained in 15.00 cm3 standard solution
= 6.315 mg
Accuracy of Iodometric Back Titration: (6.126/6.315) * 100% = 97%
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(2) To find the amount of caffeine in the extract ( from raw coffee
solution )
*0.251 g of extract was made up to 250.00cm3
*Concentration of standardized iodine solution
:
*Concentration of the standard Na2S2O3 solution :
0.0321 M
0.00308 M
Volume of extracted caffeine solution used in each titration: 25.00 cm3
3
Initial Reading (cm )
Final Reading (cm3)
Volume of Na2S2O3 added (cm3)
Run 1
15.80
25.40
9.60
Run 2
1.60
11.30
9.70
Run 3
11.30
21.10
9.80
Average amount of Na2S2O3 added = 9.70 cm3
Number of mole of Na2S2O3 added = (9.70/1000)*0.003088
= 2.9876*10-5 mol
Number of mole of I2 originally added = (5/1000)*0.0321
= 1.6054*10-4 mol
By the following equation,
I2 + 2 Na2S2O3 → 2NaI + Na2S4O6
Number of mole of I2 reacted with Na2S2O3 (remaining I2)
= (2.9876*10-5)/2
= 1.4938*10-5 mol
Number of mole of I2 reacted with caffeine
= 7*10-5 - 6.8425*10-6
= 6.31575*10-5 mol
No. of mole of I2 reacted with caffeine :
= 1.6054*10-4 – 1.4938*10-5
= 1.4361*10-4 mol
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By the following equation,
C8H10N4O2 + 2 I2 + KI + H2SO4 → C8H10N4O2 .HI .I4 + KHSO4
Number of mole of Caffeine = (1.4361*10-4)/2 = 7.8035*10-5 mol
Mass of caffeine in 25.00 cm3 extracted caffeine solution
=1.4361*10-4 ( 194.19)
= 14.14 mg
Mass of caffeine in the 0.251g of extracted
= 14.14 ( 250/25)
= 141.4mg
∵100 cm3 of coffee solution has 57.8 mg of extracted by referring to the
result Part (B),
∴ Mass of caffeine in 100 cm3 of coffee solution
= (57.8/251) * 141.4
= 32.56 mg
∴ 32.56 mg of caffeine contained in the extract of 100 cm3 raw coffee
solution.
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Discussion
For the TLC test, the possible reason that we can’t see other
impurities maybe impurities can’t be visualize under UV light or they
dissolved in the solvent used to develop the plate. The detail
constituent compounds and elements can be known by some advance
instrument, e.g. HPLC etc.
For iodometric back titration, because Iodine solution is volatile,
some Iodine may loss during experiment process especially filtration.
Thus it contributes the error of the titration. The “standard iodine
solution” should be standardized by a standard sodium thiosulphate
solution from time to time to acquire its concentration.
Conclusion
After the above tests, we confirmed that the about solvent extraction
method is a practical experimental procedure for extracting caffeine in
school laboratory.
Due to the nature of the partition coefficients of
solvent-solvent extraction, the amount of loss of caffeine could be
reduced by increasing the number of portion of chloroform used in the
process. ( Refer to the step 3 of the section of Solvent Extraction).
However, chloroform is a CFCs and a carcinogenic substance, it is not
recommended to use.
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The TLC results proved that caffeine was successfully extracted from
the raw coffee solution.
It also showed that no obviously impurities in
the chromatogram under UV light.
The Iodometric back titration is a simple and an accurate method to
determine the amount of caffeine in aqueous solution. It requires
simple apparatus and common chemicals only. Our result in the section
of Result E(1) showed that it is an accurate method. It has very high
accuracy, about 97%!
Besides it, different accurate known amounts of caffeine were spiked
into coffee solutions to find out the relationship between percentage
recovery and the concentration of caffeine in raw coffee solution. It
seemed that the recovery percentage of caffeine is related to the
concentration of caffeine in the coffee solution, i.e. higher concentration
of caffeine, lower the recovery percentage while the recovery
percentage of spike test in water is roughly constant (~62%).
Thus the
matrix of coffee solution will affect the recovery percentage of caffeine.
The titration result showed that 32.56 mg of caffeine contained in
the extract from 100 cm3 of raw coffee solution. By using the result of
the recovery percentage in the section of Result D1, the recovery
percentage is about 78.3% , the amount of dissolved caffeine in a cup of
coffee (250 cm3 ) is about = 32.56 x 250 / ( 0.783 x 100 ) = 103.9 mg !
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Further Work
The above spike test can be further developed for checking the
extraction efficiency of the above extraction method. Spiking different
concentrations of standard caffeine into the coffee solutions to
consolidate the relationship of caffeine concentration and recovery
percentage by constructing a curve that shows the relationship between
the recovery percentage and the concentration of caffeine in the coffee
solution.
So the titration results can be “adjusted” by the recovery
percentage ( dividing the titration result by the corresponding recovery
percentage ) to find a more reliable result.
Also, find a less harmful solvent to substitute chloroform because
chloroform is a suspected carcinogenic substance and a CFC’s etc. In
order to protect the Earth, investigation on environmentally friendly
solvent can be done. Although supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) is a
better solvent, it’s costly and impractical be made in school laboratory.
However, for the Iodometric Back Titration, we can try to reduce the
limitations and find out if other constituent substances in the extract will
react with iodine, contributing to error.
Decaffeinated coffee and other drinks also can be tested by the
above methods.
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Acknowledgement
Our Chemistry Teachers:
 Mr. Lee Kei Ling
 Mr. Jie Tjie Kong
 Mr. Ho Kwok Wai
Our Laboratory technician:
 Mr. Kwok Yu
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References
[1] Triradar.com:
http://www.triradar.com/training-advice/the-truth-about-caffeine/
[2] Periodic Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzh-6ZDitQ8
[3] Open Notebook Science:
http://lxsrv7.oru.edu/~alang/onsc/solubility/allsolvents.php?solute=caffeine
[4] 醫學教育網:
http://www.med66.com/new/53a270aa2009/20091022qiji172334.shtm
l
[5] Yahoo 知識 :
https://tw.knowledge.yahoo.com/question/question?qid=1509061403
307
[6] Organic Chemistry at CU Boulder:
http://orgchem.colorado.edu/Technique/Procedures/TLC/TLC.html
[7] 中山大學化學與化學工程學院:
http://ce.sysu.edu.cn/echemi/basechemlab/Item/956.aspx
Other reference:
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine
Chemical Book:
http://www.chemicalbook.com/ChemicalProductProperty_US_CB0202769.aspx
新竹市立香山高級中學第 50 屆中小學科學展覽會:
http://activity.ntsec.gov.tw/activity/race-1/50/pdf/040214.pdf
THE END! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
Christian Alliance S C Chan Memorial College/2013-14 Chemistry Olympiad/Caffeine
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