Separation of an Analgesic tablet
Objective The objective of this experiment is to separate the components in an Excedrin tablet.
The components are aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine.
One Excedrin tablet was slightly dissolved in dichloromethane and filtered using vacuum
filtration. The liquid was set aside for extraction of caffeine and aspirin. Water was added to the
solid and it was heated in a hot water bath. The acetaminophen dissolved into the water and
was separated from the tablets binder again using vacuum filtration. The hot solution was then
placed in an ice bath until crystals of acetaminophen formed. The crystals were separated
again using vacuum filtration. To extract the caffeine and aspirin, sodium hydroxide was added
to the dichloromethane filtrate from the beginning of the experiment. This separated it into
layers and the aqueous upper layer was extracted from the tube for later use in order to yield
caffeine. The liquid left in the tube was dried with calcium chloride pellets, and then dried using
vacuum evaporation, leaving caffeine. The aqueous layer set aside earlier was used to extract aspirin. Hydrochloric acid was added until the mixture tested acidic, and this formed a
suspension of white acetylsalicylic acid. The aspirin was recrystallized and separated using
vacuum filtration. All three of these components were dissolved in ethanol and developed using
thin layer ch