Analytical chemistry is one of the essential branches of chemistry that detects, identifies, characterizes, and quantifies chemical compounds in a given sample. While analytical chemistry is a laboratory-based science, it plays a crucial role in various industries and study fields, such as agriculture, medicine, and environmental science. Although analytical chemistry offers a wide range of applications, many people are still unaware of how it works in real life and why it is so important. Here are ten reasons why analytical chemistry matters:
#1. Analytical Chemistry Deals with Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Samples
The main goal of analytical chemistry is to analyze samples both quantitatively and qualitatively. Analytical chemists use various chemical reactions and techniques to identify the analyte and determine how much of it is present in a given sample. These techniques range from simple weighing tasks to advanced analyses involving high-tech instruments, such as a Mass Spectrometer (MS), a Gas Chromatograph (GC), a High-Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC), an Ion Chromatograph (IC), and others.
#2. Analytical Chemistry Is Widely Used in Organic and Inorganic Chemistry Labs
As a matter of fact, different branches of chemistry are often linked with each other and work in tandem to solve various issues. Evidently, analytical chemistry techniques are widely used by organic and inorganic chemists. For example, whenever scientists want to determine the concentration of samples or the content of the product, they refer to analytical chemistry methods. Besides, analytical chemistry also allows organic chemists to identify functional groups in the existing sample or a newly synthesized compound through Infrared Spectroscopy (IR).
#3. Basic Analytical Chemistry Techniques Are Fundamental to Instrumental Chemistry
Instrumental chemistry is a branch of analytical chemistry that relies on basic analytical chemistry principles. Although instrumental chemistry involves the use of advanced devices, it still requires the knowledge of even the simplest analytical methods to perform analyses or evaluate results.
#4. Analytical Chemistry Allows Clinical Lab Scientists to Analyze Human Biological Specimens
Clinical chemistry is based on the biochemical analysis of human biological specimens or body fluids. Whenever you are doing a blood, urine, or saliva test, your biospecimens are analyzed by means of analytical chemistry techniques. While some analyses require simple chemical reactions, others involve instrumental sample analyses. In any case, analytical chemistry enables clinical lab scientists to provide accurate results of laboratory tests ordered by a physician.
#5. Analytical Chemistry Enables Healthcare Professionals to Identify and Cure Diseases
Along with enabling clinical lab scientists to perform body fluid analyses, analytical chemistry also helps healthcare professionals identify diseases and propose effective treatment methods. Measuring the level of nutrients or the amount of toxic waste in body fluids allows physicians to diagnose various diseases and health conditions. Quantitative and qualitative analytical tests are also crucial for creating effective treatment plans while considering the levels of different compounds in the patient’s body.
#6. Analytical Chemistry Is Important in Forensic Science
Forensic science focuses on the examination and analysis of evidence from crime scenes to aid the investigation. In order to resolve complex criminal cases, forensic scientists perform various analytical tests involving both simple and advanced techniques. As analytical chemistry and molecular biology advance, their role in forensic investigations increases. Some of the common forensic tests that involve analytical techniques are DNA analysis, forensic pathology, drug analysis, and trace evidence examination.
#7. Analytical Chemistry Techniques Are Involved in the Development of Pharmaceutical Products
Analytical chemistry is fundamental to researching, developing, and controlling the quality of pharmaceutical products. By performing various analytical tests, scientists get a better idea of how safe or effective new medicines are. While the pharmaceutical industry largely relies on HPLC, other analytical procedures are widely used as well. Without analytical chemistry, chemists would not have been able to study the physical and chemical properties of drugs. This is why analytical chemistry is fundamental to developing pharmaceutical products that actually work and are safe to use.
#8. Analytical Chemistry Plays a Key Role in Controlling Environmental Pollution
Environmental pollution refers to the pollution of air, water, and land, which negatively affects our planet in many different ways. Environmental pollution is the primary cause of climate change and it is of huge importance to monitor and control the content and quantity of pollutants. And this is when analytical chemistry comes into play. By analyzing the composition of air, water, and land, analytical chemists help environmental scientists determine how polluted the environment is. This information is beneficial for conducting further research on how to control the level of pollutants and decrease the amount of harmful materials introduced into the environment.
#9. Analytical Chemistry is Crucial for Performing Accurate Quality-Control Analyses
Analytical chemistry offers widespread applications in quality control. Accurate analyses ensure that the food we eat and the water we drink are safe for consumption. Analytical procedures are also used for checking the quality and efficacy of drugs. Besides, environmental analytical chemists are responsible for monitoring the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Without analytical chemistry, we would not have been able to eat safe food or take efficient medicines.
#10. Analytical Chemistry Is Important in the Agricultural Industry
Last but not least, analytical chemistry is of huge importance in the agricultural industry. The main goal of agricultural chemistry is to preserve or increase soil fertility while improving the overall yield and enhancing the quality of crops. According to Azo Life Sciences, analytical chemistry allows professionals to analyze pesticides, determine the quantity of toxic metals and nutrients in the soil, and identify the presence of fungal contaminations.