Differential Scanning Calorimetry

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While studying some physical chemistry I came across a relevant process to the topic of enthalpy in differential scanning calorimetry. The above image shows the instrument used and the premise is such that it measures the energy transferred as heat to or from a sample at constant pressure during a physical or chemical change. Within the chamber, the behaviour of the sample is compared to a reference material that does not undergo any physical or chemical change. The image below gives a basic illustration of the inside of the instrument.

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The biochemical application of such experimentation is the use of the technique in chemical industry to characterize polymers in terms of structural integrity,stability and nanoscale organization. For example it can be used to analyse the ability of polymers such as ethylene oxide and propylene oxide to self-agglutinate. The technique is also used to assess the stability of proteins,nucleic acids and membranes.

References: Atkins, Peter, and Julio De Paula. 2010. Atkins’ Physical Chemistry. United States: W.H. Freeman and Company

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