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The utilization of chromatography for analyzing used diesel locomotive lubricating oil gives the laboratory a valuable tool helpful in understanding the processes of oxidation taking place in the lubricant. It is simple and inexpensive to employ. Used as a presumptive test it enables the technician to be extremely selective in the choice of samples on which additional work is required to establish quantitatively the state of oxidation. It can be utilized in a great variety of problems involving the control of diesel locomotive lubrication. Chromatography is a method of chemical analysis which utilizes the differential countercurrent distribution of the components of a mixture between a fluid phase and an interfacial phase. In 1906, Michael Tswett, the inventor of chromatography, described the general nature and scope of the principles involved: “There exists a certain absorption sequence according to which substances are able to replace one another.” He continued with a classic example of chromatography demonstrating the principles involved.
Thomas, E. R.
Assistant Chief Chemist, Southern Pacific Co., Roseville, Calif.