Paper Chromatography Essay

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In this experiment, we worked with paper chromatography. Before discussing the experiment in full detail, we must first review what exactly paper chromatography is. Paper chromatography is a certain technique used for separating different mixtures. It uses a specific type of paper made up of cellulose, and has a solution that separates the mixture into the multiple substances that make up that mixture1. Paper chromatography can also test the purity of the mixtures as well2.
Paper chromatography was first developed in the very early 1900s, by a Russian scientist named Mikhail Tsvett. He was conducted an experiment to figure out how to separate the different pigments in green leaves. He found that if he crushed the leaves and added them to a powder, the different pigments in the leaves would separate. Years later, two English scientist, Martin and Synge, expanded on this technique and developed the process of paper chromatography that we used in this experiment. They first used their paper chromatography method to separate amino acids in proteins, which awarded the scientists with a Nobel Peace Prize3.
The method and chemistry behind paper chromatography is very important to understand. The process of paper chromatography is separated into two different phases, the stationary phase and the mobile phase. The stationary phase includes chromatography paper made from cellulose, and a liquid, supported on top of the paper4. This can be represented by the inks sitting on top of the chromatography paper in experiment 17. The mobile phase consists of a liquid that travels through the stationary phase, and brings the different components of the sample with it4. The two phases work together to separate the mixtures.
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... Easy Touch Red Bic Red
4 Pilot V Ball Pilot V Ball Red
In order to figure out the unknown inks, I compared the colors, the length they traveled and their reaction to the UV light. For the first ink, I was able to determine the type of pen the ink came from by looking at the color and details of the ink on the chromatography paper. For the second ink, I was able to identify the type of pen by also looking at the color and length it traveled on the chromatography paper. The third ink was difficult, because the pattern on the chromatography paper looked like two other inks. However, I was able to determine the pen the ink came from by looking at the chromatography paper under the UV light. For the fourth and final ink, I was able to determine what pen the ink came from by looking at the pattern on the chromatography paper, and looking at it underneath the UV light6.
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