1:13 practical: investigate paper chromatography using inks/food colourings

1:13 practical: investigate paper chromatography using inks/food colourings

  1. A pencil line (baseline) is drawn 1cm from the bottom of the paper. Pencil will not dissolve in the solvent, but if ink were used instead it might dissolve and interfere with the results of the chromatography.
  2. A spot of each sample of dye is dropped at different points along the baseline.
  3. The paper is suspended in a beaker which contains a small amount of solvent. The bottom of the paper should be touching the solvent, but the baseline with the dyes should be above the level of the solvent. This is important so the dyes don’t simply dissolve into the solvent in the beaker.
  4. A lid should cover the beaker so the atomosphere becomes saturated with the solvent. This is so the solvent does not evaporate from the surface of the paper.
  5. When the solvent has travelled to near the top of the paper, the paper is removed from the solvent and a pencil line drawn (and labelled) to show the level the solvent reached up the paper. This is called the solvent front.
  6. The chromatogram is then left to dry so that all the solvent evaporates.

Common solvents are water or ethanol. The choice of solvent depends on whether most of the dyes are soluble in that solvent.

Select a set of flashcards to study:


     Skills and equipment

     Remove Flashcards

Section 1: Principles of chemistry

      a) States of matter

      b) Atoms

      c) Atomic structure

     d) Relative formula masses and molar volumes of gases

     e) Chemical formulae and chemical equations

     f) Ionic compounds

     g) Covalent substances

     h) Metallic crystals

     i) Electrolysis

 Section 2: Chemistry of the elements

     a) The Periodic Table

     b) Group 1 elements: lithium, sodium and potassium

     c) Group 7 elements: chlorine, bromine and iodine

     d) Oxygen and oxides

     e) Hydrogen and water

     f) Reactivity series

     g) Tests for ions and gases

Section 3: Organic chemistry

     a) Introduction

     b) Alkanes

     c) Alkenes

     d) Ethanol

Section 4: Physical chemistry

     a) Acids, alkalis and salts

     b) Energetics

     c) Rates of reaction

     d) Equilibria

Section 5: Chemistry in industry

     a) Extraction and uses of metals

     b) Crude oil

     c) Synthetic polymers

     d) The industrial manufacture of chemicals