1:11 understand how a chromatogram provides information about the composition of a mixture

Paper chromatography can be used to investigate the composition of a mixture.

A baseline is drawn on the paper. The mixture is spotted onto the baseline alongside known or standard reference materials. The end of the paper is then put into a solvent which runs up the paper and through the spots, taking some or all of the dyes with it.

Different dyes will travel different heights up the paper.

The resulting pattern of dyes is called a chromatogram.

In the example shown, the mixture is shown to contain the red, blue and yellow dyes. This can be seen because these dots which resulted from the mixture have travelled the same distance up the paper as have the red, blue and yellow standard reference materials.