Chromatography Lab:


Activity 1 Directions: 

  1. Cut a piece of filter paper 1cm x 10cm. 
  2. Measure 1cm from the bottom end and draw a line with a pencil.
  3. Using the black overhead marker, make a dot on the pencil line.
  4. Wrap the filter paper over a pencil so that the water in the beaker is below the line.  Refer to the teacher demo.
  1. Allow the paper to sit in the water for about 5-8 minutes. Record the time in your data table. 
  2. Record some qualitative observations in your data table.
  3. When complete, remove the paper from the beaker and allow to dry.  While this is drying, set up activity 2.
  4. When the paper is dry, use a ruler to measure the distance of each color from the starting line.  Record in data table.
  5. Draw a copy of your paper to be turned in.


Teacher Demo: Activity 2 Directions:

  1. Repeat step 1 from activity 1.
  2. Repeat step 2 from activity 1.
  3. Using a leaf and a coin, transfer some chlorophyll pigment from the leaf to the chromatography paper on the pencil line.  Refer to the teacher demo.
  4. Repeat step 4 from activity 1, except you will use chromatography solution, NOT water.
  5. Repeat steps 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 from activity 1.


Post Lab Questions:

  1. Which pigment moved the farthest on the papers?
  2. Which pigment moved the least?
  3. What do the distances mean in regards to the size of the pigments?
  4. What are pigments?  What function do they have in photosynthesis?
  5. What types of pigments are found in plants?
  6. Why do plant leaves appear green?
  7. Based on this activity, why do some plants turn from green to yellow in the fall?


Post lab questions due in journal.