The Use Chromatography Methods in Chemistry

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In chemistry, students often describe this subject with the things that they can remember and associate with such as, atoms and molecules, chemicals and substances, mixtures and compounds, and a lot of laboratory work. But, in reality, chemistry is more than just a subject taught in the four corners of a room. Chemistry is widely used in the real world like in business, medicine, and technology. Most objects, as well as food that we intake, are made up of different chemicals. Chemists are known to mixing and separating chemical compounds and identifying the components it consists. An example of this is chromatography.

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Chromatography is a method or process wherein the parts of a mixture of a solution that contains different chemicals are being separated. Chromatography has different types which has different uses. It was first used by a Russian scientist named Mikhail Tvset. For this experiment, the students have conducted paper chromatography, a type of chromatography that is demonstrated using simple materials such as paper, ink, and sodium chloride.

There are two techniques in chromatography namely the mobile phase and stationary phase. For the paper chromatography experiment, the mobile phase was the solvent, or the NaCl mixture while, the stationary phase was the filter paper. The purpose of this experiment was for students to efficiently performed paper chromatography on the qualitative analysis of dyes. The samples used were the four colors of food dyes which the students had measured and calculated its Rf values at the end of the experiment. Other essential materials used were beaker, watch glass, toothpicks, pencil, stapler, and ruler. Students were instructed to follow every procedure from drawing a line at both edges of the filter paper up to calculating the retardation factor. The filter paper has been dotted with the food dyes and was placed in the beaker. The students have observed that the NaCl solution placed inside the beaker has been absorbed by the filter paper, and the food dyes have travelled from the point of application to the upper edge of the paper. After the experiment has been performed, the filter paper was pulled out of the beaker and was set to dry for few minutes. Once the filter paper has completely dried, the students measured the distance travelled by the sodium chloride solution and food dyes. The red and blue food dye were composed of only one component while, the green and yellow were composed of two components. The data showed that the part where the red food dye was placed absorbed most of the solvent. On the other hand, the green food dye has travelled the farthest. It consists of two components: yellow and blue. After computing for the Rf values of the food dyes, the data showed that the blue color of the spot, which was present in blue and green food dye, has the highest retardation factor.

Based on the results that appeared, the group has effectively accomplished the objectives of this experiment. The group identified that red, blue, and yellow were primary colors but about yellow; it was composed of two components which were red and yellow. On the other hand, green was a secondary color and was expected to reveal the colors of blue and yellow. The group concluded that chromatography has many important uses. It is necessary for determining the substances that are composed in chemical mixtures.

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