As I am writing this, it has occurred to me that I have written on this topic before. I just took a look back through all of my old blog posts, and I have indeed discussed this topic previously! Now that I have re-read that old post, I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. Check out this link to the previous post, and I will not cover the same content again:
Here are some new pictures that I took as my students were working on their lab.
Spinach leaves are placed in a mortar and pestle along with a little acetone. Students grind the leaves until the acetone turns a dark green. A small piece of capillary tubing is used to transfer drops of the pigment extract to a piece of chromatography paper.
When enough drops have been placed on the chromatography paper to make a dark green circle on the paper, it is ready to be placed into a large 25x200 test tube.
The large test tube has about 1/2 inch of petroleum ether in the bottom of the tube. The pigments will immediately begin to separate.
Here is the finished chromatogram:
Here is the lab that I use with my students:
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