Spinach Lab

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In this lab, we extracted spinach pigments, and analyzed what colors of light these pigments absorb. By using TLC plate, hexane and acetone, I separated the pigments of spinach, and discovered that the main pigments were green and yellow. This works because with different polarities, pigments move at different rates. Hexane and acetone were also used to separate chlorophyll and carotene from spinach. Since they are polar, they can separate organic and inorganic things. From the experiment, I know that the pigments of spinach are mainly chlorophyll (green) and carotene (yellow). At first, I thought that they absorb the color which they present to us (the color we see of them). For example, I thought chlorophyll absorbs green light because it is green. However, I made a stupid mistake that the color they present to us is the color they reflect. Rather than absorbing green light, chlorophyll actually reflects it, and absorbs violet and red. This is because violet and red are two colors which are far away from green on a color spectrum. Since chlorophyll reflects green, it should absorb violet and red. The same thing applies to Carotene. It reflects yellow and absorbs blue light. One error we might have made is that we added a lot of hexane and acetone to our chlorophyll and carotene solutions. We did not have enough of them because they were exposed to light for several days. Although the final results are similar to the correct graphs, it is very likely that this has made some errors because the peaks are not at the exactly same wavelengths. By doing this lab continuously and quickly, this error can be prevented.
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