Chromatography

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Chasyn Carter
1/8/13
Biology
Chromatography
Chromatography is the term for a set of lab techniques for the separation of mixtures. The mixture is dissolved in a fluid called the mobile phase, which carries it through a structure holding another material called the stationary phase. The Russian-Italian biochemist Mikhail Semyonovich coined the term "chromatography" and published the first paper on the method in 1903. Chromatography has many uses in biology. It’s used to separate and identify amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, and other natural substances. Environmental testing laboratories use chromatography to identify trace quantities of contaminants and pesticides. It is also used to test drinking water and test air quality. In our class, we used chromatography for plants. Chlorophyll often hides the other pigments present in leaves. In the fall, chlorophyll breaks down, allowing the pigments to show their colors. The mix of pigments in a leaf may be separated into bands of color by the technique of paper chromatography. With this technique the components of a mixture in a liquid medium are separated. The separation takes place by absorption and the rise of the pigments. The paper holds the substances by absorption; capillarity pulls the substances up the paper at different rates. Pigments are separated on the paper and show up as colored streaks. The pattern of separated components on the paper is called a chromatogram.

Works Cited
Answers.com. Answers, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2013.
Answers.com. Answers, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2013.
"Chromatography Plant Pigments." Chromatography Plant Pigments. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2013. "Chromatography." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 01 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 Jan. 2013.
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