Paper chromatography is one of the easiest methods of chromatography. It is a method of planar chromatography (stationary phase is in form of a plane). Paper chromatography follows the basic principle of chromatography, which states that substances or components are distributed in between the stationary phase and the mobile phase. It is an analytical technique, where only a small amount of a sample is used for separating and identifying its components. Like any other method of chromatography, paper chromatography has two phases - the stationary phase and the mobile phase. In paper chromatography, porous paper serves as the stationary phase, and a solvent, either water or ethanol serves as the mobile phase. Paper can be a filter paper or any special paper. However, it is better to use Whatman No.1 filter paper or chromatography paper, since they are pure and have uniform fibers. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/paper-chromatography.html Paper chromatography is economical, simple, reproducible and accurate for the separation and identification of many important organic and inorganic compounds. Chromatography's value as a teaching tool of scientific inquiry will continue into the future, even though more sophisticated, chemical separations tools are, and will be, available.
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The First Chromatograph
The first chromatograph was invented by Russian botanist Mikhail Semenovich Tsvett (1872-1919). While working in Poland, Tsvett was looking for a method of separating a mixture of plant pigments (tints) which are chemically very similar to each other. To isolate different types of chlorophyll, he trickled a mixture of dissolved pigments through a glass tube packed with calcium carbonate powder. As the solution washed downward,...