Seperating Metal Cations Using Paper Chromatography

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Lab #3 Separating Metal Cations by Paper Chromatography

In chemistry, it is important to effectively analyze the components in a given mixture. In order to do so, chemists will analyze a mixture either qualitatively or quantitatively using different methods and equipment. Qualitative analyses are subjective, and only gather “non-numerical” data such as the color, appearance, and smell of the components. This data is intended to obtain physical information on the components present. While quantitative analyses are objective, and use “numerical” data to gather the quantity of the components present. Quantitative data can be given in terms of height, area, volume, weight, speed, time, temperature, etc. Each method of data analyses provides chemists with specific types of information that can be used to draw conclusions about the experiments they have performed. This lab utilized both quantitative and qualitative data by using the Paper Chromatography method for determining the metal cations present in an unknown sample. This was performed by using reagents that reacted with the metal cations deposited on the paper. The retention factor of each known cation was calculated in order to determine which metal cations were present in two unknown samples. Objective:

Effectively use Paper Chromatography to analyze quantitative and qualitative data of different metal cations, in an effort to correctly identify two unknown samples of metal cations, by comparing them against a chromatogram with known component reactions. This lab also aids in better understanding the importance of developing a chemist’s observation and data recording methods, as some of the reactions are faint, or may degrade over a short period. Material & Equipment:

1) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
2) 600 ml beaker
3) Plastic wrap
4) Rubber band
5) (3) Paper filters
6) (2) 11 x 14 cm pieces...
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