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Chromatography explanation in simple words and experiment
Color Chromatography of ChlorophyllClick thumbnail to view full-size
Chromatography, (from Green chroma "color" and graphein "to write") is term used for different lab techniques used for separation of mixtures generally for the purpose of identification. There are a wide range of chromatography products and techniques that are used in the modern laboratories. In modern day science, Chromatography equipments, like Gas chromatography(GC) and HIgh pressure/performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) are essential components of laboratories whether it is Academic lab, FDA testing lab or a FBI crime lab.
No matter what kind of instrument is being used, the concept being used is pretty much the same. In most of the instruments used for chromatography, a sample, which is usually a complex mixture of different chemicals( usually with different physical properties, like boiling point, affinity, polarity, etc) pass through a medium(called a column, made up of wide range of materials, and found in different shape, size and type) at different speed due to the difference in properties. There is a different instrument(detector) that is usually used with the chromatography instruments to measure the amounts of each of the components separated.
Some of the most commonly used chromatography techniques/instruments are:
- Paper Chromatography
- Thin Layer Chromatography
- Gas Chromatogrpahy (GC)
- High performance liquid Chromatography(HPLC)
Please, refer to the following video for an explanation of chromatography and a simple experiment to understand chromatograhphy.