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Chromatography Lab Report

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Chromatography is commonly used to separate mixtures to determine different chemical components. The main types of chromatography include gas, thin layer, paper and column chromatography. Generally used most, paper has a stationery phase and a mobile phase in a chromatographical experiment. The stationery phase is the paper itself absorbing the solvent, while the mobile phase is the solute moving up the strip of paper. Solvents are solids, liquids or gasses that dissolve the solute, in this instance it separates the pigments of the ink so you can see what colours make the solute. (ABC, 2018)
Each solvent has a different structure based on their dielectric constant. The solvents being used in this experiment are acetone, acetic acid (5%) and
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Electronegativity is a measure of the tendency of an atom to attract a bonding pair of electrons. (Clark, 2000) Firstly, if the electronegativity difference is greater than 0.5, then it is considered as a polar bond and if it below, then its considered as non-polar. Looking at figure two, the solvent water displays two positive hydrogen atoms connected with a negatively charged atom, giving them an electronegativity difference of 1.5 (Hydrogen = 2, Oxygen = 3.5, 3.5-2=1.5). Furthermore, by referring to its structure, acetic acid contains two polar parts in its structure as well as one non-polar structure, making it an overall polar solvent. Although, acetone has similar properties to acetic acid, it contains two non-polar sections in its chemical structure and one polar section. This means it could mix with both polar and non-polar, but since polar takes priority in a chemical structure, the overall solvent is a polar molecule even though it is made up of mostly polar …show more content…
This could possibly be due to systematical errors when some of the trials were left in the solvent longer, therefore not all the pigments had the same amount of time to separate from the ink. This was also shown in figures 10, 16 and 19 where certain coloured pigments only appeared once or twice throughout the trials instead of consistently.
These abnormal anomalies might also be from an inaccurate method. As when it was first written, there was no instruction to draw a pencil line 1cm from the top of the paper to indicate that the solvent stopped at the same place on each trial. A note for future experiments testing this situation, drawing a pencil line 1cm from the top of the paper should be added before any trials have begun.
As the experiments were being tested, it was unexpected to see that pen 2’s ink did not move in both water and acetic acid from the pencil line. This was unexpected as all the other pens had a clear solvent front and Rf value whereas pen 2 did not move at all, indicating that again, the components of the ink were non-polar. Furthermore, it was unexpected to see that both the mixed solvents produced more coloured pigments. This is because solvents were combined to create a mixture between different polarities, causing a wider range of pigments to be

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