Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Pigment Extraction and Separation using Thin Layer Chromatography
Wheeler, Haniyyah; Davic, Drew
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Duquesne University

            Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is used to separate organic molecules based on their affinity for a mobile and stationary phase. The stationary phase is made up of a thin layer of silica gel on an aluminum support. As the mobile phase flows through the stationary phase, it carries the components of the sample mixture with it, allowing for separation. Various colored leaves were obtained to compare their specific pigment profiles. To extract the pigment, the leaves were ground using a mortar and pestle with acetone as the extraction solvent. Using TLC, the mobile phase composition and spot volume were optimized to ensure the best separation and the most visible colored spots. 4:1 petroleum ether: acetone solution was used for the mobile phase with a spot volume of approximately 40┬ÁL. Based on the colored elution bands  the specific pigments in each leaf will be able to be identified.

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