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Uses of Paper Chromatography

uses of paper chromatography

In paper chromatography a small sample is placed on porous paper which is in contact with the solvent. Due to capillary action the solvent moves through the paper and dissolves the mixture spot. The components of the sample will start to move along the paper at the same rate as of the solvent.

Components of the sample with a stronger attraction to the paper than to the solvent will move more slowly than that of the components with a strong attraction to the solvent. This rate difference at which of each component in the mixture travel along the paper leads to their separation.

The factors influencing the reproducibility of paper chromatography are: types of extracted chemical compounds, type of paper materials used, type of solvent used, and length of time taken by the paper to for solvent "runs". Also the solvent holding vessels, lids or covers used for the paper chromatography influences the results of chromatography as these factors determine vaporization and humidification rates.

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Uses Paper Chromatography

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  1. Among all the chromatography methods paper chromatography is an inexpensive and rapid method that provides graphic and clear results.
  2. Used as a qualitative method for identifying the components in a mixture.
  3. The separated spots on the finished and dried chromatogram can be cut out and re-dissolved to obtain a pure sample of component of the sample mixtures.
  4. Used in several scientific studies in identification of unknown organic and inorganic compounds from a mixture.
  5. In forensic studies paper chromatography is used in crime scene investigation and DNA and RNA sequencing along with other studies.
  6. Paper chromatography is used as an analytical chemistry technique for identifying and separating colored mixtures like pigments.
  7. Sugars, amino acids, lipids and nucleic acids and other biomolecules can be easily identified by spraying with appropriate reagents to detect these specific compounds.
  8. Paper chromatography can be reproduced easily as long as the conditions are controlled and maintained.

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