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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