Thursday, April 19, 2012

Leaf chromatography

Today, we learned about leaves. And pigments. What gives leaves colours? Chlorophyll. Carotenoids. Anthocyanins.
I decided to do a simple chromatography experiment to show Emily the different pigments that gives colours to the leaves.

Chromatography is a method of separating and analyzing mixtures of chemicals. By exploiting the  differential affinities of substances for a gas or liquid mobile medium. It is used to analyze, identify, purify & quantify the compounds.

U can do a simple chromatography experiment at home.You will need leaves. Bottles. Methylated spirit (alcohol). Coins. Scissor. Tape. Wet wipes (or coffee filter or anything that has good absorbing properties)

Tape a sample of the leaf on the bottle for reference. Bruise the leaves with coin and cut into small pieces. If u have mortar and pestle, u can crush the leaves more finely. But the coins are good enough. Soak them in alcohol. Cut the wet wipes into stripes and dip one end in the alcohol mixture.
It will take a while for the colours to separate. Patience ;-)
 After 1.5- 2 hours, this is a sample of what u will get.

Try it out ;-)


  1. Wonderful! Will try this soon. Thanks :)

  2. wow. simple and intresting. is hould try it. tq