What is the purpose of chromatography in a lab experiment?

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

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Chromatography is used for the separation of a mixture of compounds into its individual components.  There are several ways to accomplish this but one thing that all chromatography shares in common is the use of a mobile phase and a stationary phase.  The stationary phase is motionless and is the actual medium that performs the separation.  The mobile phase is what moves (usually a liquid solvent or a gas) and carries the mixture through the stationary phase.  The different individual compounds in the mixture all interact with the stationary phase differently and move through it at different speeds, thus giving rise to the separation.  In the classic case of the black ink being separated into its component colors using paper chromatography, the paper in this case is the stationary phase and the liquid solvent that the paper is dipped into is the mobile phase.

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parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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It is used to separate mixtures, more or less homogeneous, into their individual substance. An example would be ink. If there is only one substance,  only one distinct spot in shown.

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nicoledesilva | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Chromatography is used to separate mixtures of substances into their components, A sample of the ink is put in chromatography paper and that is put in a suitable solvent, mostly water. the ink spreads on the paper and shows you the componenets. this is also used to see if the substance is pure, if it is, it willonly show one prominent spot on the paper.

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