What is the RF value of chlorophyll c, chlorophyll d, and bacteriocholrophyll c?

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RF, or Retention Factor values, are fractions used in chromatography, representing the known fraction of the total distance traveled by the solvent that the given material will travel. An RF of 1 would mean that the substance is fully soluble and travels the same distance as the solvent front; an RF of 0 would mean the substance fails to respond to the technique and doesn't travel at all.

Unfortunately, since this fraction depends on both the solute and solvent, it isn't possible for a substance to have a single RF value. For example, salt, being soluble in water but insoluble in oil, would have a different RF value for each. Additionally, the preparation process can alter the RF value, such as by failing to fully saturate the chromatography chamber with solvent vapor. Thus we have to answer this question by specifying which solvent the RF value is relevant for.

Bacteriochlorophyll c has an RF of about 0.7; this is based on a petroleum solvent. Chlorophyll c has a very low value somewhere around 0.1 or less in a solvent of petroleum and propanol, and an RF of 0 in chloroform and petroleum. Chlorophyll d appears to have no published RF values—I would recommend contacting your local university and either asking a microbiologist or getting access to a research database.

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