Which solvent caused the ink from the dots to move the most? Which solvent caused the ink from the dots to move the least?                                                  ...

  1. Which solvent caused the ink from the dots to move the most? Which solvent caused the ink from the dots to move the least?

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Asked on by winzgirl

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

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I won't perfom the actual lab exercise for you but I will tell you a bit about the solvents shown and how they generally work in chromatography.  Basically the solvent is used to move the different chemical compounds along the piece of paper.  Since the different chemicals will move at different speeds, they will separate out on the paper.  In the case of black ink, the chemicals being separated are various color pigments, and you will see a rainbow type effect when they separate on the paper.  The solvents shown are water, alcohol (likely ethanol or isopropanol), and vegetable oil.  Water is a highly polar solvent.  Oil is a very nonpolar solvent.  Alcohol is a polar compound mid-range in polarity.  As a result, the oil will cause the ink chemicals to move the least while the water will cause them to move the most.

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