Students separate photosynthetic pigments using paper chromatography to explore how photosynthesis works. Students place extracted plant pigments onto a strip of chromatography paper, the stationary phase, and submerge one end of the paper in a solvent, the mobile phase. The distance that each plant pigment moves upward with the solvent front is due to its affinity to the stationary or mobile phase.
1. Explain how chromatography works
2. List some real-world applications of chromatography
3. Describe the function of photosynthetic pigments and explain why each has a different color
Lesson Materials (view or download)
stationary phase, mobile phase, affinity
Last updated: 3/4/2015