Spinach Chromatography Lab Report

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Chromatography is an approach/ method used in scientific labs to isolate mixtures by passing it in solution through a substance that causes the different molecules to move at varying/different rates. (Wixom and Gehrke, 2010) The medium through which the solution travels across has the various solutes ascending at different rates. On the medium, this appears as a separation of the compounds within the mixture. In this specific experiment, chromatography was used to understand the pigments in photosynthetic processes. In biology, chromatography can serve several purposes which include bioaffinity ions and protein chromatography. In bioaffinity chromatography, a solvent is used so that the desired solute it separated from the rest of the mixture.(Turkova,…show more content…
The colour of the bands that were produced were displayed green pigment. The lack of other pigmentation on the filtrate indicates that neither xanthophyll nor carotenes were strongly present in the spinach leaf. Spinach doesn’t need to undergo photosynthesis to the same extent as other plants because of it’s smaller storage unit located at its base. Chlorophyll a had a larger band width than chlorophyll b with an approximate value of 0.65 Rf compared to 0.45 Rf. Chromatography paper is successful in separating different pigments because each pigment has its own polarity and solubility. The pigment chlorophyll A is more soluble than chlorophyll B and therefore travel further up the chromatogram. Chlorophyll b is the most polar of all the pigments, followed by chlorophyll a. The varying polarities of both of these pigments is directly attributed to their molecular structures. Chlorophyll a contains a methyl group whereas chlorophyll b contains an aldehyde group. (Fiechter, 1982) In the Rf values that were given, the largest value was an approximation of 0.95. It is not possible to have an rF greater than 1 because that would entail that the pigments ascended past the chromatography

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