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Chromatography of photosynthetic pigments. Aim: To determine the different photosynthetic pigments found in spinach and find their relative front values using paper chromatography.

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Introduction

Chromatography of Photosynthetic Pigments Aim: To determine the different photosynthetic pigments found in spinach and find their relative front values using paper chromatography. By grinding the spinach leaves, its pigments were extracted in order to run a thin layer of chromatography film. The relative front values for every photosynthetic pigment are found by dividing 'a' (distance each pigment travelled from the loading line in cm) by 'b' (distance solvent travelled from the same loading line in cm). Pigment Color Carotene Yellow Phaeophytin Yellow-grey Xanthophyll Yellow-brown Chlorophyll a Blue-green Chlorophyll b green Calculations for the Relative Fronts of Different Pigments Pigment a (cm) ...read more.

Middle

This is because carotene is more water soluble than chlorophyll a and is able to move up the chromatography paper with the solvent through capillary actions until the dipole-dipole forces between carotene and the solvent weakens and breaks. This process leaves a mark at a certain height on the paper. Chromatogram is the pattern pigments form as they are revealed as color streaks on the chromatography paper. All pigments absorb different wavelengths of light and this explains the different rates at which the pigments climbed up the chromatography paper. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is why plants tend to appear to be green to our eyes. In this lab, chlorophyll a showed the greatest difference between standard and experimental Rf values: 0.15 Overall, the standard and experimental Rf values were fairly close to each other for all the pigments detected in the spinach leaves. Errors * Bending or changing the position of the filter paper in the cylinder during the paper chromatography process. Result: difficulty distinguishing the individual pigment bands. * Not grinding the spinach leaves well Result: harder to distinguish the different pigments present from each other. Conclusion By going through the process of paper chromatography, various pigments present in the spinach leaves were made visible to our eyes: carotene, phaeophytin, canthophyll, chlorophyll a, and chlorophyll b. ...read more.

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