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Name: morgan
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Question:
I am doing a project on chromotherapy. I am separating the pigments in leaves and I am using the chemical acetone. Why does acetone separate the pigements in leaves. What causes it to happen? Is there some connection that I am not making? Please help.



Replies:
I think the word you want is "chromatography," not "chromotherapy." The basic idea of chromatography is that you have two "phases:" the chromatography paper is the "stationary phase," and the acetone is the "mobile phase." The acetone flows along the paper, and the different pigments will have different attractions to the mobile and stationary phases. The more a substance is attracted to the mobile phase instead of the stationary phase, the faster it will move. So, you are seperating the different pigments on the basis of their differing affinities for the two phases.

Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.



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