Acetone and Plant Pigments
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.
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
Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012