Paper Chromatography 8
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Paper Chromatography – Chemistry Experiment with Colors

Paper chromatography is a method used to separate colored chemicals or substances. Chromatography is based on the principle that they have two phases 1. Stationary phase 2. Mobile phase. The mobile phase flows through the stationary phase and carries the components of the mixture with it. Different components travel at different rates.

Paper Chromatography - Chemistry Experiment with Colors

Safety First! 
Adult Supervision Required. Wear safety goggles where ever required

Materials and tools required for the Experiment

Paper Chromatography 1

Materials from your Kitchen / Home

1. Plastic glasses

2. Strainers

3. Filter papers

4. Skewers

5. Measuring cylinders

7. Plastic bowls

8. Conical Flask: 1 of 1 lt

9. Small Stirrers

10. Ruler

11. Pencil

12. Cello tape

13. Good scissor

14. Ethanol

16. Double sided tape

18. Tissue roll

19. Surgical gloves

Youtube Video for the Experiment




Images & Step by Step for Instructions for Experiment

Paper Chromatography 1

Step 1:  Collect different types of flowers, vegetables, fruits and leaves say rose, marigold, white lily, red cabbage, Black plum (Jamun), beet root, Spinach leaf.

Paper Chromatography 3

Step 2:  Cut rose petals, marigold, white lily, beet root, black plum, spinach leaf and red cabbage in small pieces with the help of scissor.Paper Chromatography 4

Step 3:  Pour 50ml ethanol in each glass. Put the finely cut flower petals, spinach, red cabbage, beet root and black plum in the beakers containing ethanol and keep it undisturbed for 30 minutes.Paper Chromatography 5STEP 4:  Drain the ethanol with the help of strainer. Then you will get the extract of all the samples.Paper Chromatography 6

STEP 5:  Measure the filter paper stripe of width= 2.5cm and length= 12cm and cut it with the help of scissor. Paper Chromatography 7

STEP 6:  Wrap one end of the filter paper around the skewer and fix it with cello tape.  Similarly wrap seven filter papers around the skewer.Paper Chromatography 8STEP 7:  Carefully stand the filter paper in the glass that has solvent in it. Let all the glasses  undisturbed for few minutes. After some time watch the solvent rising up the paper.Paper Chromatography 9

STEP 8:  Take out the filter paper from the spinach extract and let the paper dry. Observe the pigments present in spinach leaves. Paper Chromatography 10

STEP 9:  Similarly observe the pigments in all the filter papers.


In paper chromatography, the stationary phase is a very uniform absorbent paper. The mobile phase is a suitable liquid solvent or mixture of solvents. As the solvent slowly travels up the paper, the different components present travel at different rates. For example – In spinach leaf, the order of pigments from the top should be   1. Carotenes 2. Xanthophyll 3.Chlorophyll a 4.Chlorophyll b 5.Anthocyanin

The primary function of pigments in plants is photosynthesis, which uses the green pigment chlorophyll along with several red and yellow pigments that help to capture as much light energy as possible. Other functions of pigments in plants include attracting insects to flowers to encourage pollination. Plant pigments include a variety of molecules including porphyrins, carotenoids, anthocyanins and betalain. Pigments impart color to the fruits, flowers and vegetables.For example-1. Betalains are responsible for the deep red color of beets. 2. Anthocyanins are responsible for the purple color of red cabbage.