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Chemistry In Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures: These colors do run

by Manny Morone
October 8, 2019

A piece of filter paper with ink on it separating into various component colors ranging from blue to red to orange in a crown-shape pattern, plus two black lines at the bottom of the paper that hardly separate at all.
Credit: Lizzy Drew

This sonorous crown started as a scribble on paper. When Lizzy Drew, a high school student at Lin-Wood Public School in Lincoln, New Hampshire, drew a four-pointed zig zag arc on this piece of filter paper and wet the middle of the paper, she saw the ink run and separate into some of its colorful component pigments. The lab assignment Drew was performing involved gauging how various inks behave when eluted through the paper, which is evident here looking at how the Expo marker’s elution resulted in this chromatogram (top), while the Liquid Flare maker (lines at bottom) didn’t separate at all into visibly distinct colors.

Submitted by Lizzy Drew. This photo is part of our Chromatography Contest sponsored by Restek. Enter the photo contest here, or submit your chromatography photo via Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #SeparationScene

Do science. Take pictures. Win money. You can also enter our regular monthly photo contest here.

Related C&EN Content:

Chemistry in Pictures: Dyes divided

Chemistry in Pictures: What’s in your ink

Chemistry in Pictures: The Universe in Your Hands.


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