Applications of Biotechnology: Environmental Cleanup
The basic importance of chromatography is that it separates molecules by molecular mass, specifically by separating different substances in a compound based on the difference in their solubility in water. Through experiments, chromatography can be used to see what kind of molecules are in a substance and to identify pigments. The factors that allow chromatography to happen are solubility, adhesion, and mass of solute. The purpose the chromatography paper has in this experiment is to separate the different organic compounds of the mixture and the different pigments. This allows us to see which substances make up compounds, particularly the different pigments of leaves. The purpose of the solvent is to use capillary action to move the pigments in the chromatography paper forward. The solvent helps determine how much of a pigment is in a solution and without the solvent, there would be no moving force for chromatography. The Rf value is the relative mobility factor and it is the ratio of the distance moved by the solute relative to the distance moved by the solvent. The Rf value is useful to scientists because they can identify what substances are by their value. Scientists can find out what the unknown substances are in a compound and as a result, get more information regarding that substance. D-unknown signifies the distance traveled by the pigment, or solute, on the chromatography paper. D-solvent signifies the distance traveled by the solvent in which the chromatography paper was dipped in. The mark on the paper is the value of the D solvent.
We were able to identify three pigments from the green leaf chromatogram in the colors of orange, yellow, and green. The green leaf chromatogram compared to the non-green leaf chromatogram because there was more green pigment in the non-green chromatogram. The red leaf also had the pigments of yellow and green like the green leaf chromatogram itself. After doing this experiment, I learned more about pigments and photosynthesis. I learned that red leaves have more chlorophyll than that of green leaves and pigments can come in various forms, which depends on the structure of leaves.
Now I am researching a driving question on photosynthesis regarding how photosynthetic organisms can protect themselves from damage that can come in the form of energy. One more question I have is: What factors of red leaves make them have more chlorophyll than that of red leaves?
The Effect of pH on the Rate of Catalase Reactions Lab Write-Up