2nd October 2019

socratic
14

What role does polarity play in chromatography?

Polarity has a huge affect on how attracted a chemical is to other substances. The larger the charge difference, the more polar a molecule is. You will find that as you increase the polarity of the solvent, all the components of the mixture move faster during your chromatography experiment.

Why does the solvent move up the paper?

Non-polar molecules in the mixture that you are trying to separate will have little attraction for the water molecules attached to the cellulose, and so will spend most of their time dissolved in the moving solvent. Molecules like this will therefore travel a long way up the paper carried by the solvent.
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