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Lab Report for CHE100 TLC - Dye Mixtures A-E and Their Rf...

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1 Dye Mixtures A-E and Their Rf Values Through TLC by: Aaron Bourey February 20, 2008
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Introduction In this lab, we explore the process of thin layer chromatography. Thin layer chromatography is a valuable method in forensics labs for the separation of different molecule mixtures for analysis and identification. It is a very valuable method because it’s fast, multiple samples can be observed, and smaller sample sizes make it easy to work with. Thin layer chromatography simply uses a solid stationary phase and a moving liquid phase to separate the different molecules in the dye mixtures. TLC was adopted from a general principle that was discovered years ago. Adsorption chromatography was discovered by botanist Tswett in 1903. He observed that the pigments in plants could be separated in to different colored zones when he passed them through a column containing CaCO 3 or calcium carbonate. In this experiment, we to will discover the different “color zones” or spots as they travel up the cellulose plate. Each dye mixture contains different types and amounts of chemicals. If we use TLC on sample dye mixtures A-E, then we can hypothesize that perhaps dye mixtures A and C may have been comprised of the same chemical based on their Rf values. If the Rf values are the same then we can infer that the two chemicals are very similar. TLC is a good way to tell if the chemical is very similar but it won’t tell you exactly what the chemical is. In an experiment such as this it would be handy to use this testing on different fibers left at crime scenes.
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