Technical Abstract Experiment #2 – Metals and the Environment: An Introduction to the chemistry of Transition Metals and Paper ChromatographyIntroduction Society’s heavy reliance on metal processing leads to the accumulation of pollutants in soils; the risks posed by these pollutants can be assessed by determining the mobility and bioavailability of the metals. The mobility of a metal cation can be determined by a technique called paper chromatography. The goal of this experiment is to determine the effect of acidity on metal mobility using Zn2+, Co2+, Cu2+, Fe3+, and Ni2+.Materials and Methods A spot test (in which the solutions were treated with HCl, NH4OH, and dimethylglyoxime) was used to yield results that were compared to a given chart to determine the identities of the five given solutions. The technique of paper chromatography was used to find the retention factors of Zn2+, Co2+, Cu2+, Fe3+, and Ni2+in order to determine the components of an unknown solution, using two solvents with different acidities.
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