Many water-soluble dyes can be easily separated on paper. Artist's watercolor paper works well (make sure the paper is white). "Spot" the paper by applying the pigment with a capillary tip; if you can let the spot dry completely and then reapply pigment in exactly the same place you'll get better results. Place a concentrated (e. g. 20% w/w) NaCl solution in a glass or beaker and suspend the paper vertically so the edge below the spot is soaking the solution. Keep the top of the container closed so the paper can't dry out as the solvent front rises.
The following Web sites contain useful background information and experimental procedures for paper chromatography.
Analysis of Mr. Sketch Ink by Paper Chromatography
The St. Louis Chromatography Discussion Group
A laboratory exercise that includes a nice introduction to color mixing and paper chromatography.
This site is for professional chromatographers, but it includes a discussion board with friendly answers for high school, science fair, and college level questions.
Author: Fred Senese email@example.com
Copyright © 1997-2010 by Fred Senese
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Last Revised 08/17/15.URL: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/matter/faq/print-separating-artists-pigments.shtml