What Is Chromatography? What You Need to Know

Did you know that the process of chromatography is responsible for ensuring the safety of many products that we eat, drink, and use to medicate ourselves? For something that so many people know so little about, it has changed the landscape of chemical testing.

What is chromatography, and what is its purpose? One of the most recent examples of chromatography is medicine and drug development during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chromatography is one of the core techniques that enable us to provide a better analysis of chemicals. It’s peerless at what it does too, and that’s why the chromatography industry has grown by tens of millions of dollars in the past few years.

Let’s do a deeper dive into this topic, and we can see the types of chromatography and the benefits they bring.

What Is Chromatography?

Chromatography is a technique that allows the separation of components in liquids, gasses, and solids. The pioneer of chromatography was a Russian botanist named Mikhail Tesvet. His work laid the foundation for further developments.

Chromatography is an umbrella term now, as there are multiple different types of chromatography.

For example, gas chromatography can sort through chemicals in even the most complicated mixtures. It does this by differentiating between boiling points, pressure, and polarity.

There’s also paper chromatography. It works by dissolving the chemicals and running them through sheets of paper. These sheets of paper will then catch the different chemicals as they move through each layer.

Are you interested in purchasing some equipment for chromatography? You can find all the chromatography supplies you need at Remember to buy these supplies from a trusted source, as inferior testing apparatus may skew results.

How Does It All Work?

Chromatography works based on its two phases, the mobile phase, and the stationary phase. The easiest way to explain this might be to tell you about the original experiment conducted by Mikhail Tesvet.

The experiment involved a column of calcium carbonate, the extract from a leaf, and ethanol. In this situation, calcium carbonate is the stationary phase.

The leaf extract and ethanol, which constitute the mobile phase, were poured through the calcium carbonate. As the mobile phase travels through this column, the leaf pigments begin separating layer by layer.

This final pigment-colored column of carbonate is what is called the chromatogram!

The Impact of Science on Our Lives

It’s hard to deny the sense of wonder that these genius techniques can inspire. What is chromatography going to see a use for in the future? If it’s anything like today, then the answer is a lot!

The medicines we all use, and countless other products, wouldn’t be possible without the benefits of chromatography. It’s a marvel that we have so much available to us built on a foundation that can seem like a near-mystical process!

If you’d like to know more about these wonders that fuel our future advancements, then be sure to bookmark the blog. There are plenty more articles on fascinating technology and science, so keep reading!


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