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CHEMISTRY : Chromatography


PROJECT TITLE: Solvents Characteristics : PROPANONE / ACETONE (CH3.CO.CH3)
LAST UPDATE: 2 Sep 2009
VERSION HISTORY: 1.0 - First release
1.1 - Revision of text and formatting.


Here are the chromatography characteristics of the solvent Propanone on the standard refernce ink under test. This was tested at various concentrations by diluting it with water. Concentrations used were: Absolute, 70%, 60%, 50%, and 40%.

Chromatography characteristics that are tested include the speed , solubility and separation of the two dyes from the refernce ink.

  1. Solubility and Separation score is out of 10 were 0 is the worst and 10 is excellent
  2. Flow Rate is the portion (expressed as percent) of solvent that had moved along the 12cm strip of chromatography paper. For example if the solvent moved 6cm from the origin, the flow rate is given as 50%

This solvent dissolves plastics, so test must be performed only in glass containers.


Table of Results using the solvent PROPANONE (Acetone) at various concentrations in Paper Chromatography
Solvent: Propanone (Acetone) - CH3.O.CH3
Concentration Absolute (100% c.) 70% 60% 50% 40%
Flow Rate: Very fast 22% in 4mins
39% in 15mins
55% in 30mins
75% in 60 mins
17% in 4mins
36% in 15mins
50% in 30 mins
70% in 60mins
16% in 4mins
34% in 15mins
50% in 30mins
72% in 60mins
19% in 5mins
35% in 15mins
47% in 30 mins
74% in 60mins
Solubility: 10/10
Spot of ink application colourless, ink dissolved completely in solvent.
Dissolved completely.
Dissolved completely.
Very good, just a faint spot was left. Dense zones are formed
Very good solubility, slightly more diffused zones.
Separation of dyes: 0/10
No separation at all
An upper, large, roughly circular, violet zone and just beneath a similar cyan coloured zone. About 1mm separation distance between the two after 90mins.
9 /10
As above but the zones are seperated by a wider distance of about 2-4mm.
Two oval zones well seperated with the violet above, and the cyan 8mm below.
Well seperated zones, but some undesirable smearing and enlongating effects.
Allocated Time: 45 mins 100 mins 100 mins 75 mins 60 mins
Score: 5% 90% 97% 95% 90%
Concentration Absolute (100% c.) 70% 60% 50% 40%
Comments: An intense blue coloured formed at the level of the solvent. Initialy, it had the shape of a semi circle, with the flat side continuous with the solvent level, and it gradually concentrated itself on this edge as a thich line of ink. Excellent results, in speed and solubility. A wider separation is desirable, but it can be frankly said that the 2 zones are seperate. Initialy no separation is observed, but this takes place about after the solvent level reaches 75% of the strip (thus after hour) THE BEST SOLVENT MIXTURE UNDER TEST!! Fast moving, dissolves the ink spot completeley, produces large dense roundish zones which are well seperated. The main advantage here is the speed and separation. Separation takes place very rapidly, about 70mins (thus 82% of the strip length) two dense zones are formed. Looses few marks in The score since it is relatively slightly less soluble from the 60% mixture. Overall it is also an EXCELLENT solvent Slightly less dense and more diffuesd zones, which seperates out very rapidly, just after the solvent reaches 75% of the strip length, hence about after 55-65mins. Excellent for rapid results.


BEST Separation: 60% Propanone / 100mins
For wider Separation: 60% Propanone / 120mins or
50% Propanone / 75mins
For faster demostration of the colours: 40% Propanone / 60mins

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