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Spinach Chromatography Lab Report

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The purpose of the photosynthesis lab is to identify and observe the colors of pigments in a spinach leaf as they separate on chromatography paper. Photosynthesis is the anabolic process, or the process of making smaller particles into larger ones in metabolism, that plants use to convert reactants such as sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into products of glucose and oxygen. Photosynthesis occurs in the chloroplasts of a plant cell where chlorophyll, a pigment, is used to allow the process to occur, while factors such as the amount of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide affect how much photosynthesis occurs. Chromatography is the process of separating chemical mixtures by allowing chemicals to move over another substance (Woodford, 2017).The moving phase, or moving substance, is in one state of matter as it spreads across the stationary phase, or nonmoving substance, in another state of matter to be identified separately (Woodford, 2017). Chromatography works by adsorption, which means that as the molecules pass over the solid, the …show more content…

Pigments can be organic (containing carbon) or inorganic and are found in many materials such as spinach leaves. Spinach leaves contain chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, beta-carotene, and xanthophylls, which are all types of pigments. (Fry, 2014). Chlorophyll a is blue-green, while chlorophyll b is bright green and both are used for photosynthesis in a plant cell (Fry, 2014). Beta-carotene is a pigment that ranges from red to yellow-orange and xanthophyll is the oxidized version of carotenes (Fry, 2014). The minor pigments play a secondary role in photosynthesis and transfer the energy the minor pigments receive back to chlorophyll for photosynthesis (Fry, 2014). If the spinach leaves’ pigments are separated by chromatography, then the pigments chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, beta-carotene, and xanthophylls will appear on the chromatography

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