Year 10 Forensics: Chromatography Investigation

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Year 10 Forensics
Chromatography Investigation


The practical that was completed was to investigate and solve what the mystery ink was and to find this out the technique of chromatography was used. Chromatography is a technique used by crime scene investigators to help then solve the crime by matching inks, lipsticks etc. chromatography is the separation of a mixture by passing it in a solution through a medium in which different components travel at different speeds.

In the practical our class completed was to solve what the mystery ink was. We did this by putting two dots on a piece of filter paper and placing it in either water or methylated spirits and to observe what happened and to see if any of the groups matched the mystery inks colour pattern.

The two major areas of the analytical sciences are Spectroscopy and Chromatography. Spectroscopy covers a wide range of techniques for chemical analysis at the atomic and molecular level. Chromatography is a general term for techniques that
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• Different coloured pens/textas
• Filter paper
• Scissors
• 250ml beaker
• Pencil or pop stick
• Tape
• Water
Methylated spirits
• Measuring cylinder Method
1. Cut a 10cm length of filter paper
2. Rule a line in pencil 2cm from the bottom end of the paper
3. Place a mark on the pencil line with two of the pens/textas
4. Add approximately 25mL water to the beaker
5. Sticky tape the filter pater to the pencil/popstick and suspend in the water as shown so that the water level is 1cm below the spot.
6. Leave the filter paper in the water until the water has risen almost to the top of the paper.
7. Record your observations and measure the distance that each colour travelled
8. Calculate the Rf value for each pen/texta
9. Collect class results for

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