Student Sheet 10 – Thin Layer Chromatography for Photosynthetic Pigments


See also our updated protocol designed for the new A-level set practicals.

This reliable and enjoyable practical gives students the opportunity to observe the different pigments involved in photosynthesis using thin layer chromatography (TLC). This is a low-cost method to get the most out of TLC sheets, including the opportunity to identify the pigments involved using Rf values.

The resource is suitable for use at GCSE and can be developed for A level investigations.

The photosynthetic pigments in green plants absorb light energy and convert it to chemical energy. This energy is transferred to and trapped inside chemicals such as glucose and starch. Several different pigments are involved in the absorption of light. This experiment shows how these photosynthetic pigments can be extracted from plants and then separated.

The Powerpoint presentation takes you through the method and some expected results, together with photos showing the process and results.

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