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Chromatography is an efficient method for separating and purifying compounds from complex mixtures. The origin of the name comes from the Greek word ‘chroma’, which means colour, and ‘graphein’, meaning to write. Mikhail Tsvet was the first to use chromatography. In 1900, he used this technique to separate coloured plant pigments. Today, this method is extensively used in academic and industrial research.

This topic aims to introduce you to the fascinating technique of separation and purification of compounds. You will learn how interactions between molecules help with the separation, and understand its importance in chemistry and forensic science.

Work through the documents and answer the questions to learn more about chromatography and gain hands on experience by attempting to separate different coloured compounds out of pens and markers using only household items.