Sometimes the easiest way for scientists to learn what components make up a mixture is to separate them. Chromatography is a simple technique for separating different mixtures using a liquid. But chromatography can also be used to separate colors! Follow the steps below to make a truly unique jack-o-lantern this Halloween!
What You’ll Need
- Using washable markers, start to color the coffee filter or paper towel cut into a circle. Don’t color a face yet; we’re saving that for last! Use whatever colors you’d like.
- Spray the coffee filter with water. Try not to use too much! You’ll see the colors begin to bleed almost immediately.
- Place the filter on your drying station. Allow about 5-10 minutes to dry.
- What jack-o-lantern would it be without a face? Put the final touches on your creation!
- Once your jack-o-lantern is fully dry, you can use tissue paper and tape or glue to add a stem. A pipe cleaner can be used if you’d like your jack-o-lantern to have a vine.
But what actually happened? In chemistry, a mixture is a combination of two or more substances that can be separated because they aren’t chemically bonded. Because the washable markers aren’t chemically bonded to the paper, they bleed through when sprayed by water. What do you notice about the colors you used? Did some of them blend together? Color chromatography can be used to see different color combinations as well!