Chromatography can be defined as a procedure which is used to separate different components of a mixture. Chromatography can be done for two purposes. Preparative chromatography can be done in order to separate components of mixture for further use elsewhere, while Analytical chromatography can be used to analyze the composition of a mixture, that is to measure the proportion of each of the component in the mixture. However, as the science has evolved numerous methodologies have been invented which allow separation of components on basis other than color (Thinkwell Chemistry, 2010).
Several different types of chromatography exist which include gas, liquid and thin layer. In gas chromatography, different components of a mixture of gas are separated. Te liquid chromatography or HPLC involves separating different components of a liquid while thin layer chromatography involves separation of organic elements from a mixture (Thinkwell Chemistry, 2010).
All types of chromatography have three elements commons between them. These elements are stationary phase, mobile phase and substrate. The stationary phase is used to hold the substrate specimen, while the mobile phase is used to separate the component of the substrate from each other. The substrate is the mixture on which the chromatography is performed (Thinkwell Chemistry, 2010).
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