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History of Chromatography


Chromatographic technique is a group of analytical procedures by which mixtures are separated into their individual constituents. This technique basically requires two major components namely mobile phase and the stationary phase.

This technique was found in the mid 1800s, by a German dye chemist known F.F Runge. He separated dyes on a filter paper and the separation took place due to two reasons, affinity of dye components for the filter paper and also different dye components had different molecular weights. Runge used water for the mobile phase and filter paper for stationary phase.


In 1906 a Russian botanist called Mikhail Tswett separated six pigments in a pigment extraction from leaves. He made a CaCO3 packed glass column as the stationary phase. CaCO3 column is a solid adsorbent. Mobile phase used was petroleum ether. At past chromatography was only used to separate colored compounds. The term chromatography is a Greek word, came as “Khroma” for colour and “graphian” for writing. Thus it is the analyzed results written in colour.

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