Paper chromatography and separating immiscible liquids
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Paper Chromatography and Separating immiscible liquids. E. Haniff. Objectives. Separate a mixture of different solutions using a given solvent (by difference of solubilities ) Separate a mixture of immiscible liquids. What are immiscible liquids?.

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Paper Chromatography and Separating immiscible liquids

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Paper Chromatography and Separating immiscible liquids

E. Haniff


  • Separate a mixture of different solutions using a given solvent (by difference of solubilities)

  • Separate a mixture of immiscible liquids

What are immiscible liquids?

  • Immiscible liquids are two liquids which cannot be dissolved in one another

  • They form two distinct layers

Separating immiscible liquids

Title: Separation of two immiscible liquids

  • Aim: To separate a mixture of oil and water

  • Apparatus and materials: Separating funnel with tap, water, oil and 3 containers



  • The apparatus was set up as shown in the diagram

  • The denser liquid at the bottom of the separating funnel was withdrawn through the tap and collected in a container

  • The container was then replaced with another and a small quantity of liquid was withdrawn (a mixture of the two right after the denser liquid was withdrawn

Method continued…

  • The container was then replaced again and the less dense liquid was allowed to run out and was collected.

  • Observations were noted


  • Two separate layers were formed in the separating funnel.

  • The oil was seen at the top layer and the water at the bottom layer


  • The separation of two immiscible liquids is based on the principle that the two liquids do not mix and form two distinct layers

  • The less dense liquid was the oil, which formed the top layer

  • The denser liquid was the water which formed the bottom layer and was withdrawn first, allowing the separation of the two liquids


  • The mixture of oil and water was separated using a separating funnel

  • Oil and water are immiscible liquids because they do not dissolve one another


  • The principle of immiscibility of liquids in some solvents is used in solvent extraction

  • Solvent extraction is used to separate a component from a mixture by using two solvents.

  • Two conditions have to be met:

  • The component must be more soluble in one solvent than in the other

  • The two solvents must be immiscible

For example…pg 75

  • To compare the solubility of iodine in two solvents

  • Iodine is dissolved in water

  • The water is mixed with 1,1,1-trichloroethane

  • The iodine goes into this solvent and the water can be drained off in a separating funnel

Another example

Uses of solvent extraction

  • Good for removing organic molecules from water

  • For example caffeine from tea or coffee.

  • Caffeine is an organic compound which is more soluble in an organic solvent which is immiscible with water.(Dichloromethane)

Title: Paper Chromatography

  • Aim: To separate the components of screened methyl orange

  • Apparatus and materials: filter paper, beaker, capillary tube, test tube, screened methyl orange



  • To a strip of filter paper, a capillary tube was used to place a small drop of methyl orange, close to the base of the paper

  • A small volume of water was placed in a test tube or beaker

  • The strip of filter paper was suspended so that it barely touched the solvent


  • It was left to stand for a while

  • Observations were recorded


  • The liquid moved up the filter paper

  • Distinct colours could be seen

  • The colour that moved the furthest up the filter paper was…….



  • Chromatography is a technique that uses a stationary phase and a mobile phase

  • The stationary phase is the filter paper in paper chromatography

  • The mobile phase is the solvent that moves up the paper

  • Chromatography can be used to separate minute quantities of substances.


  • Separation of the different components occurs because each substance is soluble to different extents in the chosen solvent (the mobile phase)

  • The more soluble component travels the furthest up the filter paper and the least soluble remains closer to the base

  • Two colours were seen in screened methyl orange: two dyes a blue and a yellow


  • Screened methyl orange contains two components: a blue dye and a yellow dye

  • The more soluble component appeared blue in colour

  • The blue dye was more soluble in water

Applications of chromatography

  • Testing for trace contaminants in the environment

  • Monitoring water quality and air quality

  • Analyzing pure samples for trace contaminants (pharmaceutical industry)

  • Quality control in food industry

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