What Benefits Does Chromatography Present To Scientists?


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John Wright answered
There are many different types of chromatography in existance. Chromatography can be used for two different purposes by scientists - analysis and separation of mixtures.

In analysis an unknown mixture or compound is compared with some known compounds and if a match occurs, it is likely (but only LIKELY, not absolutely guarenteed) that the known compound is present in the unknown mixture or compound. By using a series of variations on the mobile medium and stationary medium the scientist can be more sure that the known compound really is present in the mixture.

When used as a separation technique, it is usually done in particular cases where it is known to work (it can be hard or even impossible to separate some things this way).

Its big advantage is that some of the types of chromatography are very simple to use and can be left running for a short time with no user interaction. Paper chromatography and thin layer chromatography are particularly cheap to carry out. Gas chromatography is a bit more specialised and more expensive however. Chromatography is relatively quick as well, and can produce a result with 10 - 30 minutes.

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