How to show the process of Chromatography

Wondering how a dye in a filter paper when put in water & later kept out produces different colours? Find out from the interesting chemistry project experiment on chromatography which is outlined in this article.

Chromatography is the process of separating different colours from a dye. KROMA means colour. Usually a dye is made of two or more colours. With the advancement in technology newer techniques for chromatography have been discovered.


To show the process of chromatography, how that a dye, when placed in water and then kept out of water for some time, can produce different colours namely blue ,green and red.

Materials required

A dye(preferably black ink of fountain pen), a beaker or bowl, water, filter or (tissue paper cut into thin strips), scale , pencil, dropper.


  • Take the beaker and fill it with water.Then take the filter paper or tissue strips and draw a line with the help of a scale and pencil, 3 centimeters above from the end of the tissue paper .

  • Now drop a small portion of of the dye with the help of a dropper on the middle of the line .

  • Take the filter paper containing the dye and lower the filter paper in the beaker containing the water so that the drop of dye in the filter paper is just above the water level on the beaker and leave it undisturbed for about 10 seconds or more.

  • If you are using the tissue paper in case if you haven't found any filter paper ( just like I have done ) you can cut the tissue paper into thin strips with the help of a scissor and just do the same as if like a filter paper.

  • Watch carefully as the water rises on the filter paper ( or tissue paper).

  • let the filter paper containing the dye ,dry for some time.

  • Observation

  • As the water in the filter paper rises you can see the dye getting changed into different colour.

  • The colours that you get are:- blue (on the end of the filter paper), green (on the top level of the filter paper),red or maroon (on the middle of the filter paper where you have drawn the line).

  • The different colours of the ink get into the top level and the bottom level of the filter paper for example green (on the top) and blue(on the bottom).

  • You can also see black ink in the middle of the line with the maroon coloured ink.

  • You can also get the same results with the tissue paper.

  • Result/Conclusion

  • The dye is changed into three different colours.

  • The ink that we use has water as the solvent and the dye is soluble in it.

  • As the water rises on the filter paper it takes along with it the dye particles and usually the dye is a mixture of two or more colours.

  • The coloured component that is more soluble in water rises faster and in this way the colours get separated.

  • Basic principles involved

  • A dye is the mixture of two or more colours.

  • A dye that has water mixed in it is known as an ink, whereas the ink with with no water is known as a dye.

  • By the process of chromatography we can separate the dye into different colours.

  • To get pure dye we can boil the ink in a watch glass by a bunsen burner.

  • With the advancement in the field of technology newer techniques of chromatography have been developed.

  • photos by abel binu

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