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Reproduce beautiful, multicolor art patterns using paper chromatography! Various color pigments that make up black inks can be separated using radial chromatography. The inks are spotted onto a filter-paper circle containing a paper “wick” in the center, and the wick is placed into a cup of water. As water seeps outward through the paper, the different color pigments in the ink mixtures separate out in a circular or radial pattern, producing a brilliant, multicolor artistic effect. The challenge is to duplicate the pattern—to decide which pens were used and how they were applied to the paper.


  • Chromatography
  • Separation
  • Chemical Compounds