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FlinnPREP™ Inquiry Labs for AP® Chemistry: Separation of a Dye Mixture

By: The Flinn Staff

In the Separation of a Dye Mixture Using Chromatography Inquiry Lab Solution for AP® Chemistry, students examine factors affecting the separation of dyes by using paper chromatography to find a solvent with maximum resolution of a mixture of dyes.

Includes access to exclusive FlinnPREP™ digital content to combine the benefits of classroom, laboratory and digital learning. Each blended learning lab solution includes prelab videos about concepts, techniques and procedures, summary videos that relate the experiment to the AP® exam, built-in student lab safety training with assessments, and standards-based, tested inquiry labs with real sample data. FlinnPREP™ Inquiry Lab Solutions are adaptable to you and how you teach with multiple ways to access and run your AP® labs.


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Big Idea 2, Investigation 5, Primary Learning Objective 2.10

The entire palette of artificial food colors is derived from just seven dyes certified by the FDA for use in food, drugs and cosmetics. How can these FD&C dyes be identified in a mixture? How do the molecular structures of the dye molecules influence their properties, relative solubility or affinity for different solvents? The purpose of this advanced-inquiry lab is to investigate the factors that influence the separation of food dyes using paper chromatography.

Students begin by comparing the separation or resolution of three FD&C dyes using two solvents. Then students design an experiment to identify a solvent that will give maximum resolution of a mixture of dyes. 

Complete for 24 students working in pairs.

FLINNprep is just one of the powerful learning pathways accessed via PAVO, Flinn’s award-winning gateway to standards-aligned digital science content paired with hands-on learning.