Partition Chromatography

What is Chromatography?

A laboratory method or technique of separation of a mixture in which components are distributed in two phases – mobile phase and stationary phase, is called chromatography. For example, different components of ink can be separated by chromatography. 

The term chromatography was coined by Mikhail Tswett in 1906. While the first use of chromatography for analysis was done in 1952 for fatty acids by James and Martin. 

What is Partition Chromatography? 

Partition chromatography is one of the types of various chromatography techniques. It was discovered through the work of Archer Martin and Richard Laurence Millington Synge in 1940s. 

The chromatography technique which is based on the partitioning of components of a mixture between stationary and mobile phases is called partition chromatography. It has various types such as paper chromatography, gas – liquid chromatography, liquid -liquid chromatography etc. 

Principle of Chromatography

Chromatography is based on the fact that different components of a mixture has different affinity towards stationary phase. Components get physically separated by distributing between stationary phase and mobile phase. The forces by which components get adsorbed by stationary phase are weak forces and nonionic forces such as hydrogen bond or Van der waals forces. 

The various components of a mixture travel at different speeds and get separated. The separation is based on differential partitioning between the mobile and stationary phases. Component’s different partitioning coefficient result in differential retention on the stationary phase which results in their separation on stationary phase. 

Partition Chromatography Principle 

Partition chromatography is based on differential partitioning of components of a sample mixture between two phases – stationary phase and mobile phase. Most commonly it is used in paper chromatography which is a type of partition chromatography. In paper chromatography a paper is used which is called chromatography paper, works as stationary phase. This paper is made up of cellulose which is a polar substance. Mobile phase is liquid which runs on chromatography paper. 

Paper Chromatography Diagram (A type of partition chromatography)

Types of Partition Chromatography 

  • Liquid -Liquid Chromatography – In this type of partition chromatography, mobile and stationary both phases are taken in liquid state. Although liquid stationary phase is coated or supported by solid support. It has following sub-types –

    • Paper Chromatography – In this type of liquid-liquid chromatography, liquid stationary phase is taken on chromatography paper made up of cellulose which is polar substance. Water molecules get trapped on it. 

    • Column Chromatography – In this type of liquid-liquid chromatography, liquid stationary phase is taken on silica gel or alumina cellulose powder. 

    • Thin layer Chromatography – In this type of Liquid -Liquid chromatography, a very thin layer of stationary phase is taken that’s why it is known as thin layer chromatography. It is used to separate non-volatile mixtures.

  • Gas – Liquid Chromatography – In this type of partition chromatography, mobile phase is an unreactive gas and stationary phase is non-volatile liquid held on inert solid support. It is also known as vapor-phase chromatography or Gas-liquid partition chromatography (GLPC). 

Applications of Partition Chromatography 

There are numerous applications of partition chromatography. We are stating its applications according to its various types –

  • Paper Chromatography – Few Applications of Paper Chromatography are Mentioned Below –

  • It is a qualitative method of identifying components of a sample mixture. 

  • It is used in identification of drugs and impurities. 

  • It is used in forensic studies. 

  • It is used in analytical chemistry to introduce chromatography to students. 

  • Used in identification of biomolecules, organic and inorganic compounds. 

  • It is a low cost and rapid method of separation. 

  • Column Chromatography - Few Applications of Column Chromatography are Mentioned Below –

  • It is also used in separation of components of a given sample. 

  • It is mainly used in purification processes. 

  • It is used in separation of diastereomers. 

  • It is used in the separation of alkaloids. 

  • It is used in isolation and purification of vitamins and hormones. 

  • It is used in examination of vegetable oil and pharmaceutical preparations. 

  • Thin Layer Chromatography - Few Applications of Thin Layer Chromatography are Mentioned Below –

  • Reactions of organic compounds are monitored by TLC.

  • TLC is used in separation of inorganic ions.

  • It is used in separation of amino acids. 

  • It is used in separation of vitamin E and A. 

  • It is used in quantitative analysis. 

  • It is used in identification of compounds like acids, alcohols, proteins, alkaloids and amines. 

This was brief about partition chromatography, if you want to get detailed notes of chromatography and its various types then register yourself on Vedantu or download Vedantu app for class 6-10, IITJEE and NEET.