The separation & identification of the amino acids by planar chromatography

The experiment aims to explore the combinations of the stationary and mobile phase so as to determine the best combination that will separate a set of amino acids. The amino acids include Arginine, Glycine, Proline, Tryptophan, Isoleucine, and Glutamic Acid. The application of the Paper chromatography technique enables the computation and comparison of the Retention factor values of the amino acids. The experiment is also relevant because it identifies the unknown amino acid by comparing the Retention factor values.  The paper will allow for the separation of the mixture of amino acids on the basis of the difference in their solubility. In the determination of the chemical and physical characteristics of a compound of an element, the substance must be pure. Most substances in nature are mixtures, and the experiment can separate mixtures into its various pure components. Chromatography is one of the powerful separation techniques that can be used because of its versatility. That is why the experiment will use paper chromatography for the separation of the amino acids mixture (Saxena, & Gandhi, 2009).

The chromatography experiment and analytical method is today widely used in the separation, determination and identification of chemical components that are in a complex mixture.  In the chromatography process, the components of the mixture are transmitted through a stationary phase by the flow of the fluid and in the case a mixture of the amino acids. The separation is based on the differences in the migration rate of the individual sample components (Sherma, J, & Kowalska, 2008).  The differences in the migration rates differ because of the variations in the solubility, polarity and size of the amino acid components. The procedure involves the preparation of the chambers with mobile and stationary phases. The next step is to apply the sample of the amino acid solution on the stationary phases and then developing the chromatograms. The final step is to analyze the results.