Chromatography Definition and Examples

What Is Chromatography? Definition, Types, and Uses

These chalk chromatogaphy examples were made using chalk with ink and food coloring.
These chalk chromatogaphy examples were made using chalk with ink and food coloring. Anne Helmenstine

Chromatography Definition

Chromatography is a group of laboratory techniques to separate the components of a mixture by passing the mixture through a stationary phase. Typically, the sample is suspended in the liquid or gas phase and is separated or identified based on how it flows through or around a liquid or solid phase.

Types of Chromatography

The two broad categories of chromatography are liquid chromatography (LC) and gas chromatography (GC). High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), size exclusion chromatography, and supercritical fluid chromatography are some types of liquid chromatography. Examples of other types of chromatography include ion exchange chromatography, resin chromatography, and paper chromatography.

Uses of Chromatography

Chromatography is used primarily to separate components of a mixture so that they can be identified or collected. It can be a useful diagnostic technique or part of a purification scheme.