Driving Question: How can the components of Kool-Aid be separated with chromatography?
The purpose of this lab is to separate the components in Kool-Aid with chromatography. Chromatography is a separation method that exploits the differences in behavior of substances between a mobile phase and a stationary phase, to separate the components of a mixture. The stationary phase may interact with the substances in the mixture based on charge, relative solubility, or adsorption. The mobile phase carries each substance along at a rate that depends on the attraction of the substance to the stationary phase. The components will separate if their interactions with the substrate and solvent are significantly different. In this lab Kool-Aid is separated by the two dyes: Red and blue. The molecules of the dye with the least polarity will be trapped at the beginning of the column, while the other dye with the greatest polarity will bind least to the C18-coated surface. An eluent is used to improve the separation of molecules between the two dyes by promoting the removal of the more polar molecules first and less polar molecules last.