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I'm doing a chemistry chromatography lab that wants me to recreate anything I want. I decided to measure how far a pigment goes in each color for the same brand, but I'm stuck at the paper part. I heard there's a specific paper I can use, but I'm broke, so would regular paper or coffee filters do the trick as well? Also, how wide should the paper be? (I'm creating a line with the marker not a dot, however, feel free to give me pointers)

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    $\begingroup$ Coffee filters work well for paper chromatography. See: scientificamerican.com/article/… $\endgroup$
    – theorist
    Jun 10 at 4:07
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    $\begingroup$ Yes in a class lab you can play with many kinds of paper. It even add some values. Note that the paper characteristics influence the experiment at different levels, at the mechanism one (interaction) as well as a practical one (robustness, ecc). $\endgroup$
    – Alchimista
    Jun 10 at 8:41
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    $\begingroup$ You don't need to limit yourself with ascending paper chromatography. The lanes may easily pass beyond the 30 cm / 11 in mark if you let the elution descend instead, be circular or elute in 2D. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Jun 10 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Buttonwood Thank you for the help! I was just wondering, since my friend was doing a dish chromatography instead of a hanging column chromatography like me, what would be the difference and will our results differ? $\endgroup$
    – Noaki Sato
    Jun 10 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ Consistency may be a problem for paper chromatography if e.g., the paper varies in quality (esp. if the manufacturer did not anticipate /this/ use, e.g. here or more seriously here. While the circular PC are good to screen (out) eluents rapidly, the Rf values of circular / ascending / descending PC still differ even if all other parameters are kept fixe. E.g., gravity limits the ascending method, but not much the other two. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Jun 10 at 16:21
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If possible, you may use Whatman filter paper. It has specially been designed for this purpose. Well, that kind of a paper is preferable which has a good pore size, kind of a paper of unglossed newspaper.

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    $\begingroup$ Because many companies / distributors of chemicals are active in this field, this answer does not yet shed a light on plausible criteria of selection. Agilent for example advertises chromatography papers which are "made of glass microfibers impregnated with silica gel. Agilent offers two kinds of paper: SA (contains sodium salt) and SG (contains potassium salt)". Old educational papers do not explicitly mention either silica, nor the salts added. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Jun 10 at 12:22

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