Chromatography is a process that can be used to isolate the various components of a mixture based on the different rates of absorption. Paper chromatography uses capillary force to move the solvent and the sample up the paper strip. The most soluble compounds of the sample will go farther. The number of bands tells you how many compounds are in your substance.
We used chromatography to identify the pigments found in leaves. “Pigments are chemical compounds which reflect only certain wavelengths of visible light. This makes them appear “colorful”. More important than their reflection of light is the ability of pigments to absorb certain wavelengths. Because they interact with light to absorb only certain wavelengths, pigments are useful to plants for photosynthesis. Pigments are the means by which the energy of sunlight is captured for photosynthesis.”