Resources on Learn Chemistry

Learn Chemistry Resource

Type of activity


Crime scene chromatography:

Primary children use chromatography to explore a range of different types of black pens.

This activity provides an idea to what goes on at primary level.

Chromatography of sweets:

Students investigate the dyes used in brightly coated sweets such as M&M’s and Smarties.

Teacher and technician notes included.

A good investigation starter, eg ‘Do different brands of sweets use the same coloured dyes?’

Chromatography of leaves:

Students use chromatography to separate the pigments in a leaf.

Teacher and technician notes included.

A good investigation starter, eg ‘Do all green leaves contain the same pigments?’ or ‘Are the pigments found in red or white leaves similar to those found in green leaves?’

Chemistry for the gifted and talented: Chromatography

Chromatography worksheet.

Teacher notes included.

This activity extends students’ understanding of chromatography. It links chromatography with the particle theory and develops the tools of analogy and modelling

The interactive lab primer – thin layer chromatography:

Videos, animations, apparatus guide and tutorials showings how to use the technique.

Great for supporting the development of practical skills.

Analytical chemist at the National Gallery:

A video that focuses on separation using chromatography. It takes a look at paint binders and shows how the technique can tell us about the age of a painting.

A great context and opportunity to see chromatography in action in the workplace.


Post-16 resource with full experimental details for the synthesis of paracetamol. With teacher and technician notes.

Includes how to investigate and monitor the synthesis reactions by thin layer chromatography.


Post-16 resource on the synthesis, purification and analysis of aspirin. Includes teacher and technician notes.

Describes how to investigate the reaction using thin layer chromatography.

How hot are chilli peppers?

The chemistry of capsaicinoids and the properties they give to chillies. Suitable for post-16 students.

Includes information and questions on using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to measure how hot chilli peppers are.

The chemistry of flavour:

Videos and worksheets on the chemistry of flavour. Suitable for post-16 students.

Contains information and questions on using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GCMS) to investigate the flavour compounds of soft drinks.

Chemistry at the races:

Post-16 resource looking at detecting drugs in racehorses

Describes the process of testing for drugs in racehorses using chromatography. Contains student questions, including some chromatogram analysis.