Easy Science Project.
Chlorophyll Extraction.

This easy science project shows simple and efficient method of chlorophyll extraction from a plant.

This is only a demonstration of working method which can be refined and used for a full scale science project.

Plants contain many pigments in different proportions. For flowering plants it's mostly a combination of chlorophyll-A, chlorophyll-B, pheophytin and Carotenes. This pigments have shades of green, blue green, grayish, and yellow-orange. Their concentration is different for different species and also depend on the time of year. Also, this pigments have different solubility in different solvents.

Extracted pigments could be used in another projects, such as chromatography.

Attention! This method involves usage of flammable, volatile and toxic substances. All work with solvents should be conducted on the open air or in actively ventilated room. Adult supervision recommended for this project!

Required Materials (in order of appearance):

You may try one of the following solvents:

All this solvents can be used for chlorophyll extraction. However they have different property called polarity. This property affects their efficiency as chlorophyll solvent.

For our tests we used isopropanol and hexan/benzin mixture.

Note: solvent mixtures can give better results in extraction of the full complex of plant pigment then individual solvent. You could study how good are the different solvents and their mixtures for chlorophyll extraction. (Good chemistry science fair project idea, by the way).

Another note: as a general rule solvents must be as chemically clean as possible. For example nail polish may not work. Even though it mostly contains acetone it also contains other chemical compounds which may react with your sample.



Extraction Procedure.


Note: try to use reasonably small amount of solvent. Five to ten ml is a good volume. Solvents are toxic and the less you deal with them the better. Make sure that your working place is well ventilated!

Since we don't have centrifuge let's make time and gravity work. In other, more scientific words we'll do sedimentation of the leaf cells debris (two more jars/test tubes needed).

Here is how:

To check the composition of the extracted pigments put drop of the extract on the chromatography plate....

But this is a different story.