The Difference Between Filter Paper and Chromatography

Filtration is a purely physical separation: liquid particles can pass through the pores, while larger solid particles cannot.

Chromatography, however, involves interactions at the molecular level, with unstable or even permanent bonds between solutes, solvents, and stationary phases.

Why is filter paper used in chromatography?

Filter paper for laboratory use is a relatively important supply, so, we want to be skilled in the use of filter paper, which is a necessary procedure in each of our chemical experiments. Most filter paper is made of cotton fiber, so we have to use different methods for different purposes. Moreover, because it is made of fiber, it has innumerable holes in its surface through which liquid particles can pass, whereas larger solid particles cannot.

This property permits the separation of mixed liquid and solid substances. What’s more, filter paper is a kind of filter tool commonly used in chemical laboratories. It is usually a filter paper disc ( such as Qualitative Filter Paper Disc Grade: BIO-1 ) made of cotton fiber. In addition, chromatography filter paper is based on filter paper as an inert support. Because the cotton fiber in filter paper has a good affinity for water, 20 micron filter paper can absorb about 22% of the water, and 6~7% of the water in the form of hydrogen bond and cellulose hydroxyl, in general conditions more difficult to remove. Compared with the affinity with water, the cotton fiber in filter paper has a weaker affinity with organic solvents.

laboratory filter paper medium flow filter paper 2.5 micron filter paper

Filter Paper

Filter paper, also known as filtration paper, is designed for the physical separation of solids from liquids or gases through filtration. It contains pores that allow the passage of liquid or gas while retaining solid particles.

Purpose: Filter paper is primarily used for sample clarification and removal of solid impurities from a sample. It separates solid particles or impurities from liquids or gases by acting as a physical barrier.

Filtration Mechanism: Filter paper operates on the principle of mechanical filtration. The pores in the paper act as a physical barrier, preventing the passage of particles larger than the pore size while allowing the flow of the liquid or gas through the open spaces.

Applications: Filter paper is widely used in laboratory settings for various filtration tasks, including sample clarification, removal of precipitates, separation of solids from liquids, and removal of particulate matter. It is commonly employed in qualitative and quantitative analysis, gravimetric analysis, and general laboratory processes that require the removal of impurities from a sample.

The function of filter paper

Filter paper is a porous material made of cellulose fibers that is commonly used for the physical separation of solids from liquids or gases. It is designed to retain solid particles while allowing the passage of liquids or gases through its pores. The primary purpose of filter paper is to remove impurities, particulates, or unwanted substances from a sample. It operates based on the principle of filtration, where solid particles are physically trapped on the paper while the liquid or gas passes through.

Filter paper is widely used in various laboratory applications such as sample clarification, filtration of precipitates, removal of solid impurities, and general laboratory filtration processes. It is commonly used in qualitative and quantitative analysis, gravimetric analysis, and general laboratory tasks that require the separation of solids from liquids or gases. Filter paper is available in different pore sizes to accommodate various particle sizes and can be selected based on the desired filtration efficiency.

Chromatography paper

Chromatography paper is specifically designed for use in chromatographic techniques, such as paper chromatography and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). It contains an adsorbent layer, typically silica gel or cellulose derivatives, that allows for the separation and migration of different components of a mixture.

Purpose: Chromatography paper is used for the separation and analysis of mixtures based on differential migration of components. It facilitates the separation of components in a mixture through capillary action and their interactions with the adsorbent material.

Separation Mechanism: Chromatography paper operates on principles such as adsorption, partition, or ion exchange. The stationary phase interacts with the components, causing differential migration based on their affinity for the stationary phase. The separation is achieved as the solvent moves through the paper, carrying the components at different rates.

Applications: Chromatography paper finds applications in various fields, including chemical analysis, pharmaceutical research, environmental analysis, and biochemical research. It is used for qualitative and quantitative analysis, identification of components, and separation of complex mixtures.

The function of filter paper chromatography

Therefore, in most cases, filter paper for chromatography takes the combined water in filter paper fiber as the fixed phase, while the mobile phase is dominated by organic solvents.

When the mobile phase of the organic solvent passes through the sample, the water and the organic phase will be continuously distributed, and then with the mobile phase constantly moving, the material of various components will be continuously redistributed, further separating and purifying the material. This use of filter paper is common in chemical laboratories. Both water and alcohol can be filtered.

Chromatography paper vs filter paper

Filter paper and chromatography are two distinct techniques used in separation and analysis processes. Filter paper chromatography and filter paper are two completely different concepts. Filter paper is actually a sieve, but its hole is relatively small, on the packaging box of filter paper has instructions, on the size of the aperture. Generally use a medium-hole filter paper.

Filter paper does not reach the molecular level unless the molecules are very large, such as high molecular weight polymers. So filtering is generally to remove mechanical impurities.

Chromatography is actually a method to diffuse different substances in the solution in the separation, generally speaking, because different substances on the filter paper diffusion rate are not the same, with the passage of time, to different parts of the filter paper.

Using filter paper for chromatography is also called chromatography filter paper. If you know anything about the experiment of separating chlorophyll in biology class, you can use paper chromatography filter paper.

In summary, chromatography paper is specialized for chromatographic techniques, enabling the separation and analysis of components in a mixture based on their interactions with the stationary phase. Filter paper, on the other hand, is primarily used for the physical separation of solids from liquids or gases through mechanical filtration. Chromatography paper facilitates component separation, while filter paper focuses on removing impurities from a sample.

To know more about filter paper, please click The Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Filter Paper and Folding Method and Operation Steps of Filter Paper.