The Distance The Amino Acid Traveled From The Origin

921 WordsSep 15, 20154 Pages
The data that was collected throughout the experiment shows the distance the amino acid traveled from the origin. This data was used to calculate the retardation factor also known as the Rf value; the distance that the spot traveled divided by the distance the solvent traveled. Based off of our data, the non-polar amino acids show an upward linear trend in Rf as molecular weight increases. Conversely, the more polar the amino acids are the greater the downward linear trend is seen, as shown in figure 1.3. Based off of the direction that the amino acids moved on the thin layer chromatography sheet we can deduce that the hydrophobic molecules moved away from the solvent while the hydrophilic molecules still moved but remained closer to the origin of the sheet. The Rf value can provide evidence as to what the compound was. One way to fully authenticate the identity of a compound is to run a TLC sheet side by side with the compound that you are trying to identify. You can identify a substance if both compounds have the same Rf; they are likely identical substances. However, if their Rf values differ they are not the same compounds. We were able to see this take place in our experiment. As one can see from figure 1.3 D-alanine and L-alanine that have the same molecular structure, but are just mirror images on of one another, both have the same Rf value. Of course with any experiment there is room for error. One amino acid that our group noticed was that glutamic acid did not

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