Chromatography (from Greek χρώμα:chroma, color and γραφειν:graphein to write) is the collective term for a set of laboratory
techniques for the separation of mixtures. It involves passing a mixture dissolved in a "mobile phase" through a stationary
phase, which separates the analyte to be measured from other molecules in the mixture based on differential partitioning
between the mobile and stationary phases. Subtle differences in compounds partition coefficient results in differential
retention on the stationary phase and thus separation.
Chromatography may be preparative or analytical. The purpose of preparative chromatography is to separate the components
of a mixture for further use (and is thus a form of purification). Analytical chromatography is done normally with smaller
amounts of material and is for measuring the relative proportions of analytes in a mixture. The two are not mutually exclusive.
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