In this Activity, column chromatography separations are simulated using a grid, colored paper squares, and a six-sided die. Students observe the effects of changing flow rate, column length, and mobile phase composition. As squares come off the grid, the separation (or lack thereof) of the colors is noticeable. This board-game style procedure offers insights into column chromatography and how separations are achieved. The Activity is best performed after the class has discussed solubility and polarity. Terminology including resolution, dead time, isocratic, gradient, and diffusion can be introduced.
Charles A. Smith, J. Chem. Educ. 2004, 81, p384A.