Letter | Published:

Paper Chromatography of Natural Resins

Nature volume 169, page 1064 (21 June 1952) | Download Citation



APART from an early attempt by Stock1 to adapt a method of capillary analysis on filter paper for the examination of natural resins, the potentialities of the chromatographic technique in this field do not seem to have been investigated. The present communication deals with the application of paper partition chromatography to the identification of natural resins and the separation of the constituents present, with particular reference to dammar and mastic. It has been found that such a separation can be readily achieved in a reversed-phase system using odourless kerosene (boiling range 180°−200–C.) as the stationary phase on the filter paper and aqueous iso-propanol saturated with odourless kerosene as the mobile phase. The filter paper strips (Whatman No. 1) are impregnated by dipping them in a 25 per cent solution of odourless kerosene in ether, excess solution being removed by pressing between sheets of filter paper. About 0.2 mgm. of the resin dissolved in acetone or chloroform is spotted at the origin, and a descending chromatogram is run at 21° C. using the lower phase of the system iso-propanol (7.5 parts), water (2.5 parts) and odourless kerosene (1 part) as solvent. (For the faster-moving spots a better separation is achieved using 6.5 parts of iso-propanol.) The solvent front moves slowly, usually about 25 cm. in twenty-four hours ; but the actual distance may vary With slight changes in the experimental conditions. The strips are dried, and the chromatogram is developed by spraying with a fifty per cent (w/v) solution of phenol in carbon tetrachloride and exposing to bromine vapour for a short period. Those resin components which give a positive Halphen–;Hicks test2 are shown up as coloured zones normally varying in hue from pink to violet, but with certain resins blue or yellow zones appear. These colours fade rapidly if left exposed to the air, but will remain fairly bright for about a week it the strips are kept in a closed box.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    , Farb.-Z., 31, 1903 (1927).

  2. 2.

    J. Indust. Eng. Chem., 3, 86 (1911).

Download references

Author information


  1. National Gallery; London W.C.2. May 5.

    • J. S. MILLS
    •  & A. E. A. WERNER


  1. Search for J. S. MILLS in:

  2. Search for A. E. A. WERNER in:

About this article

Publication history




Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.