Activity #3: Investigating Ink Solubility

Materials:  filter paper strips, different pen types (crayola, etc.), pencils, clear tape, water, plastic cups, safety glasses

Part 1: Carefully watch the video below to learn about a process called ‘Paper Chromatography.’ This technique takes advantage of the different solubilities of inks from pens in water to identify writing devices used at crime scenes. 

Part 2: Carefully view the below video. Pay close attention to the experimental method shown. 

Part 3: Using the information in the above video above, design and conduct a proper experiment to answer the question below. Wear safety glasses. Document your experiment in your workbook.  


What effect does pen type have on paper chromatography results in a water solvent?