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Enjoy the colours of the nature with this simple experiment

Things needed-

  • Coffee filter paper

  • Scissors

  • Pencils

  • Tape

  • Measuring spoons

  • Isopropyl alcohol (you can get this on any online store like Amazon)

  • Clear jars/beakers/glass cups

  • Different varieties of leaves of different colours

  • A grinding stone (optional)

  • Water


  1. Grind the leaves using the grinding stone and add some water if needed. In case a grinding stone is not available, you can tear the leaves into small bits.

  2. Put the ground or torn leaves in to the clear jars/beakers/glass cups. Add two tablespoons of water and two tablespoons of isopropyl alcohol to it.

  3. Using the scissors, cut the coffee filter papers. Generally, the middle of the filter paper works the best as it is the widest. But here, any strip will work. Adjust the height of the filter paper in such a way that the it barely touches the liquid. Stick it to the glass with a piece of tape.

  4. Repeat all the steps for all the leaves.

  5. Keep the jars away and let them sit overnight. Next day, pull out all the coffee filter papers from the jars and let them dry. Observe carefully. What do you notice?

How does this work

You will see that there are tiny stripes of different colours on the coffee filter papers. This is because the different colour pigments from the leaves dissolve in the isopropyl alcohol and water mixture, which is absorbed by the coffee filter paper. The most water-soluble pigments would have travelled the furthest side on the coffee filter, while the least soluble colours would be at the tip of the coffee filter paper that was dipped in the mixture. Note the different colour pigments you see in each leaf.


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