Ink Chromatography

Pandemics make you do funny things… I saw a nice video on the Jetpens website talking about things to do with kids stuck at home. One of the suggestions for older kids was to do a little experiment in basic chromatography. This uses water to separate the colours in fountain pen inks to see what’s in there, since the different colours have different viscosities, and travel different distances in blotting paper.

“Forget about the kids!” said I – and got to work, cutting blotting paper into strips, putting a line of ink on each with a cotton swab, dipping their toes in some demineralised water (only because we had some lying around, not being used). And…. the results are:

  1. Lamy T52 Black
  2. Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown
  3. Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Red
  4. Pelikan 4001 Blue Black
  5. Lamy Crystal Agate
  6. Montblanc Heritage Spider Metamorphosis Web Gray
  7. Montblanc Toffee Brown
  8. Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji (Autumn leaves)
  9. Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-rin (Bamboo forest)
  10. Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-ho (Grain of rice)
  11. Pilot Iroshizuku Syo-ro (Pine tree dew)
  12. Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo (Moonlit night)
  13. Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-guri (Wild chestnut)
  14. 3 Oysters Giwa
  15. Parker Quink Black (Vintage)
  16. Parker Royal Blue Washable (Vintage)
  17. Parker Royal Blue Washable (Vintage)
  18. Pelikan 4001 Black (Vintage)
  19. Geha Brilliant Red (Vintage)
  20. Watermans Washable Blue (Vintage)
  21. Montblanc Blue (Vintage)
  22. Rønnings Original Royal Blue (Vintage)
  23. Parker Quink Solv-X Blck (Vintage)
  24. Parker Quink Solv-X Blck (Vintage)

One of the ones in the list is not there (the Rønnings) – and I accidentally put an extra Black Quink in the photo…

Any conclusions to be made are left to the reader. I just had fun doing it.

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