Paper chromatography as a method of alkaloid analysis has a long history. It was first proposed in Russia by M.S. Tswett in 1903 after the successful separation of a mixture of plant pigments288 289. The solution containing the alkaloid is transferred onto tissue-paper. The colour of the tissue-paper is very important and can be compared against a standard. This is a qualitative and also a quantitative method of analysis if the standard is scaled. The paper used is very similar to that for thin layer chromatography, but without the need of special coatings290. Modern chromatographic methods are based on the principles of this first method, in which the different distribution and behaviour of compounds or their parts in the stationary and mobile phases of the solid are fundamental considerations.
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