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Name: Diana M.
Status: other
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001 

Can someone tell me how to extract cholorphyll from spinach and have it glow red under black light? I have heard this before but have never done it.


Simply let some spinach leaves soak in 95% ethanol for awhile and then drain the green solution into a clean beaker; both the solution and the leaves will now glow red under the black light. You can speed things up by grinding the leaves and you can also filter the solution through cheesecloth, but neither step is necessary to get the red "glow" - I suggest contrasting the chlorophyll extract prepared as above with a chloroplast extract as prepared for AP Lab #4B, and with intact spinach leaves; then challenge the students to explain the different appearances. i.e. why does the chlorophyll glow red but the chloroplasts and the intact leaves do not?

It makes for an impressive demo. Have fun!

Robert Dennison

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