Let’s explore chromatography using coffee filters and markers.

We are going to try separating color mixtures. In this we’ll be exploring chromatography (separating mixtures). We’ll use coffee filters to separate the various pigments in markers to see how each color was created!


  • Non permanent markers (  Sketch markerswork the best in this experiment.)
  • Choose one markerto experiment with first. (Hint~ black and brown are the most exciting!)
  • White coffee filters
  • Pencil
  • Clear Cups of water


Using the coffee filters and markers, draw a circle around the center of the filter to see what colors make up each colored marker.

Note: When placing the filter in the water, be sure NOT to let the marker circle go in the water, just the uncolored tip of the coffee filter cone.

Share with someone what happens as the water begins to flow up the paper.