2. Un-Mixing and Comparing Mixtures of Chemicals
Forensic chemists can analyse materials such as glass, paint and ink as well as identifying drugs and explosives. They sometimes need to separate the chemicals in a material in order to do this and they often use a process called chromatography. For example, the ink used in a pen is made up of different chemical molecules which can be separated from each other, as can other chemical mixtures such as paint or dyes used to colour fibres. Separating out the chemicals that make up a material allows the forensic chemist to compare materials with others that may look the same but may have different chemical compositions.
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