Column chromatography is a very useful and important technique. The problem in school is that it is slow – taking several hours. It can be speeded up by applying pressure to force the liquid through – a technique called Flash Chromatography.
Traditional versions of this use a glass tube filled with a starch slurry. This is then linked by rubber tubing to a syringe to apply the pressure.
Unfortunately, this method is rather fiddly – stirring of the slurry is critical and the tube tends to pop off when pressure is applied.
This new method uses the barrel of the syringe itself as the chromatography column thus simplifying the process and allowing the easy, rapid separation of various mixtures of dyes.