By Keagan A.
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Have you ever wondered what chlorophyll actually looks like?
Try this experiment to find out for yourself. To learn more about
plants and chlorophyll's role in photosynthesis, visit the Plant Cell page.
1. Soak a big green leaf from a plant or tree in boiling water
for two minutes (ask an adult to help you).
2. Place the leaf in a glass with rubbing alcohol. Set the
glass in a container of warm water for about an hour.
3. See the solution turn green! That's the chlorophyll removed
from the leaf. See how the bright color of the leaf has changed.
Chlorophyll is green, and the rubbing alcohol broke
down the cells' membranes allowing the chlorophyll to be released
into the water. In nature, chlorophyll needs sunlight to work.
When it turns to autumn and there's less light, the chlorophyll
starts to disappear from real leaves. Since the chlorophyll makes
the leaves green, when you remove it from a leaf, the leaf's true
color shows. The leaves suddenly begin to lose color and turn
a yellow, gold or reddish color.
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