Synonyms.—Leaf Green; Chromule.
Chlorophyll is the green colouring matter which occurs in all the green parts of plants, associated with wax, starch, etc. It may be obtained by exhausting the various organs with ether, evaporating, and treating the residue with alcohol, in which the chlorophyll is easily soluble. It occurs in commerce in the form of an extract of an intense, deep green colour. Solutions of chlorophyll are of a bright green colour of great intensity, and show a marked red fluorescence. The chlorophyll of commerce usually contains copper as an impurity. Chlorophyll is said to be a resinoid and to contain iron as an essential constituent of its molecule. Its exact nature, however, has not yet been determined. It appears to vary in composition when derived from different plants. On decomposition it yields a blue and a yellow substance (the phyllocyanin and phylloxanthin of Frémy and of Schunck). Liquid chlorophylls are also specially prepared for colouring alcoholic and aqueous solutions without fluorescence.
Soluble in alcohol, ether, carbon bisulphide, ethereal oils, fixed oils, and alkaline water.
Uses.—It is employed for colouring fats, oils, soaps, and alcoholic liquids.