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- Chlorophyll Main Page
- Chemical Structure
- Properties of Chlorophyll in Plants

- Extraction of Chlorophyll from Plants

Simple Reactions of Chlorophyll

Treatment of cholorophyll-a with acid removes the magnesium ion replacing it with two hydrogen atoms giving an olive-brown solid, phaeophytin-a. Hydrolysis of this (reverse of esterification) splits off phytol and gives phaeophorbide-a. Similar compounds are obtained if chlorophyll-b is used.

Overall reaction scheme for the hydrolysis of chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll can also be reacted with a base which yields a series of phyllins, magnesium porphyrin compounds. Treatment of phyllins with acid gives porphyrins.


Overall scheme for the reaction of alkaline with chlorophyll.