What is HPLC? Inside the World of Chemistry

Chromatography is a process used to find out what substances are composed of. It does so by separating compounds out into their individual components. This process is essential for many different aspects of the modern world, such as creating vaccines and drug testing.

There are various types of equipment and methods that perform chromatography, including HPLC. Short for high-performance liquid chromatography, HPLC is used in most laboratories around the world. But what is HPLC best used for, and how does it work?

What Is HPLC?

HPLC is an improved form of column chromatography and is widely used in laboratories. Column chromatography involves moving drops of solvent through a column filled with a solid adsorbent material. A pump forces the solvent through it must faster with high pressures.

Smaller particles can be used for the column packing material, which allows for better separation of the mixture’s components. Each component interacts with the adsorbent material differently, which is what causes them to separate.

HPLC Examples

There are a few different types of HPLC columns used in the process.

The two most common types of HPLC tests are normal-phase and reversed-phase. Normal-phase HPLC uses polarized silica particles, while reversed-phase uses non-polar silica.

Ion exchange HPLC columns are used for more easily ionized compounds. Molecules are separated based on the attractive ionic force between them and the charged stationary phase.

Size-exclusion HPLC columns use a porous stationary phase to separate components according to size. They use a combination of polymers like polysaccharides and silica. The larger molecules elute before the smaller molecules do.

Background of HPLC in Chemistry

Before HPLC, scientists used other liquid chromatographic techniques in order to separate out solutions. However, these separations could take hours, if not days to complete. The first design of the current systems used was created in the 70s.

What is HPLC used for in current times?

Now, you can find it in a variety of different laboratory settings. You can HPLC to determine cholesterol in food. It can also be used to analyze samples that can’t be analyzed by other methods.

The Best HPLC Equipment

When running high-performance liquid chromatography, you’ll choose a column based on the nature of the compound you’re analyzing. They accept multiple injections and are washable with organic solvents.

Chrom Tech offers a wide range of HPLC vials to use with most autosamplers and mass spectrometry applications. There are also limited-volume vials for small volume applications. It’s important to pair up the vials with the right inserts so they sit properly inside.

Using HPLC Tests

What is HPLC for labs of the modern age? HPLC labs offer an improvement in sample delivery and self-cleaning over other alternatives. It saves time overall without compromising on the results.

Even in a mixture, HPLC can separate and detect target components. Samples don’t need to get vaporized to achieve analysis, unlike a GC column.

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