Have you ever wondered how substances in a mixture can be broken down and identified? HPLC can help you make sense of it. HPLC, or high-performance liquid chromatography, is a type of chromatography that helps researchers analyze the individual components of a substance. These substances can include food, pharmaceutical products, and many others.
But how do we take the analysis and make the process as fast and efficient as possible? If the time needed for analysis is minimized, costs can be reduced and researchers can get results more quickly. HPLC can be sped up without sacrificing quality. Here are three ways you can help speed up the analysis following your training.
1. One Technique is to Reduce the HPLC System’s Column Length
It’s easy to understand why the column is an important part of the equation with regards to HPLC, as an efficient one will likely show a better separation of the chromatogram’s various components. By reducing the length of the column, the necessary run time can also be minimized. Doing this can also increase the sensitivity, though it can also risk reducing the resolution. You can limit the size of the injection volume with isocratic separations, as well as limit the dwell volume with gradient separations. During your HPLC program, you’ll familiarize yourself with what exactly a column is, and how to have the most efficient one possible. You’d be wise to minimize the column length in order to limit the separation time.
2. Another is to Increase the Flow Rate of its Mobile Phase
Another strategy to help achieve a faster analysis is to increase the HPLC’s flow rate of the mobile phase. The faster the flow rate of its mobile phase is, the faster the time for analysis can be, and the more efficient the peaks can be. Furthermore, it can cause the theoretical plate number (aka the index determining the efficiency of a column) to decrease and also help produce rapid resolution columns, which reduces the necessary analysis time. However, keep in mind there’s also an inverse relationship between the flow rate and the efficiency of the column, which can decrease as the flow rate increases.
3. A Technique to Remember After Your HPLC Program is to Reduce Particle Size
Another technique to improve the speed of analysis to learn after getting your HPLC certification is to maximize sensitivity. Increased sensitivity can be achieved in part by reducing the size of the particles. Through limiting the particle’s diameter, you can increase the column’s efficiency as well as increase the linear velocity to achieve the minimum plate height. However, since the column’s pressure is inversely proportional to the size of the particle, a longer column size is more efficient in this scenario. Either way, you’re going to want to make sure your analysis has the most optimal possible resolution and efficiency, and tailoring the size of particles accordingly is one way of achieving this.
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