Liquid Chromatography 101: Mastering the Basics

Scientists working in a laboratoryLiquid chromatography is a critical element in analytical chemistry. It is the best technique for separating and quantifying components of a liquid sample. Typically, if you need to analyze the different substituents of the fluid that you are manufacturing, you will require the help of a specialist in liquid chromatography. Here, the fluid will pass through columns with very minute and porous particles. A section of this column will, however, be on the surface to allow easy assessment of the process. This second sections also helps create a potential difference so that the different substituents can move through this column at different velocities. It is these varying velocities that facilitate the separation of the building components of the fluid in question.

However, the fluid chromatography procedure to follow will depend on the mode that you will be using.

The Modes

Liquid chromatography can be in various modes. Ideally, that includes size exclusion, normal phase, reversed phase, ion exchange, affinity and chiral chromatography. While you can use more than one of these modes in one chromatography procedure, most applications are simple enough that one mode will suffice. But, should the fluid whose properties you are evaluating have various substituents, you can apply several modes. Besides, you can use various modes to analyze aromatics in jet and liquid petroleum products. Also, you can refine or confirm your results by using one of these modes then compare the results when using a different mode.

The Pricing

Woman using the calculatorThe cost of liquid chromatography services will majorly depend on the size of the facility of the service provider. The quality of the equipment that they use will determine how the much work they can complete in a typical day. For quicker results, find a liquid chromatography specialist that not only has a large lab facility and state-of-the-art equipment. They also should have the training and experience to perform liquid chromatography procedures professionally. That will save you from spending on methods that will not yield accurate results, and fast. The shorter the turnaround time, the less you will spend on the service, especially if the rates are on a per-hour basis.


Petroleum distillates and aviation fuels require analyzing the aromatics in jet products to determine whether they meet industry requirements. You also can use liquid chromatography to quantify the amount of caffeine, benzoate and artificial sweeteners in beverages. With this technique, you can determine the particular components that the manufacturer does not list among the ingredients on their products. These include products such as drinking water, medical drugs, cleaning products, and liquor.

Since liquid chromatography only entails the separation of the substituents, the process is not destructive. Therefore, you can collect the different components from the results here to analyze using other methods. It, however, is crucial that you confirm that the products that you are analyzing are thermally unstable and non-volatile. It is only with such that you can get the best results from the physical interaction of the substituents of that fluid. Other non-volatile products on which you can use liquid chromatography are medical drugs, sugars, and processed vitamins.