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Have a question about HPLC? Let Starlab help you
Date: 2016-12-30

Starlab have manufacture chromatography columns more than ten years with rich experiences and here we’d like to help you answer some frequently asked questions about HPLC columns. If you still cannot find the answer, our specialists may be able to help. We are just one email away:

Qs 1: If I am not sure which column to use and I cannot afford many columns, which column should I start with?  

Starlab supplies all kinds of HPLC columns for different applications, the most popular column is a Starlab C18 column. The column should be able to cover a wide application range, easy to give good result, and has a reasonable price.


Qs 2: What are the basic components for a HPLC system?  

A workable HPLC system must include a sampler, a pump, a column, a detector, and data processor (computer with software). An degasser and a column oven may also be used for better quality of analysis. Basically there are two types of designs. One is integrated design which build all the components into one box. The other type is modular design which allows swap and change of components after installation.


Qs 3: There are so many brands of HPLC available in the market, how do I judge which one is the best for me?

Although the specification and price are important, they should not be the only standard. For many chemists, the meaning of the specification may not be easy to understand. Sometimes the sales person may mislead you using their specification.  Here are some other items you may consider: a) feedback from other users

b) hands-on experience or an instrument demo

c) support capability of the vendor

d) cost of maintenance

e) possibility of future upgrade.

Qs 4: What are the important specifications for a sampler?

Reproducibility, range of injection volume, linearity over the injection range, and carry over. A good linearity is very helpful when your sample concentration varies a lot or when you want to make a calibration curve using only one or two standard solutions. The carry over property is very critical in trace analysis. Sometimes a very complicated washing program has to be used before each sample run to avoid carry over problem.

Qs 5: How to choose an equivalent C18 column for my HPLC?

The situation in HPLC column is quite different from GC columns. C18 from different supplier can give very different elution profile. This is because the silica properties, the carbon coverage and the surface area varies considerably.  If you want to be sure of the same elution pattern without changing the mobile phase, the column from the same manufacturer should be used. If you want to try a column of similar properties, you can look at columns that have similar surface area and carbon loading for the packing material.