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2013 Chromatography Columns Survey Results

The wide spectrum of columns available makes selecting this most important component of an LC system extremely difficult.

by Lab Manager

The wide spectrum of columns available makes selecting this most important component of an LC system extremely difficult. Column choices span normal phase, reverse phase, size exclusion, ion exchange, hydrophobic interaction, & affinity chromatography. One is hard-pressed to find a more innovative, selfreflective instrument market.

Top 7 Questions You Should Ask When Buying HPLC Columns

1. Based on your analyte(s), matrix, separation goals, and instrumentation, what column does the vendor recommend?

2. What benefits does this column offer over your current column? Performance, lifetime, reproducibility, etc.

3. How should you clean/prepare your sample prior to injection on the column?

4. How do you care for the column? Conditioning, cleaning, storage, etc.

5. What type of chromatographic media (fully porous, monolithic, core-shell) is going to provide the most benefit for your separation?

6. Do you need a unique selectivity (HILIC, polar-end capped, etc.) to separate any very polar and/ or nonpolar components in your mixture?

7. What column dimension is going to be most suitable for your loading requirement?

Top ten features/factors survey respondents look for when buying HPLC columns:

Technical performance of HPLC columns (e.g. peak shape) 97%
Ruggedness / durability of HPLC columns 93%
Lot-to-lot reproducibility of HPLC columns 88%
Initial purchase price of column 80%
Reputation of column manufacturer 71%
Specials and promotions 66%
Applications support 64%
Method validation / compliance support 64%
Column discount program 64%
Breadth of HPLC column offering (Selectivity) 62%

The HPLC separation modes being used by survey respondents:

Reverse phase 81%
Normal phase 47%
Ion exchange 37%
Hydrophilic interaction (HILIC) 32%
Ion chromatography 21%
Affinity 20%
Chiral 18%
Gel filtration (GFC) 17%
Gel permeation (GPC) 16%
Ion exclusion 14%
Other 2%

The columns currently used in readers’ labs:

Analytical HPLC Column 89%
Prep HPLC Column 26%
UHPLC Capillary Column 20%
Fused-Core Column 19%
Micro or Nano LC Column 14%
Other 5%

The types of columns used in readers’ liquid chromatography work:

Analytical scale (~4.6 mm dia) 93%
Narrow-bore (1 to 2 mm dia) 37%
Large ID (> 10 mm dia) 23%
Capillary columns (< 0.3 mm dia) 14%
Other 3%

The column phase(s) respondents are using:

C18 75%
C8 46%
C18 (polar endcapped) 45%
Silica 41%
Phenyl 38%
Anion exchange 36%
Cation exchange 31%
Cyano 29%
Amino 23%
C4 16%
Biphenyl 14%
PFP 13%
Other 9%

For more information on HPLC columns including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit

See the most recent survey results here