Conversations About Chromatography
HPLC is a crucial technique in many application areas, but where did it all begin? And what lurks over the horizon? Sit back as we eavesdrop on a coffee break catch-up between separation experts (and long-time friends and colleagues) Peter Schoenmakers and Bob Pirok.
Peter Schoenmakers, Bob Pirok | | Longer Read
Peter: Hi Bob! The Analytical Scientist wants to get our thoughts on separation science - shall we talk now?
Bob: Let’s do it!
Peter: Sure. I guess I’ll start by saying that separation science constitutes arguable the most important group of techniques available to analytical chemists. These methods find a home in most application areas, but – as my job title indicates – I lend some focus to forensics. Separation techniques are uniquely important in this field… After all, DNA analysis also relies on these tools.
Bob: I couldn’t agree more. And, with the increasing volumes of data we are producing with such methods, my research focus – the interfacing of separation science with chemometrics – becomes ever more important. HPLC is a particularly robust and reliable technique across application areas, and our equipment demonstrates an incredibly low downtime.
Peter: Less than ten percent downtime, right?
Bob: Yes, and this compares favourably with our other equipment, such as our mass spectrometers. Overall, though, what I love about working in LC is the expertise and knowledge it requires. New challenges arise constantly, even for experts, and we are constantly provided with new puzzles to solve from industry.
Peter: Absolutely. And how do we keep our knowledge up to scratch? By visiting key conferences, like the annual HPLC meeting. I always take a number of students and postdocs to the event – it’s essential to get young scientists involved, and the culture for this group is particularly strong at EU meetings. And you also attend, Bob?
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