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Techniques & Tools Liquid Chromatography, Technology

(Practically) Perfect Predictions

When a separation scientist is asked to develop a new separation method for a group of target compounds, there are many decisions to make. What type of separation will I use (reversed-phase LC, hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography, ion-exchange)? What stationary and mobile phase? What about the precise separation conditions?

The usual first step in answering these questions is to consult the literature in the hope of finding conditions under which at least some of your target compounds can be separated. If the literature is silent, the scientist must examine the structures of the target compounds and then rely on prior training and intuition to deduce the approach most likely to be successful. Normally what follows is a trial-and-error process, where different chromatographic conditions are explored until eventually the desired separation method is developed. As many readers will know from experience, this can take a great deal of time and effort.

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About the Author

author Paul Haddad

Paul Haddad

Paul Haddad is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tasmania, and from 2001-2013 was the Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science. He has worked in IC for more than 30 years, with a special emphasis on the development of algorithms for computer- assisted prediction of retention times in IC.

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