High-Performance Liquid Chromatography

An Overarching View Regarding High-Performance Liquid Chromatography

High-performance liquid chromatography previously recognised as high-pressure liquid chromatography is a process under analytical chemistry that separates, identifies and quantifies each ingredient in a blend. The process relies on a pump that is already infused with a liquid solvent. It absorbs the other contents once they are pushed down the column. Depending on each ingredient, it interacts differently with the existing liquid. This leads to a complete separation of components.

The role of HPLC is paramount in pharmaceuticals and biology products. They also use it in water purification and pre-concentration of trace components. The application of HPLC can be accomplished by quantitative and qualitative tests. The process facilitates the retention of compounds. HPLC differs from low-pressure chromatography as it occurs on higher pressures, while low-pressure chromatography relies on gravity to establish mobilisation of components.


Before HPLC, scientists used standard liquid chromatographic techniques. They were incompetent as the flow of components relied on gravity alone, and also it was time-consuming. Gas chromatography was more common in those days; however, it had its own setbacks. This resulted in the discovery of alternative methods.

Scientists believed that by diminishing the packing-particle diameter and intensifying pressure, they could give a significant push to the overall velocity. They subjected these predictions to intensive experimentation and refinement through the early 60s and 70s. The experiments started manifesting fruitful results. The discovery of ‘Zipax’ was a significant hallmark of development in HPLC.


HPLC is a process applied for separating liquids. It can likewise be used to discern the relative compounds in a mix. It operates on the same foundation as paper chromatography. A column is used, and the size of the column can differ according to particle sizes.

They suspend the mixture through the column at varying velocities and allow it to interact with the sorbent, which is known as the stationary phase. The sorbent is a substance that has the property of assimilating molecules of another substance by sorption. The most typically used solvents are silica and polymers because their granular material comprises solid particles.

The velocity of individual components in this mix is demonstrated by their chemical composition, the nature of the column and the composition of the mobile phase. The moment at which the analyte (substance whose chemical constituents are being identified and measured) rises from the column is perceived as its retention time. They measure this under peculiar conditions and regard it as the identifying trait of a given analyte.

The quality of these sorbent particles could be hydrophobic; ones that do not dissolve in water and polar; which is composed of oxygen or hydrogen atoms. The mobile phase utilises the combination of any miscible components of water and organic solvents such as acetonitrile and methanol.

The aqueous element of the mobile phase might hold acids such as formic, phosphoric or trifluoroacetic acids or salts that allow the separation of the sample components. They maintain the structure of the mobile phase either as a constant or as varied during this process. Having a constant approach is more effective for the separation of ingredients that are not highly varied in their propensity for the stationary phase.

The composition of the mobile phase varies from low to high eluting strength in the altered approach. That means the solvent extracts the components in a low to high manner. High elution strength is manifested by the analyte retention. They gather the composition of the mobile phase based on the evidence on the severity of interactions among several sample components and the stationary phase.

The HPLC partitioning process is like the liquid-liquid extraction. The dissimilarity is that the former is a repeated process, whereas the latter is a stepwise process.

Advantages Of HPLC:

1) It can manipulate the chromatography apparatus.

2) It can also contribute to data handling, security features, reporting and instrument validation.

3) It is vigorous and compliant.

4) It enhances productivity by handling all the areas of analysis- sample to the instrument and final results.

5) It is competent and economical.


1) The application of HPLC is myriad. It plays a very crucial role in pharmaceutical development, with its propensity for purification.

2) It is also used to analyse pollutants in the environment.

3) Using HPLC can determine the level of water purification.

4) It is instrumental in the isolation of valuable products.


The speed, efficiency, and accuracy of HPLC have presented it as a proficient technique. It is vastly transformed over the years but continues to deliver. Its medical usage is unparalleled.

Christophe Rude
Christophe Rude
Articles: 15835