5 Chromatography Lab Hacks

Chromatography equipment at Spex and Cole-Parmer
Chromatography equipment available from Spex and Cole-Parmer

Save time with these tips.

Chromatography takes time and patience, but we have a few tricks up our lab coat sleeve to help you save a little time. Check out the hacks listed below and also find them in the Webinar: A Light View of Chromatography. You can watch this informative webinar on-demand for more information on the basics of chromatography and if you need more information on how these hacks fit into the chromatography workflow.

#1: Bottles leaking? Put a hole in them.

Lab bottles used for cleaning and topping off If you have squeeze bottles in your laboratory that are leaking or shooting out liquid on you, you can put a hole in it to stop it from leaking. If you put a small pin hole at the top on the spout, it will relieve a little pressure.

Note: This could be hazardous, so you want to keep these bottles under a hood. By putting the hole, you let gases and pressure in the bottle evaporate, so you want to keep the bottles safely under your hood.
Column used for chromatography
 

#2: Write the date and an arrow on your columns.

As soon as you take your column out of the box, use a permanent marker to write the date and place an arrow under the date to show what direction you will be using the column.

 

#3: Use the clock instead of the equation for finding real peak time.

Chromatography equation for finding the peak time on a chromatogramFind out how long it’s going to take for you to see data (or real peak) on your chromatogram by using the clock instead of the equation and save a boatload of time. Take an unretained peak like caffeine, inject it and watch the clock. The minute you see a real peak for that caffeine, then you know that is the first time you will see any unretained peaks. This becomes your dwell time. So, if it takes 2 minutes to see that real caffeine peak, then your dwell time for your setup, is then 2 minutes. Or, if you need to save even more time, use this chart below:

Peak chart for chromatography

#4: Need a starting wavelength for analysis? Use the color!

Color chart for chromatographyWhen looking at UV/Vis absorbance, use the concept of complementary colors. When a molecule absorbs, for example, violet then the complementary color you will observe will be yellow. If a molecule absorbs a larger wavelengths in the 600 to 700 range, like red, the red is removed from your spectrum and what you will see is a blue or blue-green color. This can give you a feel for what kind of material you are working with. Of course, you must be sure of impurities in your sample because impurities can have very strong absorption for very different reasons, so you have to be cautious with color.

#5: Save time. Get your chromatography supplies from one place.

Shop spex.com or coleparmer.com for your chromatography needs.Chromatography products sold at Spex and Cole-Parmer

 

 

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Learn more about Chromatography: What is Chromatography and How it Does it Work?

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