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Types of people who work with chromatography

Coming from Greek roots, "chromatography" roughly translates to "colour to write", and involves a set of techniques that allows for the separation of mixtures within a lab. It can be performed for preparative purposes, which allows you to separate materials for a different application. Alternatively, it can be performed for analytical purposes, which simply allows you to identify what a compound is composed of. Of course, since chromatography is used by so many scientists, it might be easier to consider the different types rather than who actually uses them. This way, you can make an informed purchase decision and select the right equipment to keep your lab on the track to success.
Gas chromatography

Also called gas-liquid chromatography, this type of separation occurs when the mobile phase of the reaction is gas. By using either a lower cost “packed” column or a more precise “capillary” column, this allows you to separate the substances effectively. The concept behind this operation is based on partition equilibrium. This type of procedure is often used in biochemistry, but it also found in applications like petrochemical studies, environmental monitoring, or in the field of industrial chemicals.

Liquid chromatography

A bit more commonly considered, liquid chromatography is when the separation technique results in a liquid during the mobile phase. With today’s technology, this technique has been refined somewhat in the form of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), which allows for some very precise measurements to be taken. Within this type of procedure, there are actually a wide variety of sub-types that can help affect what it is used for. Due to this, you will likely find that you are after liquid chromatography rather than gas. Of course, you also might need a more specialised approach.

More specialised applications

Another type you might encounter is reverse-phase chromatography. This can occur during liquid chromatography when the mobile phase is actually more polar than the stationary phase and thus requires more specific attention. When you are finding that it is difficult to separate a compound, you might also consider two-dimensional chromatography, which adds another level to the normal one-dimensional process and can help separate the components more easily. Pyrolysis gas chromatography is another one you might consider. During this chemical analysis, a sample is heated to decomposition to release smaller molecules. These molecules are separated using gas chromatography, but they are then observed using spectrometry.

Used by so many

Since this technique is used by so many labs around the world, getting chromatography equipment is fairly easy to do. Despite this, you want to be careful when you decide where to purchase the equipment from, as not all is made equally well. Whatever types of research your lab performs, make sure before you delve into chromatography your staff is completely up to date on the techniques and procedures so that everything is done correctly. Like anything else in the lab, this type of equipment does not come cheap, so you want to make sure you always care for it properly.

23 Feb 2016 11:46


About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as,,, Boris is the founder of and