Application Note: Analytical vs Preparative HPLC: what’s the difference?
The advent of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) has revolutionised analytical chemistry, greatly enhancing not only the speed of column chromatography, but also the separation and identification capacity of analytes…
HPLC setups employ a pumping device generating a gradient of different solvents, a column to separate solutes, and a detector to measure the absorbance of a wide spectrum of analytes including organic molecules, ions, polymers, and biomolecules. HPLC can be further classified into two main categories – analytical and preparative – which can be defined by the goal of researchers using this equipment.
The following is an overview of which applications are best suited for either approach as well as important differences to take into consideration when choosing equipment.
Analytical HPLC has impacted guidelines and standards set by the Food and Drug Administration. It is now standard practice for all companies to test the quality of their products by analytical HPLC before the product may be sold in global markets.
The development of preparative HPLC has helped alleviate the serious challenges surrounding compound synthesis and purification plaguing synthetic chemistry since the early days, where procedures were limited to distillation, crystallization, and extraction.
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