The Importance of Chromatography

The importance of chromatography can’t be understated in many fields. Whether for the pharmaceutical or food and beverage industries, or purely for research purposes in other fields, resin separation processes are essential.

Chromatography – A Quick Explanation

A chromatographic technique is a technique that’s used to separate inorganic from organic particles. This is done by using a fixed bonded coating and a liquid or gas that acts as the mobile phase, or the eluent.

As the compound that requires separating is placed in the stationary phase (bonded coating, solid, thick liquid, etc.) it slowly moves in the direction of the mobile phase.

The chromatography process relies on carefully chosen stationary and mobile phases for each of the analytes. That’s so that the analyte is guaranteed interaction with both phases and the separation can occur.

Types of Chromatography – with Examples

Liquid Chromatography

Its main use is testing various real world water samples for pollution. It’s can be used to test metal ions as well as organic compounds in solutions. It often involves the use of liquids with insoluble molecules.

Gas Chromatography

Gas chromatography often uses helium as the mobile phase to move other gaseous mixtures through a stationary phase made of absorbent material. Apart from comparing fibres in forensics, this technique can also be used in airport security and in identifying various drugs and alcohols.

Paper Chromatography

In this process, paper acts as the fixed phase. Through capillary action, solvents are pulled through the paper which helps separate solutes. This process can help separate amino acids, help with RNA fingerprinting, and even testing antibiotics, among other things.

Thin-Layer Chromatography

This is one of the best ways of testing the purity of an organic compound. For example, it can be used for testing the fibre composition in forensic sciences or for detecting insecticide and pesticide residue in food.

The method involves using plastic plates or flat glass along with an absorbent material.

Chromatography Sub-Types

Chromatography techniques are also categorised by separation mechanisms, and other special techniques. The previous four are the foundation of this mixture separation process but they’re far from the only ones available.

Advanced research laboratories that specialise in chromatography also provide additional techniques for niche industries and specialised resins.


Ion exchange chromatography is a popular technique of separating charged compounds based on their chargers. This works on cations, amino acids, peptides, proteins, and anions. Hence the two separation mechanisms – Anion-Exchange and Cation-Exchange.

Affinity chromatography is another subtype of the process. It makes use of the non-covalent interaction of very specific molecules and the analytes. It’s a highly specialised process that’s used in biochemistry and the purification of various proteins.

HPLC is a form of liquid chromatography. The HP stands for high-performance which indicates that the mobile phase (liquid) forces the sample or analyte at very high pressure. The column in the stationary phase is characterised by irregularities or porous membranes. This process also has its own subtypes, based on the polarity of the two phases.

Preparative chromatography is another example. Unlike other methods, this process is used to purify substantial quantities of a substance in order to have enough for further use. It’s not so much used for analysis and research purposes.

Why It’s Important to Work with World-Renowned Experts

Laboratories that can handle a wide variety of chromatography processes also know how to manufacture the resins, absorbents, and other fixed phases required in niche separation processes.

Many industries outsource to private laboratories either to do the separation and analysis of analytes or in order to purchase specific gels, gasses, absorbents, and resins.

The richer the portfolio of such a company the more expertise it has. Very few operate on a global scale but the ones that do usually provide a long-list of resins for use in research in any industry. From the food and beverage industry to bioresearch, to security and forensics applications.

Finding the Right Resin Is Mandatory for Analytical Purposes

Regardless of the field of research, having the right medium for the separation process is essential. With all the different types of chromatography processes in existence, it makes sense that a wide variety of specialised resins and other mediums are also available. Hence again, the importance of collaborating with experienced laboratories that cover all bases and offer clients and partners extensive portfolios.

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