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C18 HPLC Columns and Their Properties

HPLC columns separate any compound into its components and C18 columns are widely used in chemical analysis because these have some unique properties.
Standards and success of any pharmaceutical company is determined by how professional chemical analysis are being undertaken. Chromatography remains the most important technique for identifying and analyzing a wide variety of chemical samples within pharmaceutical industries. The technique does not only help chemical analysis in scientifically analyzing compositions of various drugs during their development but also key in identifying compounds that may be unknown.

Chromatography, therefore, apart from helping in chemical identification, also ensures purity of chemical mixtures. Selection of the most suitable chromatography methods is of paramount importance for an effective, and efficient samples analysis. There are various types of separation systems. C18 is one of the most suitable systems you can consider for all your pharmaceutical analysis requirements. Exploring the working of C18 HPLC column will enable you to make a proper selection of an effective and efficient compounds analysis.
C18 HPLC Columns

What are C18 Columns?

Also referred to as ODs or reversed-Phase C18 Columns. This is a separation system that uses high performance liquid chromatography system (HPLC) with C18 as the main stationary phase substance. It is important to note that single stationary C18 phases will always be different from one C18 HPLC to the other.

The substance's molecule is composed of up to 18 carbon atoms. This implies that any variation on other types of atoms within the substance can easily point to a different substance.

C18 Column Specifications

  • Main substance: Hybrid silica which can be either organic or inorganic
  • Stationary component: C18 (in the form of USP-L1)
  • Percentage of Carbon-20%
  • Size of Particles that can pass through: 2, 3 and 5 micrometres (μm)
  • Pore size: 120 Å
  • Endcapping technology used: Multi-stage
  • Type of bonding: Polymer
  • Range of pH: 1 to 12

Package Material of C18 Column

There are diverse ranges to select from which include:
  • C18 silica bonded HPLC package 
  • Pro C18 Package- Hydrosphere C18 and Pro C18 RS
  • ODS series (ODS-M80, ODS-L 80, ODS-S80, ODS-1, ODS-AM, ODS-AQ, ODS-AL, 
  • PolymerC18 packages.

Which Package should You Select?

Each C18 package comes with its unique separation characteristics. It is, therefore, necessary that you keenly consider properties of compounds you need to be separated as a guide to making correct package selection. Details of your compounds' molecular weights will act as a guide in choosing a C18 package that suits your needs.

Reasons Why You Need C18

  1. Your cost per analysis will be much lower compared to other alternatives. 
  2. Being a hybrid silica formulated ODs column, it is durable with excellent performance. Durability property is due to its multi-layer structure which is composed of a non-organic silica-based layer, and an organic layer which is polymer-based 
  3. It is highly suitable for use under low pressure conditions. Through the use of modern technology called microreactor, the substance is homogeneous with highly uniform particles. This allows you to effectively conduct your analysis under low pressures. 
  4. They come in different sizes, and wide range of hydrophobicity making them suitable for separating, basic, and neutral substances. Your chemical tests and analysis is therefore not limited to PH levels 
  5. They are of different pores for different types of particles. You can therefore use them with a diverse range of chemical substances. 
  6. They display clear peak shapes for your quick analysis under all conditions. 
  7. By identifying key properties of compounds to pass through your C18 columns, you can easily select the best C18 with ease. 
  8. Compatible with both your current and older types of chromatography instruments. 
  9. Enhanced lot to lot reproducibility irrespective of which compounds you use. You therefore able to effectively handle complex compounds that may ordinarily be difficult to chromatograph.
  10. It is user-friendly and will always work for you all the times!
Selection of correct chromatography chemicals is a key decision for effective analysis of a wide range of chemicals. Understanding the key characteristics of the compounds you are working with are necessary for correct selection. C18 HPLC column will not only provide you with the precise result but will also enable you to work with a wider range of compounds. This will save you both time and money, and enhance both the quality and standard of your analysis. With a wide range of packages to select from, you are assured of getting what suits you most.

Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of pharmaguideline.com, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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