Talking of HPLC, High Performance Liquid Chromatography technique had some general benefits that all its users looked forward to with them and these were such as the fact of their high resolution, greatest sensitivity achieved with them and the analysis speeds that they resulted in. As a matter of fact, most of these benefits were made a reality when UHPLC, Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography, came into the picture.
By far and large, column efficiencies were known to increase with the reduction of the particle sizes. Looking at the conventional analytical separations, the particle sizes that were used would often be within the ranges of 3 and 5 nanometer sizes. In most cases, the 2 nanometer particle size was deemed as a subpar barrier. As a matter of fact, in the later years after these assumptions and earlier years to this edition of article, this barrier was broken and there were actually demonstrated columns that had particles with 2 nanometer particle sizes. And this is what paved the way for the era of the Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography, UHPLC.
As we seek to understand this better, we will be taking a look at some of the basic differences there are between UHPLC and the conventional HPLC.
As we look at these key differences, we start by looking at the column dimension differences. By and large, comparatively the UHPLC columns are shorter and narrower as compared to the HPLC columns. Analytical columns are in most cases up to 4.6mm ID by 250mm length while the UHPLC columns would be 2.1mm ID by 50mm long.
Another notable key difference there is between these two is looking at their operating pressure capacities. When we look at the operating pressure factor, we see the fact that the UHPLC columns as well still outdo the HPLC columns, as well known as the analytical columns, where in we see the fact that the UHPLC columns can handle pressures of between 15000 and 18000 psi while the HPLC columns can only handle such pressures within a system between 5000 psi and 6000 psi as their maximum limits. You can trust the pumps to handle such extreme pressure limits and these will not have as much damage and effect on the components there are in them.
We shouldn’t fail to mention the fact that the UHPLC columns as well have such better detection. This can be explained by the fact that the UHPLC columns produce narrow peaks, which are often a few seconds or less, as compared to the conventional HPLC or analytical separations or columns that have such a slow response and as such generate some sort of compressed leaks as a result of lesser number of their data points making them somehow inaccurate in their detection in the end.