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UHPLC and HPLC Compared

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. The interesting bit in all this is the fact that most of these, if not all, benefits looked forward in HPLC, actually became a reality when the UHPLC, Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography came in.

This is even looking at the fact that this column technology had proved the fact that column efficiency increased with a reduction in the particle sizes of stationary phases. By and large, in the conventional analytical separations, the particle sizes used would often be between the ranges of 3 and 5 nanometers. In most cases, the 2 nanometer particle size was deemed as a subpar barrier. But this was broken in years that followed and columns packed with the 2 nanometer particle size were shown. And this is what paved the way for the era of the Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography, UHPLC.

Going forward, before we look at the benefits of UHPLC over HPLC, we will take a look at some of the key differences that are between these two, UHPLC and the conventional HPLC.

As we look at these key differences, we start by looking at the column dimension differences. Generally speaking the UHPLC columns are often 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.

Talking of the key differences that you can expect from these kinds of columns, we have to take a look at their operating pressures and pressure capabilities. 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 is for the fact that they produce fewer peaks, which may be few seconds or less as compared to the conventional detectors which have lesser number of data points.
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