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ERIC Number: EJ827430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
If You Were a Molecule in a Chromatography Column, What Would You See?
Mattice, John
Journal of Chemical Education, v85 n7 p925-928 Jul 2008
To visualize what takes place in a chromatography column, enlarge the molecules to human size and expand the columns to keep the ratio of size of molecule to size of column the same. If we were molecules, what would the columns be like? A typical gas chromatography (GC) capillary column would be 50 x 10 [superscript 6] 6 km (31 million mi) long, have a diameter of 420 km (260 mi), and have a stationary phase thickness of 420 m (a quarter of a mile). A typical high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) column would be 3300 km (2000 mi) wide and longer than the distance from the earth to the moon. It would be packed with particles the size of Mt. Everest with a bonded stationary phase a little less than 4 m (12 to 13 ft) deep. Using this system, we explain how band broadening occurs as a result of resistance to mass transfer, multiple flow paths, and stagnant mobile phase. (Contains 5 figures and 1 table.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A