HPLC Columns

Types of HPLC Column

HPLC Column is a key piece of equipment in HPLC Chromatography. But what are they used for and what are the different types of HPLC column? Let’s take a look…

In HPLC chromatography, the HPLC column is where the separation of the sample takes place. This is where the sample is passed through the stationary phase with the mobile phase, resulting in the separation of the sample components.

As the sample being analyzed is likely to vary in terms of its chemical and physical properties, therefore so should the method used to analyze it. Hence why there are multiple types of columns. This also goes for the stationary and mobile phases being used.

As columns are so important to the chromatography process, it’s important you use the right type of column for the correct use, otherwise it can lead to inaccurate results or even failed separation.

Types of HPLC columns

Normal Phase Columns

Normal phase columns are used when the stationary phase is more polar than the mobile phase.

For example, in normal phase chromatography, the polar stationary phase (also known as packing material) could be silica gel and the less polar mobile phase could be hexane, or another organic solvent.

This type of column is commonly used for samples with small molecules, like organic acids or pharmaceuticals. It can also be used for biomolecules, such as glycosylated proteins.


Chromasol Onyx C18 HPLC Column

Chromasol ONYX C18 HPLC Column has octadecylsilane chemically bonded to 1.7µm to 10μm spherical porous pure silica micro-particles.


USP Listed L1
Bonded Phase C18
Particle Shape Spherical
Particle Size, µm 1.7,1.9, 2, 3, 5,10
Pore Size, Å 100, 150, 200, 300
Surface Area, m2/g 330, 176, 148, 110
Pore Volume, ml/g 0.80
C, % 19
End-Capping Yes
pH 2 -10
Temp. Limits Ambient to 90C

  • Chromasol ONYX C18 HPLC Column has better performance compared to couple of market Brands. 
  • Chromasol ONYX shows stable performance under acid or base pH (2-10) and elevated temperature conditions.

Reverse Phase Columns

Reverse phase columns are used in reverse phase chromatography, when the stationary phase is less polar than the mobile phase. In other words, the reverse of normal phase chromatography.

Water is often used as the mobile phase and common stationary phases are acetonitrile, methanol, and tetrahydrofuran (THF).

This method is more widely used than normal phase chromatography, as it can be used for a wide range of analytical applications.

Ion Exchange Columns

Column separation is slightly different in ion exchange chromatography. Instead of relying on polarity alone, this method uses charge to separate substances that can be easily ionised.

Typically, the stationary phase is an acid with either a positive or negative charge and the mobile phase is a polar aqueous buffer, like salt water.

In this type of column, separation occurs due to the attractive ionic forces between the molecules in the sample and the charged stationary phase. Each of the sample components will have a different level of attraction to the charged stationary phase, causing the components to separate at different rates as it passes through the column.

This method is usually used to separate carbohydrates, amino acids and proteins.

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