Types of chromatography.
Types of chromatography


In this article, we will discuss about the different types of chromatography. Chromatography is an analytical technique that uses to separate mixtures on the basis of their distribution coefficient or retardation factor. There are different types of chromatography, classifies on the basis of stationary and mobile phase along with their interaction. Stationary and mobile phase may be liquid, solid or gas. We will discuss here some types of chromatography. We will also provide related references to understand the concept deeply.


Chromatography a versatile separation technique used in various scientific fields, including chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, and environmental analysis. It involves the separation of complex mixtures into their individual components based on their physicochemical properties. Over the years, several types of chromatography have developed, each with its own unique principles and applications. In this article, we will explore some of the most commonly used types of chromatography.



Gas chromatography a widely used technique for separating volatile compounds. It relies on the differential partitioning of analytes between a stationary phase (typically a liquid or solid coated on a solid support) and a mobile phase (an inert gas). The separation achieved based on differences in boiling points, vapor pressures, and affinities for the stationary phase. GC extensively used in environmental analysis, forensic science, and drug testing due to its high sensitivity and ability to separate complex mixtures.

Mechanism of gas chromatography.
Mechanism of gas chromatography


Liquid chromatography is a broad term that encompasses several subtypes, including high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ion chromatography (IC), and size-exclusion chromatography (SEC). In LC, the sample dissolved in a liquid mobile phase and passed through a stationary phase, which can be a solid or a liquid. The separation achieved based on differences in polarity, charge, or size of the analytes. LC widely used in pharmaceutical analysis, food testing, and environmental monitoring due to its versatility and ability to handle a wide range of sample types.

Mechanism of liquid chromatography.
Mechanism of liquid chromatography


Thin-layer chromatography is a simple and cost-effective technique used for qualitative and semi-quantitative analysis. It involves the separation of analytes on a thin layer of adsorbent material (such as silica gel or cellulose) coated on a glass or plastic plate. The separation achieved by capillary action as the mobile phase (a solvent or a mixture of solvents) moves up the plate, carrying the analytes with it. TLC commonly used in the analysis of plant extracts, drug purity testing, and forensic analysis.

Mechanism of thin layer chromatography.
Mechanism of thin layer chromatography


Affinity chromatography a powerful technique used for the purification of biomolecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids. It exploits the specific interactions between a target molecule and a ligand immobilized on a solid support. The sample passed through a column containing the immobilized ligand, and the target molecule selectively binds to it while other impurities pass through. The target molecule then eluted by changing the conditions, such as pH or ionic strength. Affinity chromatography widely used in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research.

Mechanism of affinity chromatography.
Mechanism of affinity chromatography


It is a relatively newer technique that utilizes supercritical fluids (such as carbon dioxide) as the mobile phase. Supercritical fluids exhibit unique properties, including high diffusivity and low viscosity, which allow for fast and efficient separations. SFC is particularly useful for the separation of thermally labile compounds and chiral compounds. It finds applications in the pharmaceutical industry, natural product analysis, and food science.

Mechanism of supercritical fluid chromatography.
Mechanism of supercritical fluid chromatography


These are just a few examples of the many types of chromatography available today. Each technique offers its own advantages and limitations, making it suitable for specific applications. The choice of chromatographic method depends on factors such as the nature of the sample, the analytes of interest, and the desired separation efficiency.


Skoog, D. A., Holler, F. J., & Crouch, S. R. (2017). Principles of instrumental analysis. Cengage Learning. https://www.scirp.org/(S(lz5mqp453edsnp55rrgjct55.))/reference/referencespapers.aspx?referenceid=2678907

Snyder, L. R., Kirkland, J. J., & Dolan, J. W. (2010). Introduction to modern liquid chromatography. John Wiley & Sons. https://www.scirp.org/(S(351jmbntvnsjt1aadkozje))/reference/referencespapers.aspx?referenceid=2054457

Sherma, J., & Fried, B. (2003). Handbook of thin-layer chromatography. CRC Press. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00764-022-00183-3

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