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Welcome to Separation Science


Separation Science is the leading global portal for fundamentals, best practice and troubleshooting information for users of chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques. Featuring articles, applications, webinars, workshops and conferences, Separation Science is the industry's 'go to' information resource.





Thermal Desorption-GC; Making VOC Measurements on Land, Sea and in The Air

Date:  Tuesday, 2 June 2015
Broadcast #1: 6 am PDT / 9 am EDT / 2 pm BST / 3 pm CEST
Broadcast #2: 10 am PDT / 1 pm EDT / 6 pm BST / 7 pm CEST 
Presenter: Alastair Lewis (University of York, UK)
Sponsor:  Agilent Technologies

The presentation will include a comparison of current commercial instrument analytical performance against the highly challenging international standards for VOC measurement that are emerging, and the potential breakthroughs possible with high mass accuracy MS and ‘big data’ tools in the future.

Method Development for Pesticide Screening in Food using a GC/Q-TOF with an Exact Mass Pesticide Database

Date: Tuesday 9 June, 2015
Broadcast #1 : 6 am PDT / 9 am EDT / 2 pm BST / 3 pm CEST
Broadcast #2 : 10 am PDT / 1 pm EDT / 6 pm BST / 7 pm CEST
Presenter: Dr Klaus Wilmers (CVUA-MEL, Germany)
Sponsor:  Agilent Technologies 

In this webinar Dr Klaus Wilmers (CVUA-MEL) will highlight the development of a pesticide screening method using a high resolution TOF system for routine GC residue applications in a food control lab. Starting with the development and the basic approach to use the GC/Q-TOF for the screening of targeted pesticides following the SANCO guidelines, an outlook is given to use the similar approach to search for unknowns.

What can breast implants tell us about bio-accumulation? Identifying pollutants in unusual matrices by GCxGC-TOF MS

Date: Tuesday 16 June, 2015
Time : 8 am PDT / 11 am EDT / 4 pm BST / 5 pm CEST
Presenter: Anthony Gravell (Natural Resources Wales, UK)
Sponsor:  Markes International

This webinar will firstly describe the findings from the investigation of river water quality by passive sampling and GCxGC-TOF MS. In an attempt to estimate the body burden of bio-accumulative substances, the sampling process was mimicked within the human body through the analysis of used breast implants.


Applying Best in Class Size Exclusion and Hydrophilic Interaction Chromatography Technologies to the Analysis of Glycoproteins

Presenters: Kevin Ray and Brian Gau (both Supleco / Sigma-Aldrich)
Sponsor: Supelco / Sigma-Aldrich

In this webinar you will learn about the use of orthogonal characterization methods for biotherapeutic proteins using high­throughput SEC and HILIC HPLC­-MS strategies.

Meeting the New European Commission Regulations for Dioxin Detection and Confirmation Using GC-MS/MS

Presenters: Dr. Esteban Abad Holgado (Department of Environmental Chemistry at the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research) and Dr. Cristian Cojocariu (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Runcorn, UK)
Sponsor: Thermo Fisher Scientific

In this webinar we present the results of several experiments performed using triple quadrupole GC-MS for dioxin analysis in food and feed samples.

Water Determination by Karl Fischer Titration - Variations of the Matrix for Difficult Samples

Presenters : Andrea Felgner (Sigma-Aldrich, Switzerland)

This webinar shows how this classic technique provides a reliable and truly practical method for the determination of water content, including the handling of difficult samples: improving dissolution of samples, eliminating side reactions, neutralizing pH influences.

Under Pressure: An Open Access Approach to Purification SFC

Presenters : David Dunstan (Novartis) and Michael Jones (Waters Corporation)

As an attendee, you will learn how best to implement an OA environment for use with purification scale SFC for the analysis of achiral analysis

Jet Stream Proteomics – Enabling Standard Flow Chromatography for Robust Discovery Proteomics

Presenters : Christopher Petzold (Lawrence Berkeley Lab, California, USA) and Christine Miller (Agilent Technologies, USA)

This webinar will discuss the details of Jet Stream proteomics for discovery workflows and how the robust nature of this approach impacts sample analysis.

A Day in the Life of a Food Contract Lab – Routine Metals Analysis in Food 

Presenter : Carlos J. Sepúlveda Ibarra (Agrolab México)

In this webinar the typical steps to obtaining precise and accurate quantitative metals analysis in a variety of food matrices by ICP-MS are explained. Total metals analysis including sample preparation, instrumental analysis and QA/QC reporting as well as final results will be discussed.



1st Advances in Forensics & Toxicology eSeminar

Sponsors:   AB SCIEX, Bruker, Gerstel

Separation Science, in collaboration with sponsors AB SCIEX, Bruker and Gerstel has developed an online eSeminar comprising a scientific programme covering key topics of analytical importance to the forensics/toxicology industries. This unique on-demand event brings together some of the leading exponents in forensics/toxicology analysis and provides an interactive learning environment for scientists working in these fields.

2nd Advances in Food Safety Analysis eSeminar

Sponsors:   AB SCIEX, Merck Millipore, Shimadzu, Supelco/Sigma-Aldrich, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waters

Separation Science and scientific partner LGC has developed an online eSeminar focusing on new methods and applications in food safety analysis. This unique event brings together some of the leading exponents in food safety analysis and provide an interactive learning environment for scientists working in these fields.

1st Advances in Enviro Analysis eSeminar

Sponsors:   Bruker, PerkinElmer, Supelco/Sigma Aldrich and Waters

Separation Science has developed an online eSeminar focusing on new methods and applications in environmental analysis. This unique on-demand event brings together some of the leading exponents in environmental analysis and provide an interactive learning environment for scientists working in these fields.

1st Quality by Design for Pharmaceutical Analytical Methods eSeminar

Scientific Partner:  Agilent Technologies

This seminar series, produced by Separation Science in collaboration with Agilent Technologies, features industry experts highlighting some of the key drivers for QbD as well as the ways QbD concepts can be applied to help ensure methods are rugged and robust.

1st Advances in Food Safety eSeminar 

Scientific Partner: LGC
Sponsors: Bruker, Gerstel, Supelco/Sigma-Aldrich, Waters

You will be provided with a good overview of chromatographic and mass spectrometric methods for the analysis of environmental and processing contaminants in food matrices, together with updates on new methodologies for monitoring and maintaining food quality and authenticity. Experts in these technologies will provide details on sample preparation strategies, liquid and gas chromatographic separation protocols and mass spectrometric detection, as well as highlighting current trends and emerging issues in this important analytical field.


Impact of GC Parameters on The Separation - Part 5: Choice of Column Temperature

In parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this series we focused on the selection of stationary phase, column length, ID and the film thickness. Besides the column specific parameters, there are three non-column specific parameters that impact the separation. These are the type of carrier gas, its linear velocity and the temperature of the column. Here we look into the effects of temperature on separations as shown in Figure 1.


HILIC Solutions #8: Column Equilibration in HILIC

It is matter of fact that the samples most chromatographers have to face are rather complex for sample number and compound variety. In these situations, gradient elution is largely preferred for the separation of analytes with different retention factors. In this way it is possible to narrow the peak width of the later eluted compounds and shorten the run time. In this article, the importance of column equilibration is considered for optimum efficiency.


Self-Paced Training


HPLC Basics, Equipment, and Troubleshooting

What does it cover?

“HPLC Basics, Equipment, and Troubleshooting” explains chromatography in practical terms from the ground up.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this online course:
• The basic principles of HPLC
• The five fundamental HPLC modes
• The easy and logical way to adjust experimental variables to get a good separation
• The best approach to use for various chromatographic applications
• How to maximize column life
• Special techniques such as gradient elution, quantitation, and sample pretreatment
• The operating principles of each module in an HPLC system
• Proven techniques for systematic problem-solving and instrument maintenance
• The most effective, timesaving, money saving approaches to preventing common hardware problems and method failures.

What will I get from this is course?

You will acquire a good understanding of the fundamentals of chromatography and learn simple tips and guidelines to make your chromatography work easier and more efficient. What you learn will demystify your instrument. You’ll find that all of the perplexing and frustrating problems your experience have simple and logical solutions. And, better yet, you’ll learn that most of these problems are preventable. The techniques you learn from this course will make you more effective at work and save you big headaches! If you’ve never taken a formal course or if you need a refresher, it’s time to learn HPLC the right way. Students tell us that this “extremely practical course” is a must for everyone who uses HPLC.

Advanced HPLC Method Development Using Quality by Design

What does it cover?

The central tenant of Quality by Design (ICH Q8) is that quality cannot be tested into a product – instead it must be designed into the product. When the product is an HPLC method, QbD strategies can guide the development process to result in a standardized method development prcedure, more easily validated methods, and methods that are easier to use and adjust in routine applications.
 “Advanced HPLC Method Development Using Quality by Design” is an intensive online class that teaches you strategy and technique to develop high-quality HPLC and UHPLC methods quickly and with confidence. You will learn a time-proven technique that walks you through the method development process a step at a time using sound chromatographic principles to help make the process more efficient. The techniques can be used as a stand-alone strategy or added to existing development procedures to help streamline the process. Because the same principles apply to HPLC and UHPLC, you can apply the same information for the development of UHPLC methods.

Introduction to Gas Chromatography

What does it cover?

The ‘Introduction to Gas Chromatography’ On-Line Tutorial is basic introduction to the theory and practice of gas chromatographic analysis. It is designed to bring GC users to a more comfortable and capable level of proficiency in instrument operation, optimization, and troubleshooting. Lessons are presented in a visually engaging and accessible manner through narrated on-line video presentations. In full recognition of the difficulty in setting large blocks of uninterrupted time for training; the lessons are presented in short segments that can be easily fit into even the busiest schedules.
• This course presents the basic processes and instrumentation involved with GC analysis.
• The level of material is specifically designed for GC users without extensive formal training.
• Applicable theory is covered to the extent that it helps guide best practices, method optimization and effective troubleshooting.

What will I get from this course?

Upon successful completion of the tutorial, trainees will have increased confidence and skills in using gas chromatographs. They will better understand how GC works, be more competent at detecting and diagnosing problems, and will be better at interpreting the quality of analytical results. In the end, trainees will be more capable and comfortable using gas chromatographs.

Intermediate Gas Chromatography

What does it cover?

The Intermediate Gas Chromatography tutorial is designed for GC users who have a fundamental understanding of how gas chromatography works and who are ready to develop a more in-depth understanding of the technique. As with the ‘Introduction to Gas Chromatography’ course, the ‘Intermediate Gas Chromatography’ course is organized into sections and modules. The sections focus on a given theme and the modular structure underneath exposes students to the information within time-effective sections. The ‘Intermediate Gas Chromatography’ course is a logical next step after completing the ‘Introduction to Gas Chromatography’ course.

What will I get from this is course?

Upon successful completion of the course, trainees will have increased knowledge and skills in development of gas chromatography methods. They will gain an understanding of both qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as expanding their skills to encompass areas such as fast GC, and further developing maintenance and troubleshooting abilities.

LC-MS/MS for Chromatographers

What does it cover?

With the introduction of the mass spectrometer (MS) as a practical detector for a high-performance liquid chromatograph (LC or HPLC) in the early 1990s, LC-MS began to be used for routine applications. One form of LC-MS uses a tandem MS (LC-MS/MS), that has become the go-to instrument for quantitative analysis of drugs in biological matrices in the pharmaceutical laboratory. As they have become more widely used and understood, LC-MS and LC-MS/MS have found their way into environmental applications, synthetic chemistry, protein analysis, and many other areas. LC-MS/MS has moved from a technique available only to skilled experts in both HPLC and MS to a routine tool usable much as any other HPLC detector. You will find that this introductory course in LC-MS/MS will give you a good foundation of understanding the technique and how to use it in your daily work. We start out with an overview of different MS techniques, and focus in the majority of the course on the quadrupole mass spectrometer. You will learn how MS works, how ions are produced and fragmented. Sections focus on qualitative, as well as quantitative analysis. Each part of the process, calibration, tuning, sample preparation, HPLC method development, and MS method development are covered. Many tricks and techniques of practical use are presented.

What will I get from this course? 

You will learn how a mass spectrometer works, the advantages (and limitations) of adding mass spectrometric detection to your liquid chromatographic analyses, and how to use MS to approach separation and detection problems intractable by other methods. By understanding the central roles of the LC-MS interface and the sample ion, you will have a solid grounding on which to further build your LC-MS expertise. You will receive a printed copy of the approximately 515 slides included in this course to supplement your note-taking as you view the class. 

Latest HPLC Solutions

HPLC Solutions #132: Resources #3: How Do I Validate a Method For...?

This is the third instalment of HPLC Solutions related to resources you should have at your fingertips when you are working in an HPLC laboratory (see also #130, 131). If you work in a regulated industry, such as pharmaceuticals, your HPLC methods likely will need to be validated. If you are using a compendial method from the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) or European Pharmacopoeia (EP) or other pharmacopoeial method, you may not have to validate the method, but simply demonstrate that it passes system suitability. If the method is modified sufficiently in transfer, it will need some sort of validation.


MS Solutions #28: Quality: The Third Side of the Analytical Success Triangle

As analytical chemists, we spend considerable time thinking about and working with basic scientific principles combined with the technology and products that allow us to solve our analytical problems. However, it is essential for success of any method and for the long-term success of a laboratory operation that our science and technology are supported by a quality system that ensures continuing achievement of our operational goals. We therefore present a triangle concept for analytical success: One side of the triangle shows our need to understand fundamental scientific concepts. A second, and equally sized side, is the ability to apply current technology, applications, software, and techniques in the laboratory. Finally, the base of this equilateral triangle is the quality system. If any one side of the triangle is given inadequate attention or, worse yet, is missing then we cannot hope to achieve overall success for the laboratory operation.



Mass Spectrometry On-demand

Sponsors:   AB SCIEX, Agilent, Bruker, JEOL,, Peak Scientific, Scientific Resources, Shimadzu, Supelco, Waters

Mass Spectrometry is a world-class international conference covering fundamentals, best practice and applications in mass spectrometry and mass spectrometry coupled techniques. The 2013 conference took place in Singapore, offering delegates the chance to learn from some of the world's top experts in the use of mass spectrometry and related techniques. The conference is now available as an on-demand online event providing access to this knowledge base to a wider global audience. On this site you'll find links to presentations given in Singapore which you can listen to on-demand from your own laboratory or office. Learn about the importance of the sample molecule when determining the correct method; discover how to successfully hyphenate chromatographic systems; and what are the pros and cons of the various MS interfaces? Discover how to interpret and understand the data you generate, and understand how MS can be applied to various analytical challenges across market sectors and industries.


Learn more about CORTECS solid-core particle columns, which offer particle sizes ideal for HPLC, UHPLC, and UPLC platforms. These columns are developed for a simple, seamless method transfer with consistent results across different particle sizes and column configurations.

Separation Science is pleased to announce the Chromolith® Technology Microsite. Click on the button below to find details of the educational content available on this site, including technology articles, applications, videos and online resources.


Separation Science, in collaboration with Phenomenex, has developed a microsite dedicated to issues surrounding the use of core-shell particle columns. In this section, you'll find articles describing some of the technology behind these columns, applications in small and large molecule separations, as well as a selection of videos and tutorials.