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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.




New Ultra Inert WAX GC Column Technology Improves Reliability of Inertness Performance

Presenter:  Ken Lynam  (Senior R&D/Applications Chemist, Agilent Technologies, USA)
Sponsor:  Agilent Technologies
Date:  10 & 11 May 2016
Broadcast #1: 10 May, 10 am BST / 11 am CEST
Broadcast #2: 10 May, 8 am PDT / 11 am EDT / 4 pm BST / 5 pm CEST
Broadcast #3: 11 May, 10.30 am IST / 1 pm SGT / 2 pm JST / 3 pm AEST / 5 pm NZST

GC columns with polyethylene glycol (PEG) stationary phases are commonly used for analysing compounds with polar functional groups. They are well suited for food, flavor, and fragrance applications, as well as industrial chemical analysis in quality control and method development labs. For active and complex polar compounds, flow path activity is of great importance. Downtime associated with troubleshooting questionable analytical data and replacing columns due to poor chromatography reduces lab productivity. Agilent’s innovative inert flow path components help ease the pain of working with active compounds in challenging analyses. A variety of applications and performance comparisons will be presented.

Critical Choices: Tips & Tricks for GC Methods

Presenter:  Tim Anderson  (Product Manager, GC, Phenomenex, USA)
Sponsor:  Phenomenex
Date: Thursday, 14 April 2016
Time: 8 am PDT / 11 am EDT / 4 pm BST / 5 pm CEST

This webinar will cover a broad overview of common injection, column selection, and method optimization choices that occur in the gas chromatography process from injection to detection. Best practices and approaches for improving GC methods will be discussed. A variety of typical choices and associated approaches to method decision-making will be covered, including commentary on injection types, column selection recommendations, and method parameters with application examples.

Applying ICP-MS to Speciation and Quantitative Analysis of Arsenic in Foodstuffs and Beverages

Presenters:  Dr Antonio Signes-Pastor (Queens University Belfast, UK) & Simon Nelms (Thermo Fisher Scientific, UK)
Sponsor:  Thermo Fisher Scientific
Date: Monday, 18 April 2016
Time: 7 am PDT / 10 am EDT / 3 pm BST / 4 pm CEST

In this webinar, the latest developments in arsenic speciation using IC-ICP-MS will be discussed together with an overview of total arsenic analysis using ICP-MS for a selection of food and beverage samples.


Reversed Phase Method Development: Retention and Selectivity of Biphenyl Stationary Phase Chemistry

Presenter:   Dan Shollenberger (Supelco, a division of Millipore Sigma)
Sponsor:   Supelco, a division of Millipore Sigma

This webinar explores the retentive character of a biphenyl HPLC column. Fundamental studies of selectivity will be provided to aid in elucidating retention mechanisms exhibited by the biphenyl stationary phase. These mechanisms will be compared and contrasted to traditional phenyl phases and standard alkyl phases to highlight the intermolecular interactions unique to the biphenyl chemistry. These attributes will be demonstrated in chromatographic applications that will facilitate method development strategies and utilization of the appropriate stationary phases to achieve robust separations.

Novel Approach to Sample Preparation for Pesticide Residue Analysis in Dry Botanical Dietary Ingredients

Presenter:  Katarzyna Banaszewski (NOW Foods, USA) 
Sponsor:  Agilent Technologies  

This webinar will discuss application of the new Enhanced Matrix Removal – Lipid SPE kit to the sample preparation for pesticide residue analysis in dried botanicals by LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS. Samples are carried through an acetonitrile extraction (QuEChERS based) and cleaned up using an EMR dSPE followed by a Lipid polish step. The aliquots are divided between LC- MS/MS and GC-MS/MS and analyzed for the total of ~500 residues. The webinar will highlight the versatility, time and cost effectiveness of using the EMR kit versus other sample preparation techniques for botanical matrixes.

Improved LC-MS/MS Pesticide Multiresidue Analysis using Triggered MRM and On-Line Dilution 

Presenter:  Dr Katerina Mastovska (Covance Laboratories, Greenfield, Indiana, USA) 
Sponsor:  Agilent Technologies  

This webinar will discuss development, optimization and performance of a large LC-MS/MS pesticide multiresidue method for separation of about 450 analytes within 10 minutes. The method uses so called Triggered MRM function, which enables acquisition of additional MS/MS transitions for increased confidence in analyte identification. Acetonitrile extracts (prepared using a QuEChERS-based extraction) are injected directly without a need for a dilution with an aqueous buffer/solution prior to the injection because the LC system employs on-line dilution ensuring excellent peak shape of early eluting (more polar) analytes. The method was validated for routine use in multiple food matrices. 



2nd Advances in Forensics & Toxicology eSeminar

Sponsors:   Gerstel

Separation Science, in collaboration with its sponsor Gerstel, has developed an on-demand online eSeminar focusing on advances in forensics & toxicology. This unique event will bring together some of the leading exponents in the forensics and toxicology industries and provide an interactive learning environment for scientists working in these fields.

UV-vis Spectrophotometric Analysis of Water, Food and Beverages

Sponsors:   Merck KGaA

Separation Science, in collaboration with Merck KGaA, has developed an online eSeminar focusing on the use and application of UV-vis spectrophotometry for the analysis of water, food, and beverages. This on-demand event provides scientists with updates on the latest issues faced by individuals working in these challenging analytical fields. This unique on-demand event brings together a selection of technology experts and provide an interactive learning environment and online resource.

Analytical Challenges for Biosimilar Development

Sponsors:   Agilent Technologies

Separation Science, in collaboration with sponsors Agilent Technologies, has developed an online eSeminar focusing on the analytical and bioanalytical challenges posed by the biosimilar development process. This educational resource will provide pharmaceutical and biopharmaceuticals scientists with updates on the latest issues faced by individuals working in this complex field by bringing together some of the leading biosimilar experts and providing an interactive learning environment and online resource..

Protein Analysis Methods for Biopharmaceuticals

 Sponsors:   Tosoh Bioscience GmbH

Separation Science, in collaboration with Tosoh GmbH, has developed and online eSeminar focusing on analytical methods for the analysis of proteins as part of the process of Biopharmaceutical development. This educational resource offers full access to a selection of presentations from leading scientists around the world, offering advances in methods and applications pertaining to this complex analytical field.

Advances in Analytical Methods for Biotherapeutics

 Sponsors:   PSS

Separation Science, in collaboration with PSS, has developed an on-demand eSeminar focusing on analytical and bioanalytical methods for the analysis of biotherapeutic proteins. This educational resource offers full access to a selection of presentations from leading scientists around the world, offering advances in methods and applications pertaining to this complex analytical field.

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. 


It’s All Made of Plastic!

‘Plastic’ has become something of a dirty word. It makes us think of trash and environmental pollution, inferior quality, mass-produced goods, and excess. But if you take a look around, you will realize that a lot of the objects that surround us – including those that we couldn’t live without – are also made of plastic.


Analysis of Gases via Gas Chromatography: Part 1: Nitrous Oxide

Gas chromatography (GC) is a technique that deals with gas separations. Practically the components to separate must be brought in the gaseous phase to be able to be transported by the carrier gas. In order to do that, the temperature of the sample and column can be increased. Today’s gas chromatographs can be used up to 500 °C, meaning that it is possible to analyse components with boiling points around 700 °C. The component must be thermally stable. This works fine for hydrocarbons but more polar molecules will decompose.


Product Showcase

Application Handbook: Clinical

With almost 140 pages, the new Shimadzu Application Handbook “Clinical” combines 47 real life applications and most advanced technologies and solutions for clinical research. All major analytical instrumentation methods are covered, such as chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy and life science lab instruments. The book is free of charge and can be downloaded (17 MB) at:


Intelligent Solutions for UHPLC / HPLC Method Development – ACE Method Development Kits

ACE Method Development Kits are designed to maximise selectivity – the key to resolution in chromatography. A complete range of kits for all requirements is available, including kits featuring porous, solid-core and bioanalytical 300Å particle columns. These kits group together the essential column chemistries for method development.


Markes International launches analytical chemistry awareness campaign

Markes International (Llantrisant, UK), in association with Exterion Media (UK) Ltd, is launching a major digital poster campaign to highlight the value of the analytical chemistry industry to society.


Videos demonstrating GC–TOF MS instrument control and data-processing software

Markes International (Llantrisant) has announced the release of a set of six videos explaining the key features of its TOF-DS™ software package.


Polymer-based SPE columns

Biotage announces the addition of new polymer - based SPE columns to their EVOLUTE ® EXPRESS range. EVOLUTE® EXPRESS is a novel family of plates, and now columns, that simplify polymer-based SPE by employing a streamlined three step protocol; Load-Wash-Elute. By using this approach and removing the conditioning and equilibration steps, necessary with traditional bio-analytical SPE procedures, processing and method development times are dramatically reduced without loss of analyte recovery or method robustness.


MIURA GO-xHT - A powerful clean-up system for dioxins and PCBs

Shimadzu is the official distribu­tor of the revolutionary GO-xHT clean-up system from MIURA Institute of Environmental Science. The GO-xHT targets dioxins and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) analyses of food and feedstuff. The combination with Shimadzu’s GCMS-TQ8040 triple quadrupole fulfills the new EU 589/2014 regulation on analysing dioxins and PCBs samples.


Latest HPLC Solutions

HPLC Solutions #134: Internal Standards: Part #1 – How Does It Work?

In the next few instalments of HPLC Solutions , we’ll look at several aspects of the use of internal standards (IS) in HPLC and LC-MS applications. The topic of this discussion is how an internal standard is used in quantitative analysis.


This series of three presentations, produced in collaboration with Phenomenex, will offer practical advice and guidance on the use of HPLC. The series comprises:

Part I: Understanding HPLC Particle Technology
by Jeff Layne (Manager, Product Management and Technical, Phenomenex, USA)

Part II: A Survey of Reversed Phase-HPLC Stationary Phases – from Selectivity to Applicability
by Jeff Layne (Manager, Product Management and Technical, Phenomenex, USA)

Part III: Basic HPLC Troubleshooting and Column Care
by Scott Krepich (Technical Manager, Phenomenex, USA)

UV-vis Spectrophotometric Analysis of Water, Food, and Beverages

Separation Science, in collaboration with Merck KGaA, has developed an online eSeminar focusing on the use and application of UV-vis spectrophotometry for the analysis of water, food, and beverages. This on-demand event provide scientists with updates on the latest issues faced by individuals working in these challenging analytical fields. This unique event brings together a selection of technology experts and provide an interactive learning environment and online resource.


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.