ISC 2024: Inspiring Innovation and Sustainability in Chromatography

by | Jun 3, 2024

Visit Liverpool to discover the latest breakthroughs and sustainable solutions in chromatography.

Set in Liverpool, the birthplace of John Lennon, the 34th International Symposium on Chromatography (ISC 2024) takes place October 6th–10th and has the theme of “Imagine, a World of Chromatography.” Founded in 1956 by chromatography communities from Germany, France, and the UK, the ISC is a premier European-based international conference covering all aspects of separation science. This year’s program showcases the widespread use of chromatography across various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, environmental science, food, flavors and fragrances, consumer goods, and more.

The event boasts a broad selection of lectures covering both the fundamental and cutting-edge aspects of separation science, highlighting new challenges and opportunities in the field. The focus is on innovative applications, with topics ranging from oligonucleotide analysis to sustainability. These diverse offerings ensure that every attendee will find multiple engaging and relevant sessions each day.

Opportunities for new and experienced chromatographers

ISC 2024 promises extensive learning, development, and networking opportunities for scientists, irrespective of their level of experience. These opportunities are complemented by social activities in a city celebrated for its vibrant cultural scene. Even if a topic isn’t directly aligned with a specific application area, the principles and applications being discussed can be relevant to a broad set of practices.

For more experienced separation scientists, the diverse and high-quality range of plenary lectures and speakers across a host of topic areas represents an ideal opportunity to update knowledge on novel approaches to analytical problems as well as the latest developments in analytical technology and methodology. The key combination of academic and industrial speakers ensures that advanced research and applied topics are represented, ensuring a vision of the future combined with practical information that can be applied as soon as attendees return to their laboratory.

Alongside the world-class speaker lineup and poster presentations, the ISC presents diverse learning opportunities for less experienced attendees. Through short courses and tutorials on topics such as supercritical fluid chromatography, multidimensional chromatography, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, it delivers robust development opportunities for those wishing to consolidate or expand their understanding of the fundamentals of separation science techniques. Unique events include roundtable discussions, flash-poster sessions, and ISC competitions.

On Saturday, October 5th, Professors Peter Schoenmakers and Dr Bob Pirok will conduct a fundamental separation science course at the University of Liverpool, essential for all seeking to deepen their knowledge. The course will be followed by short courses on practical liquid chromatography, multidimensional chromatography, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, and supercritical fluid chromatography the next day.

Poster sessions offer an invaluable opportunity for earlier career scientists to present their work and network with the wider analytical community. They provide insights into the application of their work and potential improvements or adaptations. The conference also incorporates a job fair, involving recruiter talks, career speed dating, and interview advice. There are numerous opportunities for hiring companies and potential new recruits to connect.

Another highlight is the selection of vendor exhibitions and talks, where both beginner and seasoned practitioners can learn the latest instrument and application advances from the companies driving the leading edge of science in the modern era.

Key themes and trends at ISC 2024

In alignment with the theme of “Imagine, a World of Chromatography,” the symposium program reflects the wide use of chromatography across numerous sectors. It will also include discussions on fundamental concepts and the latest technological advancements in separation science. The spotlight will be on emerging challenges and opportunities within the field, offering unique insights into the expansive realm of chromatography.

Plenary sessions will emphasize innovative and unusual applications, including chromatography in space (presented by NASA), separation science in art restoration (Maarten van Bommel), the use of AI in the analytical laboratory (Anneli Kruve), the increasingly important topic of sustainable chromatography (John Warner), and future perspectives in analytical chemistry (Kelly Zhang).

The invited speaker program includes topics on novel column formats (Gert Desmet), vacuum-jacketed columns (Fabrice Gritti), novel columns for nano-scale chromatography (Bo Zhang), and open-source sustainable chromatography (Gerdtrud Morlock).While the main program spans topics from oligonucleotide to petrochemical analysis and from chirality to sustainability, this diverse offering ensures that every participant will find multiple relevant and inspiring sessions each day.

A focus on sustainability

A key theme woven throughout the ISC 2024 agenda is sustainability. This topic influences a wide range of conference components and is the main focus of several dedicated plenary and keynote sessions. There are also two specific program sessions focused on this crucial issue. The symposium welcomes top experts in green analytical chemistry (GAC) and will facilitate a roundtable discussion to delve deeper into sustainable practices.

Commitment to sustainability extends beyond the program itself. The venue, ACC Liverpool, is advantageously situated close to major international transport links, reducing the necessity for further travel. The venue is well-connected to public transport, and attendees are encouraged to use these services through various incentives. What’s more, the ACC Liverpool holds a carbon neutral certification and operates entirely on renewable energy.

ISC 2024 organizers aim to reduce emissions throughout the supply chain, for example, by utilizing seasonal and locally sourced food for all catering needs and engaging in zero-waste-to-landfill practices. Other initiatives include donating leftover food to local charities, avoiding single-use plastics, and using harvested rainwater for 40% of flushing needs. All participants are urged to minimize their carbon footprint when traveling to the event and will receive tips on sustainable practices, such as bringing reusable water bottles, ahead of the conference.

After the event, a carbon measurement report will be shared with organizers of future events in Europe and will inform the planning of future UK Chromatographic Society meetings. By embedding sustainability in both theory and practice, ISC 2024 aims to lead by example in promoting environmental responsibility.

Attend ISC 2024 to learn, network, share ideas, and explore the exciting current and future technologies within separation science.

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Cover of PFAS analysis magazineThis article is featured in our June 2024 publication, Innovation and Sustainability in Modern Analysis. Find out about the latest innovations and sustainable advances in mass spectrometry, chromatography, and related techniques.

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