The Raptor Biphenyl blows away a conventional C18 in this gunpowder assay

Structures Apr2014 BlogBiphenyl propellants cgram Apr2014

A very enjoyable aspect of my position within Restek is the opportunity to work with an experienced and interesting network of chromatographers throughout Europe. This includes the talented scientists at ALSAC in Uppsala, Sweden, who recently evaluated a Raptor Biphenyl column in a customer assay of gunpowder materials. ALSAC (Addtech Life Science Applications Center) has a strong focus on applications/method development and education for their network of internal and external customers.

The target compounds, ethyl centralite (1,3-diethyl-1,3-diphenylurea, or EC) and 2N-Diphenylamine (DPA) are used as stabilizers in standard propellant. Quantitative determination of these analytes is routinely performed by QC departments after the production of gun powder. DPA can also be used as a pre- and postharvest scald inhibitor for apples. Both analytes are rather polar and insoluble in water. In conventional LC, they elute very early on a standard C18 column and are not well resolved, even with a complex mobile phase gradient. This makes accurate quantification very difficult.

Fortunately, we have LC column choices beyond a C18 for compounds of this type! Raptor (speed and efficiency with a superficially porous particle) and Restek’s own biphenyl phase (excellent aromatic selectivity) result in significantly better retention and selectivity. The end result is a fast assay with great resolution, using a simple mobile phase (0.1% TFA in water : acetonitrile) and short gradient program.

Many thanks to Ilya Zelikman, Ph.D., from ALSAC in Uppsala, Sweden for sharing this interesting project and data with us.

Learn more about Raptor™ SPP Core-Shell LC Columns


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