Feeling Lost in a Sea of C18s? Try the New USP Column Comparison Tool

With well over 500 available, it is easy to become overwhelmed when selecting a C18 column. Many chromatographers stick with what they know, and use the same C18’s for all method development work. I have certainly been guilty of this! However, very few C18 columns are exactly alike. With a wide range of physical properties (pore size, surface area, carbon load, silica purity, etc.!), the chromatographic behavior can vary greatly between columns. How can one select the best column, replace a column in an existing method, or validate on 2-3 ‘similar’ columns? The USP recently launched a great tool for comparing L1 (C18) columns. This is the result of a major effort to collect, organize, and allow access to analytical data on a wide range of manufacturer’s columns. First, select an L1 column, and a list of the 10 ‘most similar’ C18 columns will be generated. It is always a good idea to validate your method on at least two column brands, and the USP tool makes this much easier!

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