Supercritical fluid chromatography

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Science  21 Oct 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4621, pp. 253-259
DOI: 10.1126/science.6414083


Chromatographic separations with a supercritical fluid as the mobile phase were suggested more than 20 years ago. Availability of commercial hardware makes this technique more widely usable today. Many separations by this method are now carried out with supercritical carbon dioxide as the mobile phase and packed liquid-chromatography columns as the stationary phase. Although carbon dioxide has many practical advantages, including its near-ambient critical temperature and minimal interference with spectrometric detection, the use of other supercritical fluids or addition of modifiers to carbon dioxide may extend the applications of this technique. Some mixtures that are difficult to analyze by other chromatographic methods may be susceptible to separation by supercritical fluid chromatography. Mixtures that have been separated with supercritical carbon dioxide include resin acids with the empirical formula C20H30O2 and ubiquinones from bacterial cell wall extracts of Legionella pneumophila.