Title

Heterogeneity of the Adsorption Mechanism of Low Molecular Weight Compounds in Reversed-Phase Liquid Chromatography

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-8-2006

Abstract

The retention mechanism in RPLC mode was investigated based on the acquisition of adsorption isotherm data by frontal analysis measurements and their modeling. This work is a review of the results of four years of adsorption data measurements. The data were acquired on a wide variety of brands of C18-silica columns (from Akzo Nobel, Bishoff, Hypersil, Merck, Phenomenex, Supelco, Vydac, and Waters) with several low molecular weight compounds such as phenol (94 g/mol), caffeine (194 g/mol), tryptophan (204 g/mol), sodium 2-naphthalenesulfonate (235 g/mol), and propranololium chloride (295 g/mol). The mobile phase was a mixture of methanol and water at variable composition. The adsorption isotherms were all convex upward (langmuirian), and the degree of heterogeneity of the adsorption system was determined from the calculation of the adsorption energy distribution using the expectation−maximization method. The adsorption isotherm parameters (number of types of adsorption sites, surface concentration of each type of site, and difference between the adsorption energies Ei − Ej on sites i and j), obtained from the mathematical fit of the adsorption data to the appropriate multi-Langmuir adsorption isotherm model, were analyzed and compared. The results allow the drawing of general conclusions regarding the relationships between the size of the analyte and the adsorption properties (saturation capacities, adsorption energies) characterizing the retention mechanism in RPLC mode for neutral, anionic, and cationic compounds.

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