Japanese scientists have demonstrated the first use of ionic liquids (ILs) as eluents for high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Hiroyuki Ohno at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology heated the ILs to reduce their natural viscosity and allow them to pass through the column. They showed that it was possible to separate a variety of biopolymers including cellulose which is notoriously difficult to dissolve.
This new technique will offer advantages in the separation of a wide variety of both synthetic and naturally occuring polymers, especially those that are not easily dissolved. Ohno also believes that High Performance Ionic Liquid Chromatography (HPILC) could be a powerful tool in not only characterising polymers but also studying dynamic processes such as polymerisation.
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