Chromatography Lab | 8 essential requirements

Chromatography labs vary largely based on the type of chromatography method used.

They are designed in a way suitable for the particular chromatographic procedure.

But all the chromatography labs have some common requirements to ensure the sensitivity, reproducibility, and reliability in analytical results.

Since the chromatographic procedure is one of the mandatory requirements in some researches, it is necessary to provide a well-equipped lab for the long-term benefit.

An ideal Chromatography lab

Chromatography lab
Analyst placing samples in autosampler of chromatography equipment. (Getty Images)

1. Spacious room

Most of the modern and advanced chromatography systems have a good amount of spares and accessories to be kept in place. So Spacious rooms will benefit the ease of accommodation of chromatography. Further one performs many operations during the experiment like solvent degassing, filtration, etc. spacious rooms will beneficial.

2. Regular electric supply with backup

Most of the HPLC and chromatography instruments of advanced versions require a good amount and a steady supply of electric energy. Any power breaks during the experiment will lead to a restart of the entire procedure. So a power backup with an inverter if required has to be put up.

3. Good lightning facility

Since the procedure of operation is very systematic and tedious, good lighting is mandatory for the chromatography lab. Also, good lighting helps to view small parts of the instrument without any hassle and helps avoid errors and mistakes. This lighting should be preferably a white light-emitting minimal heat. For this one can use LED bulbs as they are more efficient, economic, and also less heat-emitting type.

4. Air-conditioned room

The sophisticated instrumentation used in chromatography is sensitive to temperature changes. High temperatures can affect the sample, solvent system, and column performance too.

Especially the spectroscopic detectors like the UV-visible detector, potentiometric and other detectors are quite sensitive and get heated up.

This heating of detectors can lead to abnormal detection and sometimes even dysfunction during the procedure.

Hence, the temperature has to be at room temperature as well as steady throughout the experimentation. For this many labs employ the air-conditioning systems. Further air condition ensures dust-free space leading to minimal accumulation of dirt in the lab.

5. Spacious workbenches

Workbenches or tables to accommodate the entire Chromatography instrument.

Chromatographic equipment is quite large and requires a proper place to install them.

Chromatographic procedures and methods also use a lot of utilities like the pipettes, syringe, sample tubes, beaker, and many more. The presence of big workspace is advisable to prevent loss due to spillage etc.

6. Dust-free room

Preferably kept airtight to prevent dust entry. Dust is one of the important factors which can lead to errors of chromatography instrumentation. To see that the chromatographic system functions effectively precaution should be taken such that dust does not accumulate on the floor, roof, walls, etc. Also, there should proper cleaning arrangements to remove dust regularly and airtight locking is needed.

7. Storage conditions:

Most of the solvents, materials, and equipment used in HPLC are expensive and of high quality. So they need to be stored very carefully.

Solvents need to be stored in proper shelves such that they do not evaporate to release their vapors into the air in the lab. Further, the mobile phase prepared sometimes need to be stored in cold temperature like -20 or less. This helps to keep their composition intact as well as prevent the growth of microbes.

8. Seating arrangements

Inside the lab, not more than 2 people should work on the chromatography system. For this, they should have minimal seating with just two or more rotator stools. Heavy chairs, sofas, etc. should be avoided in the lab.

9. Exhaust:

There should be an exhaust system to remove any poisonous fumes emitting out of solvents and chemicals used in the lab.

Besides the instrumentation, all the reagents, chemicals, and solvents used should be of HPLC grade for better performance.

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