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The weirest and most useless chromatography ever March 20, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.

A post about Teflon and stirbars on Carbon Based Curiosities made me think of my oddest separation.

“The Separation of Perhydro Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons by Normal-Phase HPLC”, J. C. Fetzer, J. Chromatogr. Sci., 31, 70-72 (1993)

In this paper, I utilized a super-duper polar/ charge transfer column, the tetranitroimidofluoreno phase, TENF) and a super-duper nonpolar mobile phase (perfluoroalkane mixed with an uncommon solvent to make things miscible (I think it was trichlorotrifluoroethane). The difference between mobile phase and stationary phases was huge.


How huge? You could not elute alkenes because they were too polar! The tiny polarizability of cyclohexane made it retain. Other fused saturated cycloalkanes eluted later, the more rings, the more retention.

It would have been fun doing polymantanes (diamondoids), but I did not work on those until a long time later.



1. Riyadh Al Malki - March 28, 2009

Hi John,

This is my first comment on your blog. I really liked all the articles that I have seen. Interesting testing conditions. It is nice to play with testing parameters which might lead to great discoveries, although it might seem useless to some people but who knows. We can not attach a pay check to all the testing we do. We have to experiment to learn.


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