What is Chromatography?
  • What is Chromatography?

What is Chromatography?

What is Chromatography?

Chromatography is a widespread analytical technique used for the separation and identification of components in a mixture. It is a powerful tool used in various scientific and industrial fields, including chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacy, food science and forensics. This article provides an overview of the principles, types and applications of chromatography.

Principles of Chromatography:

Chromatography relies on the principle of selective retention, where the components of a mixture are retained differently by a stationary phase and a mobile phase. The stationary phase can consist of a solid (for example a column filled with silica) or a liquid (for example a thin layer on a plate). The mobile phase is usually a liquid or gas that flows through the stationary phase.

Types of Chromatography:

There are several types of chromatography, including gas chromatography (GC), liquid chromatography (LC), and thin layer chromatography (TLC). In GC, the mobile phase is formed by a gas, while LC uses a liquid as the mobile phase. TLC uses a thin layer of adsorbent, such as silica or alumina, as the stationary phase.

Applications of Chromatography:

Chromatography has a wide variety of applications. For example, in the pharmaceutical industry it is used to check the purity of drugs and confirm the identification of active ingredients. In the food industry, chromatography is used to detect the presence of contaminants and food additives. In environmental sciences, chromatography can be used to analyze the presence of contaminants in soil and water samples. In addition, chromatography is often used in forensics to identify drugs, explosives and other prohibited substances.

Benefits and Challenges:

Chromatography offers several advantages, including high separation efficiency, sensitivity and selectivity. It is a versatile technique that can be adapted to different samples and analytical purposes. However, there are also challenges associated with chromatography, such as the complexity of sample preparation, the choice of the correct column or stationary phase and the ability to quantitatively analyze components.


Chromatography has become an indispensable technique in analytical chemistry and other scientific disciplines. It enables researchers and analysts to separate, identify and quantify complex mixtures. With continuous developments and innovations, chromatography continues to evolve and contribute to advancements in various fields of science and industry.