Superheated water has been shown to be a feasible medium polarity replacement for methanol–water or acetonitrile–water mixtures as an eluent for reversed-phase HPLC. Only moderate pressures are required to prevent boiling in the column or detector even at high temperatures, up to 210 °C. The separations of a number of phenols, parabens and barbiturates have been demonstrated on a polystyrene–divinylbenzene (PS–DVB) column with no degradation of the samples. The water eluent can be used with UV detection down to 190 nm. Water is cheap, environmentally friendly, it presents virtually no disposal costs and can be considered a clean alternative to conventional organic mobile phase solvents.
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