Zero electrical power pump for portable high-performance liquid chromatography
A major trend in analytical chemistry is the miniaturization of laboratory instrumentation. We report a pump requiring no power to operate based on the controlled expansion of a pre-pressurised gas for use in portable applications of high-performance liquid chromatography. The performance of the gas pump is characterised and integrated into a compact liquid chromatography system capable of isocratic separations integrating an LED-based UV-absorption detector. The system weighed 6.7 kg when the mobile phase reservoir was fully charged with 150 mL solvent and included an on-board computer to control the system and analyse data. We characterise the flow-rate through chromatography columns with a variety of geometries and packing materials for a range of pressures up to 150 bar. The maximum variation in flow rate was measured to be 6.5 nL min−1, limited by the resolution of the flow detector. All tests were made on battery power and results are a mixture of those made in the laboratory and in the field. Additionally, we performed a series of 1 m drop tests on the device and show the system's high tolerance to mechanical shocks during operation in the field.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Analyst Emerging Investigators