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Chromatography and spectrometry are important techniques that have many scientific, academic and industrial applications. Avantor® has a comprehensive range of equipment, products and services that can help you improve efficiency and outcomes in your laboratory.

Chromatography | Avantor


Products and application notes for chromatography in the pharmaceutical industry.

All the chromatography products and resources you need for your biopharma analysis.

An extensive offering of chromatography products for food and beverage testing.

A wide selection of preparative HPLC, LC and Flash products used for purification applications.

A large offering of chromatography columns, reagents, standards and more.

Shop for GC columns, liners, high-purity solvents, gas generators, septa and more.

With a wide range of products available for sample preparation you can find the right product for your assay.


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Chromatography is a chemical technique that physically separates a mixture into its component parts. It is a highly effective technique that is used in multiple industries, from food to pharmaceutical and across all branches of science. Often, it is the only way to separate components, down to the molecular level, from complex mixtures.

Liquid chromatography and gas chromatography are the dominant forms of chromatography. These broadly used techniques include multiple types of chromatography. For instance, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a fast, effective process used to maintain product purity and to separate different molecules- like drug APIs, proteins and nucleic acids. Ultra high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) takes this to another extreme, using very small particle size columns and instrumentation capable of dealing with pressures in excess of 600 bar.

Chromatography usually begins with a sample that has individual components that require separation and identification. Components in the sample can be of either solid or liquid origins. A sample mixture can be liquid (for liquid chromatography) or a gas state (for gas chromatography).

There are two phases in chromatography, the mobile phase and the stationary phase. The mobile phase either carries the sample mixture to the stationary phase or disrupts the sample mixture from stationary phase during elution. In liquid chromatography the sample should be compatible with the mobile phase. For gas chromatography the sample, when injected into the process, will convert into a gas—if the sample began in a liquid state.

With regards to the stationary phase, the sample mixture moves through a second material, often a silica based phase, which interacts with the sample analytes differently depending on their chemical and physical properties. This leads to a differential migration through the column which then separates the molecules that are subsequently detected by the system and show as peaks in a chromatogram.

Reversed phase HPLC separates analytes based on their hydrophobicity, while ion exchange is utilized for charged analytes. Other techniques include size exclusion chromatography SEC (GPC/GFC) which can separate molecules by size/shape and hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) which, like reversed-phase, separates based on hydrophobicity but is more commonly employed for biomolecules since it is a more gentle technique keeping protein structure intact.

Normal phase chromatography is used for more polar analytes as is hydrophilic liquid chromatography (HILIC). While more specialized types of chromatography can also be used for chiral molecules and very specific types of molecules can be retained and captured using affinity chromatography. 

What is chromatography used for?

Chromatography is both broadly used and highly versatile. It is part of the analysis, production and manufacturing processes in a variety of industries ranging from biopharma and healthcare to food and beverage.

Sometimes the purpose of chromatography is straight forward analyses. Testing food and beverages for quality and chemical exposure is very common.

However, because chromatography is used to both quantify and qualify, it has other uses. For instance, it is a well-established technique to analyze small molecule therapeutics and their related substances for characteristics like stability. This allows industries to change formulas, or storage methods, as needed to create better stability or longer shelf-life.

Often, the goal of large-scale liquid chromatographic processing is to extract or harvest a specific set of molecules or proteins to use in a biopharmaceutical product- like a therapy or vaccine. In vaccine therapies, chromatography is used at the discovery phase—to find the antibodies most effective at fighting a virus—and then again at the production phase when those antibodies are needed in quantity.

Because chromatography is so widely used, Avantor offers a wide range of products for the complete chromatographic workflow. Our skilled associates and quality products support multiple types of chromatography techniques at each step of the process, from the bench to the production floor.

Avantor is the Choice for Chromatography

Chromatography can be a complex technique whether you are doing straight forward analysis or large-scale biomanufacturing production. Avantor has the resources to make your chromatography projects run efficiently and effectively. From columns to elution buffers, Avantor has you covered when it comes to selecting the best products and technology for your specific application. We make sourcing simple and support you with our decades of expertise.

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