<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Supercritical properties of co 2

Because of its widespread use in SFC, it’s important to discuss what makes CO 2 an ideal supercritical fluid. One of the biggest limitations to most mobile phases in SFC is getting them to reach the critical point. This means extremely high temperatures and pressures, which is not easily attainable. The best gases for this are ones that can achieve a critical point at relatively low temperatures and pressures.

As seen from [link] , CO 2 has a critical temperature of approximately 31 °C and a critical pressure of around 73 atm. These are both relatively low numbers and are thus ideal for SFC. Of course, with every upside there exists a downside. In this case, CO 2 lacks polarity, which makes it difficult to use its mobile phase properties to elute polar samples. This is readily fixed with a modifier, which will be discussed later.

Phase diagram of CO 2 .

The instrument

SFC has a similar instrument setup to most other chromatography machines, notably HPLC. The functions of the parts are very similar, but it is important to understand them for the purposes of understanding the technique. [link] shows a schematic representation of a typical apparatus.

Box diagram of a SFC machine.


There are two main types of columns used with SFC: open tubular and packed, as seen below. The columns themselves are near identical to HPLC columns in terms of material and coatings. Open tubular columns are most used and are coated with a cross-linked silica material (powdered quartz, SiO 2 ) for a stationary phase. Column lengths range, but usually fall between 10 and 20 meters and are coated with less than 1 µm of silica stationary phase. [link] demonstrates the differences in the packing of the two columns.

Schematic visualization of the difference between (a) open tubular and (b) packed column.


Injectors act as the main site for the insertion of samples. There are many different kinds of injectors that depend on a multitude of factors. For packed columns, the sample must be small and the exact amount depends on the column diameter. For open tubular columns, larger volumes can be used. In both cases, there are specific injectors that are used depending on how the sample needs to be placed in the instrument. A loop injector is used mainly for preliminary testing. The sample is fed into a chamber that is then flushed with the supercritical fluid and pushed down the column. It uses a low-pressure pump before proceeding with the full elution at higher pressures. An inline injector allows for easy control of sample volume. A high-pressure pump forces the (specifically measured) sample into a stream of eluent, which proceeds to carry the sample through the column. This method allows for specific dilutions and greater flexibility. For samples requiring no dilution or immediate interaction with the eluent, an in-column injector is useful. This allows the sample to be transferred directly into the packed column and the mobile phase to then pass through the column.


The existence of a supercritical fluid, as discussed previously, depends on high temperatures and high pressures. The pump is responsible for delivering the high pressures. By pressurizing the gas (or liquid), it can cause the substance to become dense enough to exhibit signs of the desired supercritical fluid. Because pressure couples with heat to create the supercritical fluid, the two are usually very close together on the instrument.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
Sham Reply

Get the best Physical methods in ch... course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Physical methods in chemistry and nano science. OpenStax CNX. May 05, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10699/1.21
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Physical methods in chemistry and nano science' conversation and receive update notifications?