UHPLC, HPLC GC/FID, Dedicated HPLC and HPLC UV/DAD, comparison of Peak Resolution versus Analysis Time

Liquid Chromatography Cannabis Potency testing, getting the most out of your investment.

When choosing a LC system, outside of cost, two of the most important technical parameters specific to the LC system that are critical to making the right choice is peak resolution and sample analysis times.

Understanding the trade offs between the different solutions is imperative to getting the most out of your investment.

Analysis Time versus Peak Resolution?  

Analysis time:  Achieving a statistically accurate result takes accumulating multiple measurements of the same sample and accumulating measurement data from multiple samples out of a batch. Given the time it takes to collect all this data, depending on batch size, the total time adds up and can make for a long day in the lab. Consider using an Autosampler to automate analyzing a batch of many samples and eliminate many hours of costly labor.

Peak Resolution: Liquid Chromatography is all about the science and sometimes the art of compound separation. Factors that impact a detected compound peak resolution is mostly to do with the analytical method but also the performance of the system. Achieving good separation with high resolution will determine the ability to identify and accurately quantify each individual compound in the sample.

Analysis Time versus Peak Resolution:  The problem is analysis time and peak resolution do not easily, nor economically go together. A typical Ultra High Performance LC system (UHPLC) can achieve faster sample analysis times but at a significantly higher system investment cost. Inversely, some High Performance LC systems can achieve good separation and peak resolution but with the trade off of sample analysis times. With Dionamix HPLC Technology, this is not necessarily the case, learn more below.

Cannabis Analysis Challenge: According to renowned industry experts in the field of Cannabis research and testing, separating out the three cannabinoids CBG, CBD and THCV can be a difficult challenge.  Dionamix pushed the envelope on both analysis time and peak resolution using the L-3000 series HPLC system with a high pressure infusion pump, UV-Vis detector and an optimized analytical method to achieve fast analysis times with  high peak resolution. 

Here is the result achieved with the Dionamix L-3000. 


  Chromatography Peak Resolution versus Analysis Time

Dionamix L-3000 HPLC System

High Pressure Infusion Pump, Autosampler, Column Oven and UV-VIS Detector

Analysis Time: The Dionamix HPLC UV-Vis system (using THC-A as the reference point) in a little under 7.5 minutes.

Peak Resolution: Comparing THCV, CBD, and CBG compounds located between 3.0 and 3.75 minutes, the Dionamix L-3000 HPLC achieved very good peak separation.

Chromatogram Report

To get a perspective on what is the typical performance of leading solutions, including UHPLC and HPLC systems that are available, search the internet for the following articles or web pages:

  • Dedicated Cannabinoid Potency Testing in Cannabis or Hemp Products Using the Agilent 1220 Infinity II LC System.  Agilent publication 5991-9285-en-us-agilent.pdf.  

  • Separation for the Analysis of Cannabinoid Content in Cannabis Flower and Extracts.  Waters corporation publication 720006509en.pdf UPLC

  • Cannabis Analyzer for Potency Testing - Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).  Shimadzu Scientific Instruments 

Benefits of the Dionamix L3000 HPLC System

Considering analysis times versus peak resolution, the Dionamix L-3000 delivers fast sample analysis times and high peak resolution without having to make a cost trade off decision for a higher end typically configured UHPLC or HPLC system. 

In addition to the capital cost, another factor to consider is the operating cost. Generally the HPLC method is more forgiving in that the analytical procedure is less affected by small variations in method parameters. This, coupled with the HPLC technology and method being less complicated makes is possible for the sample preparation, operation and maintenance be carried out by a technician versus higher salaried chemist.   Another operating cost to consider is that UHPLC demands the use of highest quality solvents increasing the operating costs yet again.