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Book Review Principles and Practice of Modern Chromatographic Methods. By K. Robards P. R. Haddad and P. E

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Systematic Separation
Principles and Practice of Modern
Chromatographic Methods. By K . Rohard.y, P . R. Huddcicl, and P . E. Jackson. Academic Press, London, 1994.
495 pp.. hardcover 35.00.-ISBN
Chromatographic methods of separation are among the most versatile and
powerful tools available to the analyst, especially when combined with detectors of
high sensitivity and selectivity. This is reflected in the f2ict that international book
publishers have supplied the market with
a wealth of material in this field, including
both general treatments and specialist
texts. So why d o we need yet another
book? The authors of this work aim to
reach “as wide an audience as possible”
ranging, for example. from analytical
chemists whose knowledge does not include all the most recent developments in
chromatography to scientists who work in
fields other than chemistry but need analytical data from chromatography. It is
also recotnmended that the book should
be used by undergraduate students; however. this is likely to be no more than wishful thinking in view of the meager treatment of analytical chemistry in many
university courses, at least in Germany.
The authors have set out to provide a survey ofthe whole field of chromatography,
including modern developments. They
have succeeded in this, even though they
have not been able to jettison all the unnecessary historical ballast. Inches and psi
appear 21s units in a few places, and the
retention factoi- k is still referred to as the
capacity factor k ’ . On the other hand,
topics such as supercritical fluid chromatography have been fully integrated in-
This \ection cmitaiiis book reviews and a list of
neh book?, received by theeditor. Book reviews are
uritten b> iniitiitioii from the editor. Suygestions
Sor hook5 to be I-evicwed and for book reviewers
ai-e w l c o i n e Publishers should send brochures o r
(bettcr) buok\ t o Dr. Illeilora Beckmann. Redakt i o i i Angcwmdlc Chemre. PostSxh
D-6945 I Wcinheim. Federal Republlc of German) Thc editor reserves the right of selecting
uhicli book\ will be reviewed. Uninvited books
not chosen lor i - ~ v i c ww i l l not be returned.
to the text. (However. the less common
name ethoxyethane instead of diethyl
ether strikes one as curious rather than
The chapters have the following titles:
1. Introduction and Overview; 2. Theory
of Chromatography; 3. Gas Chromatography; 4. Planar Chromatography; 5.
High-Performance Liquid Chromatography- -Instrumentation and Techniques; 6.
HPLC Separations; 7. Supercritical Fluid
Chromatography; 8. Sample Handling in
Chromatography. HPLC occupies 150
pages, and is thus given considerably
more attention than gas chromatography
with only 100 pages. Electrophoretic
methods are not covered at all.
The practical orientation and experience of the authors is evident in all the
chapters, and the whole text is full ofvaluable advice. In the theoretical chapter. for
example. it is pointed out that the quality
of a chromatographic system is not determined solely by the resolution and the
number of theoretical plates but also depends on factors such as column bleed
and the activity of the column. The authors must also be commended for their
clear warnings against misplaced faith in
the integrity of instruments: ”There is a
tendency to uncritically accept the output
from a computer system.” The need for
the analyst to use his or her experience in
manually checking the data from instrumental measurements is emphasized repea tedl y.
How successful have the authors been
in their ambition to write an up-to-date
survey? Let us take the chapter on gas
chromatography as a test example. The
first section discusses the carrier gas, including a reference to the pressure programming facility that is provided in some
modern instruments. The section on
sample introduction describes the currently used techniques. including the main
possible sources of error. In accordance
with modern practice, the use of a retention gap is recommended. Fourteen pages
are devoted to columns. including a mention of high-temperature developments.
The practical orientation of the treatment
is illustrated by the fact that this section
includes detailed descriptions of how to fit
a column into the gas chromatograph,
and of how to choose a column of the
correct dimensions. The treatment of stationary phases which follows provides a
good survey of the most commonly used
phases. However, the section on “Special
Phases” fails to mention liquid-crystalline
phases. Chiral phases are included. A
short section on the choice of temperature
is then followed by a discussion of detectors; those covered here are TCD. FID,
ECD, NPD, and F P D detectors. The
reader will at first be disappointed to find
no mention of other types such as massselective detectors. but these appear 20
pages later under “Ancillary Techniques”.
This section includes a miscellany of topics: derivatization techniques, pyrolysisGC, head-space techniques, multidimensional GC. high-speed GC, GC-MS,
and GC-IR. The atomic emission detector
is not mentioned. The description of
mass-selective detectors is limited to the
detection characteristics: there is no
explanation of the functioning of a
quadrupole mass spectrometer or of an
ion trap. Lastly. however, the authors
have not forgotten to include a practically-orientated section on “Performance
The 50-page chapter on ”Sample Handling” contains information that is rarely
found in this form in texts on chromatography; it serves as a valuable supplement
to the preceding chapters. With the exception of the microwave techniques on
which there is currently much research, all
the commonly used methods of sample
collection and preparation are described
in a clear and understandable way. The
final chapter then presents eight examples
of analytical applications with quantitative calculations, which are discussed in
The reader who works carefully
through the 500 pages o f this book will
gain a wealth of up-to-date knowledge
about the me of chromatographic methods. This can then be followed up in
greater depth through further reading in
more detailed publications. guided by the
comprehensive lists of references given in
the book.
Jurr A ndivxwn
Anorganisch-chemrsches Institut
der Universitgt Miinster (Germany)
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book, practice, method, modern, chromatography, hadda, robards, review, principles
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