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When should I use LC Passivation Solution

22 Sep 2022

As more analyses are being done for polar compounds, analysts are increasingly seeing the need to passivate their LC systems and columns for their analysis. We sell passivation solution as catalog #32475. While some situations warrant such a treatment up front before the analysis is attempted, other applications may be more of a “wait and see” scenario.

Analytes are often phosphorylated compounds like glyphosate, since they are known to easily chelate with metal in an LC system. Passivation is occasionally needed for other types of analysis also, such as for the antiviral drug Remdesivir. Some columns, such as Restek’s Raptor Polar X columns, are passivated prior to shipping, but usually LC instruments need to be treated also. 


(The above image was presented at the 2020 Environmental Measurement Symposium (NEMC), the NELAC Institute.)

If you are working with a phosphorylated compound and the system passivation does not seem to help your analysis, we suggest performing passivation for the LC system and the column (plus guard cartridge/column if you have one installed). If this still does not work sufficiently, please contact Restek Technical Service. We have found that some LC systems are easier to passivate than others, so there could be limitations in that regard.

It is also important to note that passivation is meant to be applied for a limited period of time. Continued exposure to these ingredients over an extended period of time, particularly if they are added to the mobile phase, can result in damage to an LC column. Please contact us if you find the need to apply the passivation beyond what is described in the instruction sheet.

Additional Resources:

  • LC-MS/MS Analysis of Glyphosate & Other Polar Contaminants in Food with an Ion Exchange/HILIC Column (video)
  • Antiviral Analysis: Remdesivir and its Metabolites (blog post)

We hope you find this useful and thank you for reading.