Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Chromatographic Coelution

  • Jason P. Dworkin
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_289-3



Chromatographic coelution occurs when two (or more) compounds do not chromatographically separate due to the fact that both species have retention times that differ by less than the resolution of the method. This can be solved by increasing the selectivity and/or efficiency of the chromatography or by employing different detection techniques that can differentiate the coeluting compounds. Changing the chemistry of the mobile phase, stationary phase, temperature, and column or plane length are good methods to increase the separation. Techniques such as mass spectrometry and optical spectroscopy are common ways to distinguish between coeluting compounds that cannot be resolved (Fig. 1).


Mass Spectrometry Mobile Phase Retention Time Stationary Phase Bioorganic Chemistry 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Burton AS, Stern JC, Elsila JE, Glavin DP, Dworkin JP (2012) Understanding prebiotic chemistry through the analysis of extraterrestrial amino acids and nucleobases in meteorites. Chem Soc Rev 41:5459–5472zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterAstrochemistry LaboratoryGreenbeltUSA