A procedure is described for supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) of free fatty acids (lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic and arachidic acid) with either dry carbon dioxide or water-saturated carbon dioxide as the mobile phase and with flame-ionization detection. Seven stationary phases were evaluated with water-saturated and dry carbon dioxide under othewise identical conditions. The retention time for lauric acid with water-saturated carbon dioxide varied from 5.6 min (k′ = 8.7) for DeltabondTM Octyl to 23.6 min (k′ = 39.7) for YMC-Gel PVA-SilTM. The range of stationary phase polarity reported in this study should enable an investigator to adjust SFC conditions to resolution requirements for various solute mixtures. Water-saturated carbon dioxide improved the chromatographic resolution and sensitivity of all seven stationary phases, particularly of covalently bonded phases.
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