High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) Waste
High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is an analytical technique used to separate, identify, quantify, and purify individual components of a mixture. This technique is very common in biological and chemical research. Purdue University has numerous HPLC units located in several laboratories around campus. Because organic solvents (e.g., methanol and acetonitrile) are used in the process, HPLC waste is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous waste.
Containers collecting HPLC waste must remain closed while the HPLC unit is in operation. It is neither acceptable to place a waste line running from the HPLC unit into an open waste container nor is it acceptable to use foil or Parafilm® as a means of closure (Table 1).
One of the following practices must be employed in order to comply with hazardous waste regulations for HPLC waste collection systems:
- Purchase an engineered container and/or cap designed for HPLC waste collection.
Table 2 shows several examples of acceptable solutions for proper HPLC waste collection that can be purchased.
- Modify an existing cap.
An existing cap can be modified by the research lab for HPLC waste collection. To modify an existing cap, a hole can be drilled into a cap. The diameter of the hole should be similar to the diameter of the waste line; there should be a tight fit between the container opening and waste line. In addition, a hole should be drilled to accommodate any exhaust filter or air valve tube that may be required. It is recommended that either a 4-liter container or 5-gallon carboy be used for waste collection. The modified cap should be replaced with a regular, unmodified cap once the container is full and ready for REM pickup. See Table 3 for examples of acceptable modified caps.
|Open Waste||Open Waste||Foil||Parafilm®|
|Safety Cans||Ported (no threads) Cap||4 Port (threaded) Cap||Solvent Bottle Cap|
|Exhaust Filtered||2 Line Carboy||2 Line Glass 4 L||Exhaust Filtered|
A container and/or cap designed for HPLC waste collection can be purchased by the research lab. There are several companies that provide HPLC waste accessories for purchase, a few are listed below: