How to Reduce Acetonitrile Solvent Consumption

Acetonitrile for HPLC is used in many applications for a number of reasons including little interference in the short wavelength region in UV detection. However, the recent difficulty in obtaining acetonitrile is becoming a topic of concern.
Acetonitrile is obtained as a by-product of acrylonitrile. However, the amount of acetonitrile manufactured and stocks of acetonitrile are decreasing. The reason for this is said to lie in the fact that less ABS resin, the main raw material of acetonitrile, used in automobile component applications, for example, is being manufactured.
The following describes savings in acetonitrile solvent consumption - from minor savings that can be performed on a daily basis to major reductions that can be achieved by effective use of existing LC systems. Though optimum methods may vary according to analytical limitations and samples, please take the time to try these methods to reduce costs in analysis processes and help the environment.

1) Possible Daily Savings
(1) Switch over to methanol as the column washing solvent
(2) Reduce the amount of solvent consumed at pre-analysis conditioning and post-analysis shutdown
(3) Mix two mobile phase solutions even under isocratic conditions (for users of the gradient system)

2) Methods using existing LC systems
2-1) Switching the Mobile Phase from Acetonitrile to Methanol
2-2) Change to a Shorter Column

3) Effective utilization methods by modifying existing LC systems
3-1) Use of a Semi-micro Column: Use a column with a smaller I.D., and change the cell and piping to reduce the amount of solvent consumed.
3-2) Higher Speed: Use a smaller size column with excellent separation performance to shorten times.
3-3) Solvent Recycling: When peaks are not detected, return the solvent from the detector exit to the solvent reservoir to conserve solvent.

4) Upgrading an Existing LC System to One That Enables a Reduction in Solvent Consumption
we present three plans for upgrading an existing LC system to one that enables a reduction in solvent consumption.