Background - A third-year undergraduate chemistry project which involves the synthesis of mixtures of two dipeptide derivatives (4/6 and 5/7). At the moment 1H NMR is relied upon to determine the isomeric ratio, but a robust, fast, quantitative HPLC method is required so that this technology can be incorporated into undergraduate teaching.
As many of us who attended University are aware, NMR instruments are heavily used and put under severe pressure, with several hundred students and lots of academics.
There is also an increased cost incurred when using NMR over HPLC, as an FTE would usually run all of the NMRs, and instrument costs are larger too.
The benefits of using HPLC in University labs are several; with some method development work, a simple 5 minute method can be used to monitor the above reaction. This enables the students to attain the results during their lab session. It can also be a useful training exercise for students as HPLC is a heavily employed technique throughout industry.
The costs of running an HPLC vs. an NMR sample are significantly cheaper as well, passing on cost saving in several different areas.
Having both techniques available is the optimal analytical toolkit, but in terms of cost saving if you can use HPLC it is often beneficial.
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