Correct column storage is a prerequisite for problem free chromatography and a long column life time. Normal phase columns should be stored in heptane/2-propanol or another inert solvent that is free from additives.
Reversed phase stationary phases should be kept in a mixture of water / organic modifier, free from any buffers or additives that might precipitate during storage. Thus it is recommended to wash the column whenever chromatography is going to be stopped for more than 15 min with water / organic modifier 50/50, independently on whether the column will be detached from the HPLC instrument or not. If chromatography is only to be interrupted for a couple of hours it might be less laborious to keep the buffer containing mobile phase running at a very low flow rate. If the column is detached, close the inlet and outlet with a screw in order to avoid the stationary phase to dry out.
All HPLC columns should be stored at ambient temperature (18-26°C), without risk for mechanical shock, preferably in the original column box.
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