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How do I determine column void volume? - WKB28079

Article number: 28079


  • HPLC column
  • UPLC column
  • Void volume
  • reverse phase
  • normal phase


For columns with fully porous packings, use the formula  pi * (r)* L * 0.66.

For columns with superficially porous packings, use the formula  pi * (r)* L * 0.49.


This information is useful for chromatography methods involving a retentive mechanism like reverse phase or normal phase.

The formulas shown above merely reflect an estimate of the void volume of a packed column (interstitial volume plus the pore volume).

To understand what the actual column void volume is for a particular column installed on a particular system, you must make an injection with a compound that does not retain on the packing material. Once a void marker peak is injected, you can use the following formula to determine column void volume:

Retention time of void peak (Vo) * Flow Rate

Example: If an acetone peak retains at 2.32 min, and the flow rate is 0.85 mL/min, then:

Vo = 2.32 min  * 0.85 mL/min

Vo = 1.972 mL

Also see --> How do I calculate the empty column volume of a column?


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