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How do I determine system dwell volume? - WKB50707

Article number: 50707


Determine the system dwell volume to aid in method transfer from one system to another in which the method is using a gradient. (The same measurement technique is used for the original and the target system.)


  • I-Class
  • H-Class
  • Method transfer


  1. If necessary, add an ultraviolet detector to the system.
  2. Replace the column with a capillary restrictor. (Restriction should maintain a minimum back pressure of 2000 psi for an ACQUITY system.)
  3. Prepare Solvent A (100% LC/MS-grade water) and Solvent B (100% LC/MS-grade water with 10 mg/L caffeine).
  4. Specify a flow rate of 1.00 mL/min.
  5. Solvent manager gradient at initial conditions is 100% Solvent A.
  6. Solvent manager gradient at 5 minutes is 100% Solvent A.
  7. Solvent manager gradient at 25 minutes is 100% Solvent B.
  8. Solvent manager gradient at 30 minutes is 100% Solvent B.
  9. Specify the channels to collect the absorbance data, including a trace of the solvent composition percent B.
  10. Set the ultraviolet detector wavelength to 273 nm.
  11. Run the method.
  12. On the chromatogram, do as follows: Determine experimental t1/2 – the absolute time at which the absorbance trace reaches 50% of the absorbance corresponding to 100% B.
  13. On the chromatogram, do as follows: Determine programmed t1/2 – the absolute time at which the programmed gradient reaches 50%. For the specified gradient, the time is 15 minutes.
  14. Calculate the time corresponding to dwell volume as follows: tD = t1/2 experimental - t1/2 programmed
  15. Calculate the dwell volume as follows: VD = tD x F, where F = flow rate in mL/minute.


For additional resources, see Dolan, John W. Gradient Elution, Part IV: Dwell Volume Problems. LCGC North America [Internet]. 2013 Jun.

1. [cited 2018 Oct]; 31(6).  Available from

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