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Talanta. 2000 Mar 6;51(3):579-86.

Optimising mobile phase composition, its flow-rate and column temperature in HPLC using taboo search.

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UFR des Sciences Médicales et Pharmaceutiques, Laboratoire de Chimie Analytique, Place Saint Jacques, F-25030 Besançon Cedex, France.


A chemometric methodology is proposed to study the separation of seven p-hydroxybenzoic esters in reversed phase liquid chromatography (RPLC). Fifteen experiments were found to be necessary to find a mathematical model which linked a novel chromatographic response function (CRF) with the column temperature, the water fraction in the mobile phase and its flow rate. The CRF optimum was determined using a new algorithm based on Glover's taboo search (TS). A flow-rate of 0.9 ml min(-1) with a water fraction of 0.64 in the ACN-water mixture and a column temperature of 10 degrees C gave the most efficient separation conditions. The usefulness of TS was compared with the pure random search (PRS) and simplex search (SS). As demonstrated by calculations, the algorithm avoids entrapment in local minima and continues the search to give a near-optimal final solution. Unlike other methods of global optimisation, this procedure is generally applicable, easy to implement, derivative free, conceptually simple and could be used in the future for much more complex optimisation problems.


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