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ZirChrom Separations, Inc. is a company formed in 1995 located in Anoka, Minnesota, USA. ZirChrom manufactures a full line of zirconia-based high performance chromatographic materials for the analytical analysis of compounds primarily by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).


Silica gel, alumina or polymeric HPLC stationary phases, which are widely used today, are subject to poor performance under some operating conditions such as high mobile phase pH (> pH 8) and elevated column temperatures, respectively. Alternatively, zirconia is chemically stable over the entire pH range from 1-14, and is also thermally stable. Due to the toughness of zirconia, ZirChrom has adopted the rhinoceros as its company symbol.


The extreme stability of zirconia and its unique chromatographic selectivity allows for the optimization of separation conditions, which are totally incompatible with other types of supports. As with the more traditional HPLC supports, a wide variety of analyses may be performed including amino acids, peptides, proteins, nucleic acids (RNA and DNA), carbohydrates, pesticides, environmental samples, clinical samples and pharmaceuticals to name just a few.


Zirconia-based supports promise to revolutionize the way that liquid chromatographic analyses are done. These supports will last longer, and allow for faster more selective separations resulting in significant cost savings per analysis.


Porous Zirconia
Advantages of Porous Zirconia

Zirconia, or zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), is a metal oxide that can exist in a number of crystallographic and amorphous forms. The porous zirconia that is used for ZirChrom® columns is produced through the controlled polymerization induced aggregation of 1000 Å colloidal zirconia to produce monodisperse 3 micron porous zirconia spheres. These zirconia spheres are then sintered at temperatures reaching 900°C to produce a monoclinic crystallographic form of zirconia.

The primary advantage of zirconia over either silica or polymeric stationary phases is its extreme chemical and thermal stability. Unlike silica, zirconia is completely stable over the entire pH range and at column temperatures as high as 200°C. Unlike polymeric phases, zirconia does not shrink or swell as a function of mobile phase organic content or ionic strength.  It has very high mechanical strength and high efficiencies.  This extreme stability results in a column that may be cleaned under harsh conditions (acidic or basic), and also results in a longer column lifetime.  Long column life and stability translates to a reduced cost per analysis and a wider range of possible chromatographic conditions.  Zirconia columns can and should be run at your oven’s highest temperature. The column will remain stable, providing faster analysis, less need for organic modifier and decreased system down time due to pump maintenance. Also refer to Specific Advantages of ZirChrom-PBD Columns.

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