Table of Contents
Chromatography Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 898520, 6 pages
Research Article

Basic Principles of MLC

Àrea de Química Analítica, QFA, Universitat Jaume I, 12071 Castelló, Spain

Received 30 November 2011; Accepted 11 January 2012

Academic Editor: Samuel Carda-Broch

Copyright © 2012 Maria Rambla-Alegre. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Micellar liquid chromatography (MLC) is an efficient alternative to conventional reversed-phase liquid chromatography with hydro-organic mobile phases. Almost three decades of experience have resulted in an increasing production of analytical applications. Current concern about the environment also reveals MLC as an interesting technique for “green” chemistry because it uses mobile phases containing 90% or more water. These micellar mobile phases have a low toxicity and are not producing hazardous wastes. The stationary phase is modified with an approximately constant amount of surfactant monomers, and the solubilising capability of the mobile phase is altered by the presence of micelles, giving rise to a great variety of interactions (hydrophobic, ionic, and steric) with major implications in retention and selectivity. From its beginnings in 1980, the technique has evolved up to becoming in a real alternative in some instances (and a complement in others) to classical RPLC with aqueous-organic mixtures, owing to its peculiar features and unique advantages. The addition of an organic solvent to the mobile phase was, however, soon suggested in order to enhance the low efficiencies and weak elution strength associated with the mobile phases that contained only micelles.