One of the things we cover in our Advanced HPLC Method Development course is the use of a "scouting gradient" to quickly (as little as 5-7 minutes with the right column geometry!) establish things like:
- can the separation be run on this column?
- if not, what to I switch to?
- if yes, can I do it isocratically or will I need a gradient?
- if I can do it isocratically, what's a reasonable %B to start with for method development?
- if I need a gradient, what are reasonable initial and final %B values?

We've actually put together a spreadsheet that does all the calculations:


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