Until the announcement for the application note discussed in this blog post came across my desk, I had no idea that cosmetics (among other consumer products) can contain the cationic surfactant benzalkonium chloride (link to Wikipedia page) as an antiseptic. A little internet searching and I also found that this chemical has been associated with allergic reactions in the skin, eyes, and respiratory systems of humans.
But, on with the reason for this particular application update: It describes a faster method for the analysis of benzalkonium chloride using a recently introduced surfactant liquid chromatography column (Thermo Scientific Acclaim Surfactant Plus column) plus a simpler mobile phase.
Compared to which method you ask?
The previous method, described in Application Note 237, Analysis of Benzalkonium Chloride on the Acclaim Surfactant Column by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography, (downloadable PDF) determined benzalkonium chloride homologs in a sterile elastic strip and eye drops using the older surfactant LC column (Thermo Scientific Acclaim Surfactant column) and UV detection. Our standard HPLC system (Thermo Scientific Dionex UltiMate 3000 HPLC) was used for the method development. The separations took less than 10 minutes for each type of sample.
Like what you are learning?
The updated method described in Application Update 190, Rapid Determination of Benzalkonium Chloride in a Cosmetic, (downloadable PDF) uses the new column mentioned above along with our rapid separation LC system (Thermo Scientific Dionex UltiMate 3000 RSLC system) and one of our mass spectrometers (Thermo Scientific MSQ Plus Single Quadrupole Mass Detector). The separation took less than 4 minutes.
By the way, this update was developed in our Shanghai Applications Lab.
If you are a scientist in the consumer products industry, or analyze cationic surfactants as a part of your work, and are looking for specific applications, do let us know in the Comments box below. Our applications chemists will be pleased to consider your request. We look forward to hearing from you!