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Solid Phase Extraction

SPE Cartridge (Tube) Configuration Guide


Choosing the Appropriate Bed Weight and Tube Size
spe tube sizeGeneral guidelines for choosing the appropriate SPE tube size and bed weight configuration are listed in this table. Optimal method parameters and hardware/ bed weight dimensions should be determined during method optimization and troubleshooting.

Bed
Weight
Tube
Volume
Mininum
Elution Volume
Bed
Capacity*
50-100 mg 1 mL 100-200 µL 2.5-10 mg
500 mg 3 mL 1-3 mL 25-100 mg
0.5-1 g 6 mL 2-6 mL 25-100 mg
2 g 12 mL 10-20 mL 0.1-0.2 g
5 g 20 mL 20-40 mL 1.25-2.5 g
10 g 60 mL 40-100 mL 0.5-1 g
* This value depends on the analyte and sample matrix. As a rule of thumb, the bed capacity can be estimated to be ~5% of the bed weight


Additional tips:

  • Smaller tube dimensions (1 mL) contain smaller bed weights. Smaller bed weights allow for reduced elution volumes which can be beneficial for sensitive analyses, and when further processing is required (e.g., evaporation)
  • 3 mL SPE tubes are the most common size dimension
  • 6 mL SPE tubes should be used when one or more steps in the SPE process require volumes greater than 3 mL. 6 mL tubes also contain larger bed weights (up to 1g) which offer greater capacity, and can be beneficial when extracting difficult to retain compounds
  • 12, 20, and 60 mL tubes contain larger bed weights and head space volume which offer greater capacity. This allows researchers to use SPE as a purification or modified LPLC/Flash technique