Project Details Terminology for Separation of Macromolecules

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 December 2013
End Date:
Division Name:


To provide recommendations for terminology in relation to the separation of macromolecules and the corresponding techniques.

This project is an extension of project 2003-060-2-400.


Since the “Compendium of Analytical Nomenclature” – Definitive Rules 1997 (The Orange Book 1998) covers size-exclusion chromatography (Chapter 9.2.6) and other modern separation techniques in Polymer Science only insufficiently, there is the need to review and define the terminology relevant to separation of macromolecules.

The document in preparation deals with the terminology – a typical and genuine field of activity of the IUPAC organization – used in separation of macromolecules. When completed, it will include various separation techniques used in polymer science and go beyond size exclusion chromatography. Examples are, interaction chromatography (IC), chromatography at critical condition (CCC), temperature rising elution fractionation (TREF), field flow fractionation (FFF). These non-size exclusion chromatographic techniques have developed rapidly over the last 2-3 decades. Although the terms used in liquid column chromatography are the primary subject of this project, other related techniques such as TREF and FFF will be considered together in a separate section of the document.


Jan 2014 update – Besides ongoing mail contact, the decisive discussions will take place during the annual meetings of the Polymer Division on the occasion of MACRO2014 and IUPAC Congress/GA in 2015.

July 2014 – Project announcement published in Chem. Int. July-Aug 2014, p. 14; DOI: 10.1515/ci.2014.36.4.14b

Nov 2015 update – The task had a productive meeting during the GA in August 2015 and is now considering recent developments covering the field of non-chromatographic and non-size exclusion techniques to separate and characterize macromolecules in solution. In particular a recently published monography (Pasch/Trathnigg Multidimensional HPLC of Polymers, Springer 2013) has to be considered in the context of this project and incorporated in the list of terms. The Task Group will meet next during MACRO 2016, in Istanbul.

July 2020 update – The last version has been extensively discussed by the task group and the corresponding modifications are presently incorporated in order to produce the final draft as soon as possible.

Page last update: 28 July 2020