Packed columns have higher sample capacity than capillary
columns, although the difference has been greatly reduced by
the large-bore 530µm capillaries invented by Agilent.
Improvements in detector sensitivity have also reduced the
need for large samples. The one area in which packed columns
may have an advantage is in analysis of gas samples.
For almost all other samples, capillaries provide much
better efficiency (narrow peaks) which leads to greatly
improved peak separation. In fact, the separating power is
so great that many analyses can be done on surprisingly
short columns in very brief runs. This time saving
translates directly into reduced turnaround time and
increased sample throughput.
For new or updated methods, we recommend capillary columns
unless there is some overwhelming reason for using packed
Packed columns are more durable, has higher sample capacity
(Sample load) ,more phase selectivity, and has lower cost.
The disadvantages are larger amounts of bleed, smaller
number of theoretical plates/efficiency (i.e. separating
power for similar compounds is much low) and particle loss
into the detector. So it can not be coupled with MS or other
Capillary columns have the advantage of larger theoretical
plate numbers /efficiency /higher resolution and inertness.
They excel at low ppm to ppt level analysis. They are
limited in phase selectivity options but their low carrier
gas use to the detector and low bleed characteristics allows
Mass Spectroscopy and other sensitive detectors to be used
The use of bonded phases permits higher oven temperatures to
be used in applications.So capillary column withstand higher
column oven temperature compared of packed column.