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June 09, 2011


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Timo Niedermeyer

Perhaps the answer for this is much more simple...

Have you compared the prices for both the aquisition and the maintenance of an NMR spectrometer and an HPLC/MS? This is much in favour for the LC/MS system, you can buy and care for several nice systems for the price of one NMR spectrometer...

Have you compared the laboratory requirements in terms of space needed, floor stability etc.? You can put several LC/MS systems on the lab space needed for a NMR spectrometer, and you can put them on the top floor of an old building... ;-)
You don't need to dedicate a whole lab to the instrument.

And so on... ;-)

Best, Timo

Ryan Sasaki

Hi Timo,

Thanks very much for your comments, they are very well received. I definitely agree,and I was going to bring this up later when I discussed reality #3 in more detail. The cost is a major factor from purchase, to implementation, to maintenance,to support, etc.

A few years back Anthony Macherone spoke at our user meeting at the ENC Conference and made this very point. Link can be found here, and specific reference is in slide 5:


I guess the big question is whether this cost is worth the benefits of having better QC and higher library quality. It's a really difficult question to ask and I suspect this is one of the reasons why we aren't seeing more emphasis on NMR. A lot of companies don't have a great handle on the number of incorrect compounds in their library nor the risks/costs associated with having misrepresented compounds.


In my view, the most important factor in LC/MS vs. NMR is the amount of sample needed and the purity requirement for obtaining a meaning result.

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