Colin Poole

Colin Poole

Professor Emeritus


313-577-1377 (fax)

Chem 181

Curriculum vitae



Colin Poole

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

Analytical chemistry, separation science and data analysis


Our research interests are in the field of separation science, trace organic analysis, and computer-aided approaches to data analysis. These studies involve the application of gas, liquid, supercritical fluid, and thin layer chromatographic techniques to problems of an environmental, industrial and biomedical nature together with chemometric procedures for data analysis and modeling.

To support these areas we design and synthesize novel stationary phases; evaluate and formulate solvent interactions using chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques; construct models and optimize separations by computer-aided simulations; and design and construct small devices to be added to existing equipment to enhance their analytical utility. Graduate students in my group are exposed to a wide range of modern instrumental and chemical techniques on a frequently changing basis.

A significant proportion of our recent work has employed the solvation parameter model to study solvent-dependent behavior in chromatography. Initially the model was used to characterize the solvent properties of gas chromatographic stationary phases and more recently to predict breakthrough volumes in solid-phase extraction, and to model retention in reversed-phase liquid chromatography. The same approach has proven successful in describing and predicting the fate, distribution and toxicity or organic compounds in the environment. These studies provide a bridge between the chemistry of the environment and surrogate chromatographic models for their emulation. The group has considerable expertise in using chromatographic and liquid-liquid partition methods for the determination of descriptors (used as variables in the solvatation parameter mode) for compounds of low water solubility. For compounds of an environmental or industrial interest this allows a wide range of properties to be estimated to assess potential hazards.

As liquid chromatographic methods have matured, most of our research in this area has moved from instrumental development to methods development. A structure-driven approach to methods development has been successfully applied to solvent optimization in thin layer and column liquid chromatography using computer generated retention maps. Of fundamental significance, this approach has lead to new insight into the retention process and has replaced a number of empirical observations with a theoretical framework.

Chromatographic data can be very complex and difficult to interpret. Various computer-aided chemometric methods are being used for data analysis and the design of experiments using statistical techniques. These methods are incorporated into our on-going research using real samples to determine the botanical origin and authenticity of flavors and fragrances, and in the determination of polar pesticides in foods.


  • DSc, University of Leeds (UK), 1997
  • Ph.D., University of Keele (UK), 1972

Selected publications

  • P. Bernard-Savary and C. F. Poole. Instrument Platforms for Thin-Layer Chromatography. J. Chromatogr. A 1421 (2015) 184-202
  • C. F. Poole and N. Lenca. Green Sample Preparation Methods for the Chromatographic Analysis of Organic Compounds using Room Temperature Ionic Liquids. Trends Anal. Chem. 71 (2015) 144-156
  • T. C. Ariyasena and C. F. Poole. Determination of Descriptors for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Related Compounds by Chromatographic Methods and Liquid-Liquid Partition in Totally Organic Biphasic Systems. J. Chromatogr. A 1361 (2014) 240-254
  • C. F. Poole and N. Lenca. Gas Chromatography on Wall-Coated Open-Tubular Columns with Ionic Liquid Stationary Phases. J. Chromatogr. A1357 (2014) 87-109
  • C. F. Poole, T. C. Ariyasena and N. Lenca. Estimation of the Environmental Properties of Compounds from Chromatographic Measurements and the Solvation Parameter Model. J. Chromatogr. A 1317 (2013) 85-104