A way to utilize eggshells is desired because most of the eggshell waste is disposed of in landfills. Despite eggshells having attractive features such as a thermodynamically stable porous crystalline structure, their effective utilization as a functional material has yet to be demonstrated. Herein, we developed an alkali-stable column packing material for reversed-phase preparative high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) based on eggshells. Nanocrystals and biopolymers present on eggshell powder were removed by surface treatment with buffered ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and sodium hypochlorite solutions, resulting in bare calcium carbonate with a uniform porous surface. The obtained particles were modified with poly(maleic acid-alt-1-octadecene) (PMAcO) having hydrophobic alkyl chains and anionic carboxylate groups. The prepared PMAcO-modified eggshell-based material was applied to an HPLC column, and its performance is evaluated. The column succeeded in the separation of alkylbenzenes, steroids, and diastereomers. It was also used for the separation of basic tricyclic antidepressants in an alkaline mobile phase, showing excellent retention capacity and alkali stability. This study demonstrates the potential of eggshell utilization, providing not only a practical stationary phase for HPLC but also a solution for recycling calcium carbonate-based biomineral waste.
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