Pinnacle PCX


Pinnacle PCX Derivatization Instrument Pinnacle PCX
Derivatization Instrument

Part of the complete integrated system of instruments, chemicals, columns, methods and support from Pickering Laboratories.

The Pinnacle PCX Delta Series is an optimized HPLC post-column derivatization system for analysis of Amino Acids, Carbamates, Mycotoxins, Antibiotics and many other applications. This instrument is the culmination of Pickering designed to optimize the sensitivity and selectivity of post-column analysis.

Only Pickering Laboratories offers the complete package of chemicals, columns, methods and post-column systems. Because each part of the method is designed to work together, Pickering Laboratories can offer the extraordinary promise that the analysis is guaranteed to work for the intended application.

The Pinnacle PCX reflects the ease of use, reliability and ruggedness you have come to expect from Pickering Laboratories.

System Design

System Design Advancements Result in Optimized Analysis:

  • The electronic syringe pump provides true pulse-free flow for superior sensitivity and consistency. The pump cylinder and head is made from a single piece of inert ceramic for durability and non-reactivity.
  • Electronic valves eliminate troublesome check valves and allow automated pump flushing.
  • The quick-change reactor cartridge makes application switching easy and replacements quick and inexpensive.
  • The column oven utilizes circulating air for consistency of heating and quick cooling. Inert flow path extends system life and reduces maintenance.
  • The PCX control software allows for precise control of the reagent delivery and conservation.
  • Column oven temperature gradient programming improves separation and run times. Pinnacle PCX is the only post-column system with this feature. Inert flow path extends system life and reduces maintenance.
  • The PCX control software allows for precise control of the reagent delivery and conservation.
  • Works with any HPLC system.
  • RoHS compliant

Feature Highlights


Feature Highlights:


The Pinnacle PCX has a column oven capable of programmable temperature gradients. This feature is useful in Amino Acid Analysis by enabling additional flexibility when optimizing methods. Using the temperature gradient program allows for improved separation, shortened analysis time and fine-tuned methods for specific compound detection.

The Chromatogram in Figure 1 demonstrates some of the clear advantages of the temperature gradient program. Compared to the standard method without the temperature gradient the total run time is 42 % shorter. Additionally, separation is improved.

With the temperature gradient program, you are able to focus on different areas of the chromatogram for your specific compound of interest.


Figure 1. High-efficiency Lithium for Physiological samples using temperature gradient

 1 Phosphoserine
 2 Taurine
 3 Phosphoethanolamine
 4 Urea
 5 Aspartic acid
 6 Hydroxyproline
 7 Threonine
 8 Serine
 9 Asparagine
10 Glutamic acid
11 Glutamine
12 Sarcosine

13 α-Aminoadipic acid
14 Proline
15 Glycine
16 Alanine
17 Citrulline
18 α-Amino-n-butyric acid
19 Valine
20 Cystine
21 Methionine
22 Allo-Isoleucine
23 Cystathionine
24 Isoleucine
25 Leucine
26 Tyrosine
27 Phenylalanine
28 β-Alanine
29 β-Amino-i-butyric acid
30 Homocystine
31 γ-Aminobutyric acid
32 Tryptophan
33 Ethanolamine
34 Ammonia
35 Hydroxylysines
36 Ornitine
37 Lysine
38 1-Methylhistidine
39 Histidine
40 3-Methylhistidine
41 Anserine
42 Carnosine
43 Arginine
44 Glucosaminic Acid*
45 2-Aminoethyl-cysteine (AEC)*


*Internal Standard






Pinnacle PCX Specifications

  • Dimensions: (h x w x d): 54 x 26.7 x 46.4 cm
  • (21.25 x 10.5 x 18.25 inches)
  • Weight: 54.4 lbs (24.7 Kg) – Duplex
  • Electrical: 100-120 V, 50/60 Hz, 1.7 A, 200 W or 200-240 V, 50/60 Hz, 0.8 A, 200 W
  • Mains voltage ± 10 % of nominal
  • Installation (over voltage) category II, pollution degree 2
  • Indoor use only
  • Environmental: Altitude up to 6500 ft
  • Ambient Temperature 15 °- 25 °C
  • Relative humidity up to 80 % at 31 °C

Reagent Pumps

  • True pulse-free syringe pump
  • Single piece ceramic barrel
  • Completely inert flow path
  • Maximum operating pressure 500 psi
  • Programmable flow rate
  • Flow range: 50 μL to 1500 μL/minute
  • Flow Accuracy 3 %
  • Flow Precision 0.5 % RSD
  • Refill cycle of 60 seconds
  • Automatic piston wash
  • Automatic reagent flush cycle
  • No check valves


  • Computer controlled
  • Windows PC with XP, Vista or Windows 7
  • USB connection or network


  • Heated reactor for temperature from 5 °C above ambient to 130 °C
  • Easy replacement reactor coil cartridges
  • Range of reactor dwell volumes; 0.1 mL to 3.5 mL
  • Reaction coil withstands up to 42 bar (600 psi) inlet pressure at 130 °C
  • Thermal safety switch limits temperature to 150 °C to prevent damage
  • Fast response


  • In-line check valve: Prevents reagent back flow into the column when HPLC pressure drops
  • Post-column system over pressure: A pre-calibrated relief valve opens at 35 bar (500 psi) to prevent rupture of the post-column reactor tubing in the event of down-stream blockage
  • Back-pressure regulator: Applies 7 bar (100 psi) to the detector flow cell outlet (waste) to prevent detector noise and precipitation due to out-gassing or boiling

Column Heater and Reactor Controller

  • Heater accepts up to 6 or 8 mm OD (0.25 or 0.31 inch) x 50-250 mm in length (column and guard)
  • Programmable temperature gradient
  • Power cooling capability
  • Temperature holds within ± 0.4 °C from the set point. Can be set with 1 °C resolution from 5 °C above ambient to 75 °C
  • Easy column access

Instrument Package and Flow Path

  • Advanced fluidics valve management system
  • Easy access to internal components
  • Standard fittings
  • Post-column pressure relief valve
  • Side panels easily removed for service access
  • Integrated reagent reservoir tray
  • Corrosion proof pan and panels


  • Backlit LCD
  • Real time temperature and pressure display
  • System status icons
  • Simple system control interface

Gas Pressure Manifold and Regulator

  • Panel mount manifold
  • Regulator maintains 0.3 bar (3-5 psi) on reagent reservoirs with 3-5 bar (45-75 psi) source pressure
  • Safety pressure relief valve opens at 1 bar (14 psi)
  • Manifold has two 1/4-28 tubing connections
  • Gas lines with anti-syphon valves

Pressurized Reagent Reservoir

  • One liter capacity (2 L reservoirs available)
  • Maintained under inert gas pressure to inhibit oxidation of oxygen-sensitive reagents
  • Valve built into reservoir cap permits sparging during reagent preparation
  • Reagent reservoirs fitted with 3.1 mm (1/8”) OD, oxygen-impermeable Air Barrier tubing for oxygen-sensitive reagents

Pricing & Ordering

Pricing & Ordering

Pinnacle PCX Catalog InformationLogin for Prices

Catalog #


Reagent Pump

Reactor Volume



Amino Acids (OPA detection), Aminoglycoside Antibiotics, Biogenic Amines, Polyamines, Paraquat/Diquat


0.15 mL



240 V


Amino Acids (TRIONE® Ninhydrin detection), Ochratoxin A, Formaldehyde, Bromate


0.5 mL

120 V


240 V


Mycotoxins including Aflatoxins & Fumonisins


Knitted 1.4 mL

120 V


240 V


Carbamate Pesticides, Glyphosate Herbicide, Streptomycin, (OPA detection)


0.5 mL

120 V


240 V


Paralytic Shellfish Toxins


1.0 mL

120 V


240 V


Trichothecene Mycotoxins


Knitted 1.2 & 1.6 mL

120 V


240 V


Polyether Antibiotics


Knitted 1.4 mL

120 V


240 V


Pinnacle, Dual Pump, Custom Reactor Volume, 120V



Pinnacle, Single Pump, Custom Reactor Volume, 120V



Voglibose Analysis


Knitted 3.5 mL

120 V


240 V


Chromium VI


knitted 1.0 mL





Alprostadil Analysis


Knitted 2.0 mL




NOTE: Please contact Pickering for assistance in configuring a custom Pinnacle PCX that will meet your specific analysis needs.
All configurations include gas manifold, accessories, spares, reservoir(s), power cord and operation manual.