Prediction of 1-octanol water partition coefficients for a range of polar N-PAC from HPLC capacity coefficients has been investigated. Two commercially available columns, an ODS column and a Diol column were tested with water-methanol eluents. The best prediction of log K-ow for N-PAC was achieved using a Diol column with an eluent of 35 % MeOH and 65 % water. The results indicate that the Diol column, in reversed phase mode, is able to form hydrogen bonds with a solute. Different LFERs between retention and log K-ow was found for polar and nonpolar compounds. In general log K-ow increased with size and log K-ow for N-PAC was 1.1-1.3 lower than log K-ow for the equivalent PAH. Shielding of the nitrogen atom in the N-PAC compounds caused an increase in log K-ow. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.