This review explores the usefulness of zirconia‐based materials in separations in biotechnology. The physical and chemical properties of zirconia are discussed briefly to familiarize the reader with the advantages of zirconia. The use of native zirconia is then examined, with a study of the Lewis acid/base chemistry that defines chromatography with zirconia. Modification of the zirconia surface with small molecules is then discussed. Finally, polymer‐coated zirconia materials are examined. Examples of separations using these various materials are shown. The advantages and disadvantages of each of these materials are presented.