Over the past several decades, the chemical industry has implemented process changes and updated practices in R&D and manufacturing in an effort to reduce liquid and solid lab waste. The pharmaceutical industry in particular has taken steps within their drug discovery labs to reduce solvent use by requiring their chemists to find and implement measures that achieve the corporate environmental goals without curtailing their productivity – quite the challenge.
This, of course, is always one of the first questions an organic, medicinal, or peptide chemist has when starting the research process for a flash chromatography system. Here at Biotage, we receive this question hundreds and hundreds of times a year, likely within the first couple of minutes of any conversation.
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Synthetic organic chemistry is the genesis of new pharmaceutical and commercial chemical products. In short, it is based on the idea that two or more carbon-based compounds can be forced to react using heat, or other energy source, to create a new, novel product – but this we already know.
This question is one that is increasing in frequency. Over the past 10 or so years reversed-phase flash chromatography use has increased dramatically. Likewise, reversed-phase preparative HPLC (RP pHPLC) use has also increased. Chemists need to know when to choose between the speed and low solvent use of flash column chromatography and the ultimate purification of RP pHPLC. With this as the backdrop, let me give you my thoughts on hot to choose between flash chromatography and when it is best to use RP pHPLC.