Flash column chromatography has been practiced by chemists since the 1970s. That practice required the silica in the column be properly wetted to remove trapped gasses to ensure uniform flow (remember those days of not letting air into the column?). Today, with automated flash chromatography systems and pre-packed cartridges as the norm, chemists ask me – do I really need to pre-equilibrate my cartridge?
In this post I explore the impact on chromatography that equilibration, and lack thereof, has on separation performance.
Continue reading Flash column equilibration – is it a waste of time or necessary step?
For most organic and medicinal chemists flash chromatography is just another step in the synthesis work flow – react, analyze, purify, react, analyze, purify… until the final product is made. The desired product of each reaction, and the mixture of other species present are, of course, different with each cycle. Separating the desired compound efficiently without a lot of hassle is something I have written about in this post as well as in others in this series.
In this post, I’ve written about how that TLC (thin layer chromatography) plate you use for monitoring your reaction can be used to create reliable, efficient, effective gradients.
Continue reading How do I create an efficient gradient flash chromatography method?
In all my years of working with medicinal and organic chemists, I have found that choosing how many grams of silica to use for purification by flash chromatography is something frequently guessed at. Getting the size of the column right is awfully important because using too few grams of silica will doom your purification to failure and using more an optimal mass of the stationary phase means the purification consumes excess silica, solvents, and a chemist’s time. To determine the optimal amount of silica for a purification, I rely on a factor called ΔCV (delta Column Volume) to identify the best loading capacity on any cartridge. I have also found that ΔCV this is a better loading capacity predictor for flash purification than ΔRf.
Continue reading How do I Choose the Right Column Size for Purification by Flash Chromatography?