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In this article I discuss the optimization of solvent ratios to generate ideal Rf (retention factor) values on TLC plates. Then I show how maximizing efficiency of flash chromatography achieves higher loading with rapid and reliable isolation of compounds, reduced solvent use and improved separation.
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TLC is the tool most used for normal-phase flash chromatography method development. For many chemists, a solvent system of hexane (or heptane) + ethyl acetate is the first, and sometimes only, solvent system evaluated. Though often useful, ethyl acetate may not always provide the optimal purification conditions.
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