Purification Applications


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Purification Applications - PURIFIC with PEAK HARVESTER
Application Type
Application ID
  Large Bed and Mini Purific Systems
  Purification Applications


LEAP's Approaches to Purification

General Description

The purpose of preparative-scale liquid chromatography is the isolation of materials conforming to a specified purity in the amounts that depend on the intended use of the product. Possible uses include the isolation of materials for structural elucidation, for biological or sensory evaluation (eg:DMPK), for organic synthesis (eg: drug discovery)or commercial applications. The scale of the operation includes laboratory, pilot plant and process-scale system. Process-scale separations will not be treated specifically in this section, since they represent a specialized area of chemical manufacturing and economic forecasting that the analytical chemist is infrequently exposed to.

From its inception liquid chromatography has been used as a preparative technique. Most chemist are familiar with the gravity feed glass column systems containing coarse adsorbent packings that are the main stay of laboratory practice. These low cost and easy to prepare and operate columns have many virtues. Not among them, however, are high resolution, short separation times and easy automation. When any of these factors are considered crucial then more sophisticated systems are required based on smaller particle sorbents with a narrow particle size distribution, that in turn are operated at above atmospheric pressure in the optimum mobile phase velocity range. These goals are best achieved using medium pressure and high pressure liquid chromatography.

Instead of gravity, a slight gas overpressure can be used to increase the sample throughput. This method is often called flash chromatography. Flash chromatography, also known as medium pressure chromatography, was popularized several years ago by Clark Still of Columbia University, as an alternative to slow and often inefficient gravity-fed chromatography. Flash chromatography provides a rapid (“over in a flash”) inexpensive general method for the preparative-scale separation of mixtures requiring only moderate resolution in amounts of 0.01 to 10 g depending on the difficulty of the separation and the column diameter (typically, 1-10cm).

When selecting the appropriate preparative-scale liquid chromatographic method for conditions requiring higher resolution or shorter processing times it is necessary to consider the intended use of the purified material. For example, 1-10 mg of a pure sample suffice for spectrocopic identification, while 1-10 g might be the minimum amount of an intermediate needed for a synthetic scheme. The amount of sample required dictates the size of the column and the operating conditions necessary for the separation. The simplest approach to increasing the amount of sample recovered is to scale up an analytical separation using the same column packing, column length and linear mobile phase velocity while increasing the column diameter. The analytical separation should be optimized to maximize the separation factor between critical peak pairs at the expense of a longer separation time to permit the use of higher column loadings before the bands overlap. If the sample loading does not exceed the linear region of the sorption isotherm the results obtained are easily extrapolated from the analytical separation. With most analytical instruments the largest column size that can be used is about 25 cm long and 2.5cm internal diameter containing approximately 65 g of silica or polymer-based packing and requiring an optimum flow rate of 10-15 ml/min. For larger columns special purpose preparative scale instruments are usually needed to provide adequate flow and pressure capacity. Also, for the isolation of the maximum amount of sample a different approach to analytical separations is required. Success will be judged by the production rate and recovery yield obtained. The production rate is the amount of the purified fraction containing the corresponding component at the required degree of purity per unit of time. The recovery yield is the ratio between the amount of the component of interest that is collected in the product fraction and the amount injected in the column with the feed. the object is to maximize the production rate and the recovery yield, which invariably results in operating the column in a overloaded condition, such that the conditions predicted from an analytical separation have no direct meaning in establishing the optimum conditions for the separation. In fact, column operation under nonlinear or non-ideal conditions is very complex and it is not as easy to predict optimum operating conditions in this case as it is for the less demanding, although less powerful, scale-up approach to preparative liquid chromatography. Several general reviews of high pressure preparative liquid chromatography are available as well as application reviews for specific compound classes.

The scale-up approach to preparative HPLC is quite straightforward and is the approach likely to be taken in an analytical laboratory that requires sufficient material for identification purposes or to purify an analytical standard on an occasional basis. Separations are carried out in the linear region of the sorbent isotherm, which provide an upper sample mass limit of about 0.1-1.0 mg/g of sorbent. Increasing the column diameter at constant column length increases the weight of packing, and therefor the sample capacity of he column, without dramatically influencing the resolution obtained if the mobile phase linear velocity remains constant. The loading capacity of a column and the required mobile phase flow rate to maintain a constant linear velocity are directly proportional to the column cross-sectional area. Thus, it is possible to calculate the scale up conditions from an analytical separation to a larger diameter column packed with the same material and operated at the same linear velocity as the analytical column.

The pump requirements for preparative separations differ from those in analytical HPLC as the ability to generate high flow rates at moderate back pressures is crucial to the efficient operation of wide bore columns. A flow rate maximum of 100ml/min with a pressure limit of 3000 psi is considered adequate. Few analytical reciprocating piston-type pumps are capable of reaching this volume delivery rate; some are capable of operating at 30-60 ml/min, which suffices in many instances; still others have a maximum delivery rate below 10 ml/min, which is barely adequate for any preparative scale use.

The mode of injection differs appreciably from analytical methods where the object is to create discrete narrow bands by point or narrow zone injection of low sample amounts. Point injection of a large sample (mass or volume) in preparative liquid chromatography would result in a local overloading of the column packing with a deleterious effect on column performance. To minimize this effect the sample should be applied evenly over the entire column cross-sectional area of the column inlet. If the sample moving along the wall takes more time to enter the column than the sample moving in the center of the column (laminar flow effect)and because the path length is longer and/or the average velocity slower, the separated bands may be broadened considerably. To minimize this phenomenon, the column should be covered with a thin metal frit allowing the mobile phase to evenly distributed over the column front as it passes through the frit. Using several methods, such as distributor plates with a sector cut out, nozzles or a thin empty chamber above the frit the broadening experienced during preparative chromatography can also be reduced.

Detection requirements in preparative-scale chromatography also differ from analytical operations where detectors are selected for their sensitivity. Sensitivity is not of overriding importance in preparative-scale chromatography; the ability to accommodate large column flow rates and a wide linear response range are more useful. The common analytical UV detectors can be detuned from the absorption maxima for the sample components to increase the dynamic range of the detector at the higher concentration end. Some detectors have interchangeable flow cells which allow replacement of the analytical cell with one of shorter path length to reduce sensitivity. Finally, if only one or two fractions are to be collected and the number of runs is low, the sample can be collected manually in suitable-sized containers; a fraction collector is otherwise required.

Significant Markets

  • Pharmaceutical - Drug Discovery
  • - Oligo Preparation
  • - Chiral Compound Purification

LEAP's Approaches to Purification

Videos of PAL

Purification Video on YouTube
LEAP's PAL Application Videos on YouTube

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LEAP Technologies provides fully automated sample processing workstation instrumentation solutions based on the LEAP CTC PAL X, Y, Z syringe only autosampler robot. This extremely flexible, precise, and adaptable liquid handling robotic platform is available in a variety of lengths and options depending on the requirements of your sample preparation and injections for your UHPLC, LC or GC chromatography. LEAP also offers process control systems and stand alone workstations. LEAP is an open, neutral resource for technical support of existing PAL. Keep your PAL in peak working order LEAP offers full support and service for the PAL platform with over 11 years of history with the PAL. LEAP can also write custom macros, cycles, and scheduling software for your specific applications. We're proud that LEAP is known as a productivity improver for laboratories including government labs in agencies such as FDA, USDA, EPA, FBI, Armed Forces, Homeland Security and others function more efficiently. Robotic sample prep equipment works well in government labs and challenges lab technicians to keep feeding those more samples. Analytical equipment such as chromatographs and mass spectrometers are expensive devices and also expensive to maintain. LEAP can help to keep them running and analyze samples around the clock. LEAP has most of its laboratory automation robots under GSAcontract and is eager to service and maintain everything it sells to keep your expensive lab equipment running around the clock. CTC Analytics Combi PAL and HTS PAL for Front-End Automation for LC and GC applications. LEAP offers customized on-site training. LEAP Is continuing to develop FAQ, Solutions, Tips & Techniques,a Learning Center with the LEAP Wiki for the benefit of all PAL Platform Robotic users. We will continue exceeding customer expectations for quality, cost effective and efficient results using the most current technology and expertise in our industry. Our aim is to be the ultimate knowledge base on everything related to the PAL. LEAP is known as the autosamplerguys being in business over twenty years. LEAP has extensive multi-vendor experience with integrating the PAL. HTX, HTS, HTC, HTX-xt, HTS-xt, HTC-xt, LC-Mini, Combi PAL,COMBI-xt PAL, and GC PAL models. We have the Quality, Training, Parts availability, Infrastructure, and Experience.LEAP is sometimes referred to as an Application Automation House who is continually adding new products and solutions to its Lab Automation line. As we do so we change the content of this web site so please check back.
Please contact LEAP Technologies on how we can help you get maximized throughput with flexible pipetting automation solutions whether it is our standard applications or customized to your needs. The Combi-xt PAL autosampler is able to perform liquid and headspace analysis. Headspace options include Solid Phase Micro-extraction (SPME) and ITEX-2 as alternative to purge and trap. The HTS-xt PAL autosampler dramatically increases sample throughput by offering automated sample prep, Peltier cooled and heated sample storage using the cooled stack, Peltier cooled and heated sample storage using the cooled stack and low carryover due to the self-cleaning DLW (Dynamic Load and Wash) module and L-Mark syringes, peltier cooled valves and columns. LEAP provides automation that fits your needs and reduces errors, increases sample capacity, increases efficiency, reduces cost by supplying long term productivity improvements with user friendly software and flexible hardware. LEAP performs just in time or on time sample prep and inject. LEAP offers full support of integrated and non-integrated PAL software with both sales and support for Cruise Control, Cycle Composer and Cycle Composer Macro Editor, Agilent ChemStation CTC Control, Mass Hunter and EZChrom CTC integration, Xcalibur, Waters Masslynx or Analyst CTC Control software, Thermo (Finnegan) XCalibur, LEAP Shell, and Chronos software. The PAL is more than just an autosampler, it is a high-quality and efficient laboratory robot platform that can be customized by LEAP Technologies to meet your specific needs.

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