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Automated flash column chromatography frees up time to enjoy researching new chemistries

September 19, 2018 at 11:09 AM / by John Urh

Our recent survey of organic synthetic chemists showed that more than half of you feel that the most enjoyable aspect of your work is researching new chemistries, while 33% told us that preparing reactions was the best part of your day. Purifying products and writing up came in at distant 3rd and 4th places, and no one enjoyed doing work up. Sounds familiar? If you want to find out more about how to bring fun back into your chemistry then read on.

Ease the pain of purification

The chemists in our survey also told us that the most critical and time-consuming aspect of their work was purifying products. This means that chemists spend most of their time performing an important step that is far from the most enjoyable part of their working day. The question is, how can the critical purification process, most commonly flash column chromatography, be developed to make it more enjoyable and less time consuming, so you have more time for amazing chemistry?

Graph1

Flash purification – a crucial step

Producing that white crystalline powder using an effective purification process will make the next step so much more likely to succeed. However, there are many unknowns along the way. So often, when making a “new to this earth” molecule you don’t know which flash purification strategy will work. You don’t want your compound to crash out of solution on the column, creating a plug and shutting down your chromatograph. Or even worse, send your week’s work into the waste container.

The problem is that you would rather be working on novel molecules than spending time babysitting an automated flash column chromatography system in order to avoid a catastrophe. Your chances of success in compound purification will, however, be greatly increased by developments in predictive software that can guide you in choosing separation conditions. The beauty of this innovative approach is that conditions can be set before starting the purification run. This will mean that you can relax and spend your time and energy on other pressing issues.

The most time consuming aspect

What if you were babysitting your automated flash column chromatography system and realized that you didn’t have to be there, waiting as the compound came off? That day when you realized that you have better things to do with your time. What would you do instead?

But you say that isn’t the case because things happen and you’ll have to run a couple of do-overs anyway. 

With great prediction you’ll have far fewer do-overs. What if you had half the number of do-overs and they took half the time and used half the amount of consumables? New advances in flash columns are making that a reality. 

New developments are delivering faster purifications using columns of half the conventional size and filled with low-back-pressure spherical media. The result is that you get to the purification finish line more quickly with a greater success frequency.

The most time consuming aspect of your work day just got a little less time consuming.Make researching new chemistries more fun by using reliable automated flash column chromatography systems

The most enjoyable aspect

The most satisfying part of your job is making novel molecules. That’s what you told us in our survey.Graph2

This is why you shouldn’t need to be distracted by cumbersome software and restrictions on how you load compounds onto your flash columns. Amazing chemistry would be much easier to achieve if purification involved a simplified user experience based on smart refined design and control systems. In future posts we will be showing you how we are doing exactly that. 

Here is one way you can increase purification throughput and product purity to free up more time to research new chemistries.

Keep reading on how to add some more fun to research or download the poster to learn how to free up more time.

John Urh

Written by John Urh

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Download the poster "New Flash Chromatography Silica Increases Purity of Separated Compounds".

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