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Be creatively produKtive with knowledge and the right flash chromatography system

October 10, 2018 at 2:35 PM / by John Urh

I think that the phrase ‘creative productivity’ captures the essence of an organic chemist’s work. It’s not about the number of new molecules produced per day at all. Creative organic chemists have much more in common with prolific artists and craftspeople. Prolific chemists are relentless discoverers of synthetic pathways that result in a stream of new molecules in, for example, pharmaceutical research. Being prolific involves dealing with the complexities of synthetic pathways, completing projects, and strategizing the next steps once the SAR study results are in. Increasing productivity involves knowledge, and applying it, using the right tools.

Acquire knowledge

Critical thinking starts by taking our knowledge and applying it in new ways to meet new challenges. Moving projects forward productively requires years of training and personal experience, combined with contributions from research team members. 
Becoming more knowledgeable by acquiring a deeper insight into techniques such as flash column chromatography will improve your productivity. For example, we have a blog [www.flash-purification.com] where you can find answers to questions such as, “What is the best way to purify an amine?” [http://www.flash-purification.com/is-there-an-easy-way-to-purify-organic-amines/] and “What exactly is a column volume?” [www.flash-purification.com/so-what-exactly-is-a-column-volume-in-flash-column-chromatography-and-how-is-it-determined/]. Sources of information like these will help increase your knowledge and the productivity of your column chromatography methods.

Use the right flash purification tools

When faced with challenging separations, chemists often use over-sized columns because they think they need a much bigger column to ensure a successful purification. But how much bigger is usually an educated guess. What if you could confidently choose the column size and capacity?
The educated guess approach is no match for the confidence you can have when you know that you have chosen the correct sized column. How much more productive would you be if you could use flash chromatography columns that are half the size you are using now? As we will see later, this is perfectly possible providing you have the right tools. Similarly, how would your work be affected if you used half as much of everything and still routinely and confidently produced pure compounds? What if you needed to load only half the volume of solvent into your rotary evaporator? What impact would it have on the size of glassware you use? When the optimal column, a smaller column, is used, fractions are more concentrated. Would it be beneficial if the collected fractions were more concentrated? Analyze the possibilities and find the right purification tool for the job.

Enable the use of alternative solvents

Have you considered using alternate solvents (like acetone) for flash column chromatography? This easy-to-remove solvent is often avoided because it is a strong absorber of UV light. But a flash chromatography system with background correction would enable you to have successful separations with resolved peaks clearly visible on your chromatograms. What would be the impact of using acetone on your work up processes?
Selekt increases productivity of flash column chromatography by enabling the use of alternative solvents and quick changes from normal to reversed phase solvents to support the optimal synthetic pathway

Find the optimal synthetic pathway

When you think about it, discovering new molecules is sometimes like walking down a familiar pathway and sometimes like walking down a new pathway with your eyes closed. Prolific chemists are good at finding their way down these pathways and are willing to take the new path even though it involves added risks. Boosting productivity is about finding the big obstacles then quickly and creatively finding the best way around them. Achieving this means having a system that can quickly change conditions from normal to reversed phase solvents to enable you to find the right column chromatography method.

A new system to boost your discovery chemistry

The new Biotage Selekt® system improves on our patented column size recommendation intelligence to provide you with the information you need to choose the right sized column. Advanced background correction enables you to incorporate alternative solvents such as acetone. Added to that, Biotage Selekt is a two-channel system that can quickly change conditions from normal to reversed phase solvents to immediately deal with challenging separations without having to go to a separate instrument.
>>Find out more about Biotage Selekt

Topics: Flash column chromatography, flash chromatography

John Urh

Written by John Urh

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