Organic chemistry can be messy with not only the desired compound created but also myriad by-products. As synthetic chemists, our goal is to make these desired compounds in sufficient yield and purity to either create another compound or submit for evaluation by other departments. To purify these reaction mixtures, flash chromatography is the primary technique.
A fairly common question I receive is "how much of my reaction mixture can I load on my flash chromatography column?". To this question there is not a cut and dry answer because of a number of variables which influence the outcome. To help illustrate this, I will show in this post the results of a study I performed in my lab with one of my reaction mixtures.