Monday, January 25, 2016

Flash Chromatography Works Better With Silica Gel

What is Flash Chromatography?

In the traditional chromatography method, the sample, which is placed on top of the vertical column, moves at a very slow rate. This results in a lot of time being consumed in separating the different components of the original mixture. As the sample's downward movements are prolonged, one will have to wait a long time before securing the final segregated components.

It is to solve this problem of time consumption that flash chromatography is now being considered as an alternative. Flash chromatography is the best solution to the time consumption problem one faces while working with the traditional column chromatography method.  

Flash chromatography works by the means of air pressure being applied on the solvent to make it move faster through the vertical column. As the pressure is applied, the solvent speeds up its movement through the stationary phase and mobile phase. The separation of the components also, therefore, happens faster than before. With the help of flash chromatography, the complete procedure is done in less than 15 minutes. That is a lot of time and money saved.

Flash chromatography is important for pharmaceutical and healthcare industries where it is used in research about existing and new drugs, cleaning up samples and separating products.

Silica Gel in Flash Chromatography

Silica Gel is the most preferred adsorbent while conducting the Flash Chromatography method. For flash chromatography to yield successful results, it is important the correct adsorbent is used. This is why companies always choose Silica Gel. Other adsorbents that are also used include Florosil, Alumina and reverse phase Silica.

The main reason why Silica Gel is most preferred for Flash chromatography is because it has a high absorption area and even-sized pores. The same-sized pores do not allow the impurities to pass through and only the mixture moves forward. The adsorbent particle size of Silica Gel also plays an important role as this decides the movement of the solvent through the glass column.

The particle size is another point of difference between column chromatography and flash chromatography. While column chromatography makes use of Silica Gel with large particle size, those with small particle size are preferred in flash chromatography.