Preparative SFC is quite similar to preparative HPLC. However, for preparative supercritical fluid chromatography, the eluent is a mixture of supercritical carbon dioxide and generally up to 20% (sometimes up to 40%) of organic co-solvent (usually an alcohol).
Thanks to the low viscosity and high diffusivity of supercritical CO2, resolutions using SFC are 3 to 5 times faster than with HPLC. In addition, as the CO2 evaporates, the isolation of the compound of interest is also very quick. In the lab, this technique uses 3 to 20 times less organic solvent than for HPLC. Moreover, in well engineered preparative SFC systems, the CO2 is recycled, further improving the process economics and reducing its environmental impact, making it a green separation process in the lab and in the pilot plant. SFC is a very quick chromatography technique and, thus, ideal in early development to produce grams to multi-kg amounts of desired products.
Click here to discover our preparative SFC systems: Prochrom® Supersep.
Except for analytical and small preparative instruments, CO2 should be recycled, otherwise carbon dioxide consumption would easily exceed 10 or even 20 kg of liquefied gas per hour for a preparative SFC system equipped with a 50 mm I.D. column. Novasep’s systems integrate CO2 recycling technology very effectively.
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