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Varicol®, continuous chromatography for industrial separations

Novasep Varicol 5 1200 Mm

Cost-effective, robust and environmentally friendly, continuous chromatography is ideal for large-scale separation of binary mixtures (enantiomers and other isomers) and the fractionation of complex mixtures.

Used for producing a number of commercial APIs at multi-ton scale, our patented Varicol® technology, an extraordinarily well-performing alternative to the well-known SMB (Simulated Moving Bed) process, is a powerful production tool for pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.

Varicol® principle: up to 30% more productive than SMB

Multi-column continuous chromatography is:

  • A robust continuous process
    • One long batch column is replaced by a loop of 3 to 6 shorter columns
    • Only pure fractions are collected leaving mixed fractions to recirculate
  • Cost-effective and highly productive
    • 2 to 10-times more productive than a batch process, such as HPLC
    • Lowest operating costs
    • Optimized usage of stationary phase
    • 15 to 30% more productive than SMB with less columns
  • Environmentally friendly
    • Up to 99.97% of solvent recycled at commercial scale

Novasep Varicol Continuous Chromatrography


Prochrom® Varicol is a multi-column continuous process with a non-synchronous shifting of the inlet and outlet lines. The number of columns periodically varies in each zone of the system. This ensures a more efficient use of stationary phase and a higher productivity compared to traditional SMB.

Varicol®: significant savings within reach

Novasep Varicol Continuous Chromatrography 5x1000

An advanced continuous chromatography process, Varicol® provides the best productivity and return-on-investment with the lowest operating costs. We can help you to reduce your solvent costs.

Our chemists efficiently design the right chromatographic separation method for your intermediate or API, using Novasep’s proprietary numerical simulation software. The guaranteed scalability and robustness of our chromatographic processes will ensure the quickest delivery of your API for clinical supplies, process validation, registration and commercial production.

At large scale, chromatography typically outperforms diastereomeric crystallization processes and reduces your cost of goods and environmental footprint dramatically. In combination with streamlined racemic syntheses and coupled with racemization of the non-desired enantiomer, Varicol® enables cost-effective production of chiral APIs compared with chiral synthesis.

Solvent recycling: cost-effective and environment friendly processes

Solvent recycling technology is a key aspect of our continuous chromatography.

During a separation, the solvent is recovered from evaporators and optionally dryers while pure concentrated or dry compounds are recovered. The recycled eluent is re-injected in the system and is used to dissolve the dry feed mixture. Only a small amount of fresh solvent is automatically added to the recycled one in order to precisely adjust the eluent composition using a proprietary technology.

The solvent recycling rate of a commercial Varicol® system, as published by UCB Pharma, has been shown to reach 99.97% leading to the loss of only 130 mL of fresh solvent per kilogram of pure product.

The Varicol® product line

Our fully automated Varicol® systems are designed for process development, pilot-scale and industrial chromatographic separations.

  Laboratory Pilot Industrial
internal diameter
30 - 50 50 - 80 110
200 300 450 600 800 1000 1200
Typical Productivity Kg/week Kg/week Tons/year
0.5 to
2 to
10 to
40 to
90 to
8 to
15 to
40 to
60 to
  • Operating temperatures from 15 to 50°C
  • Operating pressures from 50 to 100 bars
  • Lab systems accommodate up to 8 columns. Pilot and industrial systems typically have 5 or 6 columns.

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