When it comes to polar organic compound purification, many chemists turn to normal-phase flash chromatography often utilizing dichloromethane and methanol as the eluting solvents. While this can work, it often can be challenging to optimize due to methanol’s high polarity and protic chemistry.
As reversed-phase flash chromatography gains traction in medicinal chemistry labs the need to monitor its cost and safety are becoming more important. Commonly used reversed-phase solvents typically include water with an organic solvent such as methanol or acetonitrile – each have advantages and disadvantages.
Reversed-phase chromatography is typically used when you need to separate several milligrams of relatively polar compounds that either are not soluble in normal-phase solvents or are not compatible with bare silica because they react, stick, or both. If you are currently using reversed-phase at preparative scale, such as flash chromatography, you know the mobile phase limitations – water with either methanol, acetonitrile, or THF. As with normal-phase flash chromatography, when it comes time to purify you want your crude sample fully solubilized in the weakest possible solvent at the highest possible concentration. ACS 2016
Natural product chemistry deals with discovering the previously unknown in nature. Compounds found in nature are typically found in low quantity and thus extractions are needed to isolate certain compounds classes or at least compounds with similar solubility.
Flash purification involves a simple liquid chromatography technique » Method development uses TLC as a way of deciding the parameters for the separation » Isocratic separations are easiest to develop, but gradient separations are more powerful » Software in the Isolera helps with conversion of an isocratic separation to a gradient » It is possible with the Spektra software to run step gradients » Loading options are dependent on the column type » SNAP offers the most flexibility » Care must be taken to choose the best loading option to get good purifications
For those chemists performing organic synthesis, reaction mixture purification by flash column chromatography is an integral and necessary part of the synthesis process. However, flash chromatography consumes large volumes of solvent which either needs to be recycled or disposed. ACS 2016.
For most organic and natural product chemists flash chromatography is a necessary part of their research. As such, many chemists need quick isolation of at least one desired component from a crude mixture in relatively high yield and purity. This need for speed, purity, and yield pits these desires against each other as you can typically optimize on only two of the three goals. In this poster, we will describe some techniques that help chemists optimize flash purification and maximize speed, yield, and purity.
Traditional approaches to compound purification involving chromatography utilize large volumes of relatively toxic and expensive solvents, and significantly contribute to the environmental footprint of organizations involved in molecular research. Current directives for greener chemistry have put pressure on organizations to reduce the environmental impact of their work.