Hawach to Introduce the Flash Column Comprehensively

A flash column, a key tool in chromatography, swiftly purifies compounds from complex mixtures. It operates on the principles of column chromatography, using a stationary phase (like silica gel) and a mobile phase (solvent) to separate compounds based on their interactions. The column comprises a body, fritted disc, packing material, sample port, and collection ports. Flash chromatography offers rapid separation, high sample throughput, improved purity, and is cost-effective for larger quantities. Proper column size, stationary phase selection, solvent choice, sample loading, and monitoring are crucial for success. It’s widely used in research, synthetic chemistry, and pharmaceutical development.

Born of Flash column

In 1978, Sill invented Flash chromatography, and the article was published in J.O.C. Since then, the Flash chromatography method has been established, and new equipment has been constantly emerging. The narrow sense of the Flash column refers to a low-pressure short column preparation liquid chromatography system that uses compressed air to generate pressure and accelerate the elution speed of the mobile phase. The generalized Flash column system refers to all low-pressure liquid chromatography systems for infusion methods.

Flash column is born out of open glass column chromatography and is mainly used for separation and purification of natural products and organic synthesis products. The classical Flash column consists of a glass column, a storage bottle, and a compressed air regulating valve. This type has low cost and is easy to observe, but has low pressure and easy to break.

Many laboratories now place a pressurized ball on the top of a glass column, which is a similar product. After improvement, a classic Flash column system was formed, which is composed of an infusion pressure tank, flow regulating valve, Flash pre-packed column, and sample loading device. The classical Flash column still uses air pressure with a 0-7bar pressure range. The column length is about 15cm, and the particle size of the packing is 40-60. Samples can be loaded on solids and liquids, and fractions can be collected manually.

sax chromatography flash column
Development of Flash column

After more than 20 years of development, the Flash column has been widely used by people as conventional purification and separation equipment, such as Glaxo, Pfizer researchers have hundreds of Flash chromatography devices, and many instrument manufacturers in the world provide a full set of Flash chromatography device.

In recent years, due to the intensification of scientific research competition and the increase in labor costs of laboratories, a higher degree of automation and separation speed have been required, resulting in automated Flash column, with devices equipped with columns, chromatography pumps, detectors, automatic fraction collectors, and workstation. Some instruments also have a gradient elution system, a column switching system, and an automatic sampling system.

The optimized conditions can be selected to achieve unmanned operation, which greatly reduces labor costs and speeds up development. At present, some people in China use peristaltic pumps for infusion and separation with plexiglass columns. Strictly speaking, they cannot be separated from small molecules of the organic phase, but only for biochemical separation, otherwise, the instrument will be damaged.


HAWACH is a bioprocessing-focused life sciences company bringing expertise and innovation to our customers since 2013. Through the development and commercialization of high-value products and flexible solutions that address critical steps in production, HAWACH has been recognized by its customers all over the world. HAWACH focuses on the timely delivery of high quality, consistent and robust products, and ensuring business continuity for its customers.

HAWACH flash column

Flash column is a chemical separation technique used to purify chemical mixtures. Because it is a purification technology, the process is also referred to as flash purification. The features of being fast, easy to operate, time-saving and labor-saving make it popular in the industry.

HAWACH owns three series of the flash column with different focuses to meet more requirements, for instance, the One series is for the high-end market and DepuFlash series for the low-end market. The StarFlash series is the silica gel columns for general usages.

In addition, various specifications are available to make all customers get they need, for instance, the adsorbent can be imported and domestic and the materials take medical grade PP or PE, or any material specified by customers. Hawach provides Irregular C18 Flash Column, Spherical C18 Flash Columns, SAX Flash Columns, and other flash columns for your choice.

Principle of Flash Chromatography:

Flash chromatography is based on the same principles as traditional column chromatography but operates at higher flow rates. It involves the use of a column packed with a stationary phase (typically silica gel or other adsorbents) and a mobile phase (solvent).

Purpose and Function:

Flash columns are utilized in preparative chromatography to separate and purify chemical compounds from a complex mixture. They operate at higher flow rates compared to analytical columns, enabling faster separations.

Advantages of Flash column

The Flash column has many advantages compared with others.
1. Fast speed
2. A large amount of preparation: at least double the amount of sample than the same diameter HPLC preparation column.
3. Low cost and the use of solvent saves more than the glass column, the silica gel column can be used multiple times, saving the amount of silica gel.
4. Easy to use: no special solvent treatment is required, the sample can be applied by the dry method, and the person does not need special training.
5. Compact size
6. High reproducibility.

The effect of chromatography mainly depends on the optimization of the elution solvent and the packing effect of the column. When dealing with the relationship between preparation and HPLC, the following principles should be followed:
(1) When only Flash column can be used, there is no need to prepare HPLC
(2) First use Flash column, purification and then preparative HPLC

Other usage techniques include

① First select anti-solvent and load by TLC
② Using short thick column (diameter: length ≤ 1: 7)
Also, its features include various available phases: C8, C18, Silica, NH2, CN, Alumina Acidic, Alumina Neutral, Alumina and it can withstand the pressure of 100ps.


Hawach flash columns find applications in a wide range of industries and research fields, including:

  • Organic synthesis
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Natural product isolation
  • Environmental analysis
  • Pharmaceutical research and development
  • Food and beverage analysis
  • Quality control and quality assurance laboratories

Overall, Hawach Scientific Co., Ltd. is a reputable supplier of high-quality flash columns, known for their reliable performance and diverse product offerings. Researchers and professionals in the field of chromatography can confidently rely on Hawach products for their purification needs.