The Brief Introduction of Flash Column Chromatography

empty flash column chromatography

Suitable for a general flash chromatography method analysis, the flash column chromatography is the method of isolating a component from a mixture and purify it as well. Different from the old method: long column chromatography technology, flash column chromatography can separate the sample by passing a sample through a column filled with a gel.

Back to the 1970s, as the long column chromatography always wasted lots of time with the results of poor recovery, the scientists who worked on the flash column chromatography were trying to use medium pressure chromatography and short column chromatography to replace it. Finally, they found the best way of combining the two to overcome the defect.

The silica gel which is originally employed to the line is still widely used nowadays. With air pressure, the scientists drive a solvent through the silica gel flash column, to compress the column. After the sample is applied, the same solvent is used to pass the sample through the column.

The collected fractions are done by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) plates, with the small fractions appearing first, and larger fractions were eluted by the end. Then, the purified components, or fractions, can be collected. And the whole process only takes 5-10 minutes.