Flash purification is a separation technique developed in 1978 by Professor W.C. Still that uses a stationary phase (a column or cartridge filled with an insoluble solid support) and a mobile phase (elution solvent mixture) to separate and purify a mixture of organic compounds.
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
Normal-phase flash chromatography1 has been widely adopted as the method of choice for separation of product mixtures and reaction by-products. One of the most significant developments in this area concerns the practical separation of polar molecules. Reversed-phase purification is a modification of normalphase chromatography that provides an efficient mechanism for the separation of polar compounds.
To save money on consumables, many chemists choose to reuse silica flash cartridges. This is true but risks purification results because chromatographic separation performance will change from run to run which reduces purification quality, especially in normal phase systems. Regardless of the cartridge brand used, repeated use of silica flash cartridges results in loss of compound resolution and therefore fraction purity.