To save money on consumables, many chemists choose to reuse silica flash cartridges. This risks purification results because chromatographic separation performance will change from run to run, which reduces purification quality, especially in normal phase flash systems.
Claims are often made that cartridges can be reused. This is true if the separations are relatively simple. Though reusing a silica flash cartridge may reduce the overall cost per purification, the quality of those second and later purifications will not be as good as the first thereby reducing separation efficiency and fraction purity. Biotage® SNAP Ultra silica appears to degrade less than conventional irregular and spherical silica over the same elapsed time.
Chromatogram showing retention and separation loss over three consecutive runs on a Biotage® SNAP Ultra 10 g (left) and a competitor (right). In this case, Brand R loses the separation between peaks 3 and 4 by the third run.
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