Expanding the Tool Kit of Automated Flow Synthesis: Development of In-line Flash Chromatography Purification

Christopher G. Thomson, Colin Banks, Mark T. Allen, Graeme Barker, Christopher R. Coxon, Ai Lan Lee, Filipe Vilela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Recent advancements in in-line extraction and purification technology have enabled complex multistep synthesis in continuous flow reactor systems. However, for the large scope of chemical reactions that yield mixtures of products or residual starting materials, off-line purification is still required to isolate the desired compound. We present the in-line integration of a commercial automated flash chromatography system with a flow reactor for the continuous synthesis and isolation of product(s). A proof-of-principle study was performed to validate the system and test the durability of the column cartridges, performing an automated sequence of 100 runs over 2 days. Three diverse reaction systems that highlight the advantages of flow synthesis were successfully applied with in-line normal- or reversed-phase flash chromatography, continuously isolating products with 97-99% purity. Productivity of up to 9.9 mmol/h was achieved, isolating gram quantities of pure product from a feed of crude reaction mixture. Herein, we describe the development and optimization of the systems and suggest guidelines for selecting reactions well suited to in-line flash chromatography.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Organic Chemistry (JOC)
Early online date16 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jul 2021


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