Flash chromatography makes the purification and separation of a sample on industrially manufactured separation columns much easier. A CombiFlash system can handle different column sizes. The sample throughput varies depending on the column capacity. The separation is optimized by a solvent gradient. By selecting different detectors, the substances are detected and can be collected according to retention time. The software allows to intervene in the separation at any time via a graphical interface, to change the gradient and to extend the running time.
The CombiFlash can be equipped with UV, UV-VIS or ELSD detectors. The software is able to record selected wavelengths, a wavelength range and the ELSD track and then collect the substances.
This wide range of detectors ensures reliable detection of the different substances in a product. The mass spectrometer takes over the task of describing these substances in more detail. Over the entire course of a flash analysis, the mass range of 10-1200 or 10 - 2000 Dalton is scanned. The coupled mass spectrometer is also controlled by the PeakTrak software from Teledyne Isco. This allows both mass controlled fractionation over a mass range and targeted fractionation of a specific mass.
Practical experience shows why a coupled MS brings a clear advantage. In routine, further tests are usually carried out after the separation of substances, using GC-MS and/or LC-MS, to confirm the separation and the products. This type of analysis requires additional time and effort, as the chromatographic analysis has to be repeated. With the use of the PurIon, this additional work is no longer necessary.
The mass spectrometer consists of a quadrupole system with ESI (Electrospray Ionization) or APCI (Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization) source. The ionization is carried out in either positive or negative mode. The different sources can be exchanged within a few minutes. Within one hour after commissioning, the instrument is reliably ready for measurement.
The sample, which has been loaded via the CombiFlash, is fed into the MS via a splitter valve. The volume separated from the sample stream is very small in order to lose as little substance as possible.