Centrifugal partition chromatography is a highly selective and versatile liquid-liquid chromatography technology for isolation, purification and separation of active compounds from natural resources (e.g. plants), biotech and biosynthetic products. The separation is achieved as a result of the different partitioning of the mixture compounds between two phases of a multi-solvent biphasic system. One of the phases is kept in place with the help of a centrifugal force field, while the second one is pumped through. Especially for the separation of hydrophobic mixtures there is a strong need of new biphasic solvent systems.
Deep Eutectic Solvents consist of two (or three) compounds capable of associating with each other to form a eutectic mixture with a melting point substantially lower than that of each individual compound.
In this work, the applicability of Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES) as solvents in liquid-liquid chromatography is evaluated. For this purpose, the partitioning coefficients of several natural compounds of different hydrophobicity in heptane/ethanol/DES biphasic systems are determined. The influence of the DES composition and the presence of water in the biphasic system on the partition coefficient is also examined. In addition, some process relevant biphasic system physical properties, as the density and viscosity of the phases, are evaluated.
Finally, the suitability of DESs as solvents in liquid-liquid chromatography is shown at pilot scale using a Centrifugal Partition Extractor column.