Theoretical study of the effect of frit quality on chromatography using computational fluid dynamics
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Frits at both ends of a chromatographic column, especially for a preparative column, have significant influence on the flow distribution within the column and thus the column efficiency. However, frits have received little attention from chromatographers in the past. Here a theoretical study was conducted with the aid of CFD software FLUENT to investigate the effect of frits on the performance of homogeneous and heterogeneous chromatographic columns. A dimensionless number,FQ, was applied to characterize frit quality. This study visualized how frit quality affects the flow distribution and the concentration band, the shape of eluted pulse at the colum exit and column efficiency. Simulation results show that the development length of the flow distribution is related toFQ but has nothing to do with the packing heterogeneity. The curvature of the concentration band in a column depends onFQ and packing quality. This study shows column efficiency can be improved significantly by increasingFQ and/or frit permeability.
Key WordsColumn liquid chromatography End frits Column efficiency Computational fluid dynamics
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