Mathematical modelling and evaluation of performance of cuboid packed-bed devices for chromatographic separations
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In a recent paper, box-shaped or cuboid packed bed devices have been proposed as alternative to columns for chromatographic separations. We first propose a mathematical model for residence time distribution in such devices. Based on it, we examine factors likely to affect separation performance, and verify the predictions of our mathematical model by conducting tracer experiments. We then compare the performance of two commercial columns with their respective equivalent cuboid packed-bed devices, i.e. containing the same chromatographic media, and having the same bed-height and bed-volume. Parameters compared include the number of theoretical plates, attributes of flow-through and eluted protein peaks, and resolution in model binary protein separations. For each of these metrics examined, the cuboid packed-bed device outperformed its equivalent commercial column. Other potential advantages likely to be gained from using a cuboid packed-bed instead of a column are elucidated.
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