A flow distribution and collection feature for ensuring scalable uniform flow in a chromatography device
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We discuss how the efficiency of a chromatography device could be enhanced by incorporating a new feature which ensures flow uniformity. The overall flow of fluid within the device, which has a cuboid shape, could be visualized as a combination of two z patterns. The device is therefore designated as cuboid z2. The reason for flow uniformity is explained using a simple mathematical model, and also based on computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations. The cuboid z2 device outperformed its equivalent conventional cylindrical column in terms of separation efficiency metrics such as the number of theoretical plates, the reduced plate height, and attributes of non-interacting tracer solute peaks. The results discussed in this paper clearly indicate the suitability of the cuboid z2 device for carrying out high-resolution chromatographic separations. The z2 flow enhancing feature would also be broadly applicable to any process which requires uniform flow in three-dimensional porous media. In addition to superior fluidic attributes, the cuboid z2 chromatography device has other advantages such as compactness and scalability.
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