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Keywords:

  • critical velocity (ucrit);
  • compressible matrix;
  • packed bed chromatography

Abstract

Knowing the critical velocity (ucrit) of a chromatography column is an important part of process development as it allows the optimization of chromatographic flow conditions. The conventional flow step method for determining ucrit is prone to error as it depends heavily on human judgment. In this study, two automated methods for determining ucrit have been developed: the automatic flow step (AFS) method and the automatic pressure step (APS) method. In the AFS method, the column pressure drop is monitored upon application of automated incremental increases in flow velocity, whereas in the APS method the flow velocity is monitored upon application of automated incremental increases in pressure drop. The APS method emerged as the one with the higher levels of accuracy, efficiency and ease of application having the greater potential to assist defining the best operational parameters of a chromatography column. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2012