Introduction to RFC

Introduction to Radial Flow Chromatography

Radial Flow Chromatography (RFC) is an efficient, low pressure technology for bio-molecule fractionation. Thanks to the column geometry, RFC is very suitable for high throughput adsorptive separations in process, pilot or lab scale. The short bed height, packed bed, allows robust adsorptive separations from crude feed (large dirt tolerance).

Comparison Axial to Radial Columns

Traditional Axial columns with a short bed height are very inefficient in space and weight demand at larger scale. To reduce column width traditional columns mostly operate at maximized bed heights, exceeding 20cm.

This causes throughput to be lower, extended process duration and higher operating pressure. Often packing a "pancake-like" large volume column can be a time consuming challenge.

Radial column processing features a dramatic reduction of footprint. Packing a HP-RFC column even with the shortest bed height is very fast and uniform. Increasing column volume does not influence packing performance since packing is linearly scalable too.

Transition from Axial to Radial is essentially folding a horizontal bed into a vertical cylinder changing mainly the direction of the flow from vertical to horizontal. Bed height and chromatographic properties remain, while footprint and weight reduce dramatically. An animation of the virtual process is shown in the above video.

Benefits at radial processing:

  • Faster chromatography (lower ∆P)
  • Compact high performance columns
  • Wide variety of applications
  • Compatible with all resins
  • Linear scaleable
  • Easy process transfer axial to radial using LV.
  • Highest throughput per m2.

Axial column flow pathway versus Radial column flow pathway
Radial column

How to transfer Axial process to Radial

Residence time is a popular parameter in transferring processes. In fact this is only valid when the bed height of the column remains the same or very similar.

Since Radial columns offer a stable low bed-height bed at large bed volumes, with Radial one can combine increased productivity, resin cost saving and increased product yield. Processes often run more than proportionally faster because the pressure buildup is more than proportionally less in radial columns.

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