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Our latest blog from Dr Sam Kilgour on Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC)

Recently, I attended the Chromatographic Society symposium on “The Challenges in Small Molecule Analysis in the Pharmaceutical Industry” where a particular conversation piqued my curiosity.<

I was surprised to hear many people, from a range of organisations, report that once they brought Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC) into their labs, their HPLCs, that were once the workhorses for chiral separations, started to gather dust. Instead of SFC being an additional technique for chiral analysis and purification, it sounds like the benefits of SFC are leading it to being a replacement to HPLC.

It’s no secret that SFC needs a large up-front outlay, as well as infrastructure and safety modifications. However, the payoff comes in the resolving power and efficiency improvements, reduced negative environmental impact, and lower day-to-day running costs.

The lower viscosity and higher diffusivity of the mobile phase in SFC results in shorter run times, faster column equilibration times, and sharper peaks. Not only that, because mobile phase ‘A’ is a gas at room temperature and pressure, it simply evaporates, so the residual eluent volume (waste or fractions) is greatly reduced, compared to a typical HPLC run – and this means less time on the rotavap.

SFC is rapidly becoming more common in analytical labs around the world and, with benefits like this, it’s not hard to see why. In reality, our HPLCs aren’t really going to gather dust, all those freed up HPLCs can always be repurposed for achiral separations!


Meet the team…

Dr Sam Kilgour leads the analytical and purification department at Charnwood Discovery. Having gained a BSc at University of Lincoln, Sam went on to study for a MSc in Analytical Science and a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Warwick.

Since then, Sam has gained vital experience as a Senior Scientist in method development at BCM Fareva prior to joining Charnwood Discovery as a Senior Analyst before promotion to Principal Purification Scientist.

Sam says the best part of her role is:

“Getting to work with such a variety of clever people and trying my best to help them solve their analytical problems!”

Outside of work Sam is a mummy, houseplant addict, and loves spending time with Io, her dog, who even has her own lab coat!

You can connect with Sam on LinkedIn or use the contact button in the menu to find out more.