The blog gets older, falls in love and branches out

As the blog turns one, I am grabbing the chance to revisit some of my favorite posts. I then reveal a true jaw dropper about how the blog will evolve in its second year of life. Read on to see how just like quality wine, the blog simply gets better with age. 

I am in a great mood today, because we are celebrating the blog’s first birthday. I can’t believe that 365 days have already passed since we embarked on this great adventure called “Bart’s Blog”. It has been an exciting year full of posts covering topics aimed at helping scientists outperform themselves in the laboratory.

The blog, just like a baby would, has reached a lot of milestones in its first year of existence. Here are just a few topics highlighting the blog’s development with time.

“Alien vs. Predator”… or in other words “Silica vs. Alumina”

When a baby first starts to eat solids, it develops a preference for certain foods over others, such as sweet potato over broccoli. Chromatographers also tend to favor a specific stationary phase, most often silica over alumina. In this post, I point out that just like sweet potato and broccoli bring different nutritional benefits to the table, silica and alumina bring complementary benefits to the purification of different compounds. For example, although less popular, alumina is ideal for optimal purification of compounds with acidic or basic moieties. Chromatographers would give their runs a healthy boost if they developed a taste for both types of packing material.

“How to overcome limitations in flash chromatography with an ELSD”

One of the main limitations a baby must overcome is its lack of mobility. Once it starts turning on its belly, crawling away and finally walking, only the sky is the limit. One major limitation in UV-vis based chromatography is its lack of ability to detect non-chromophoric molecules, its limiting effect on the type of solvent used, and its inefficiency in providing relative quantities of purified elements. In this post, I discuss how a dual ELS and UV-vis detector can help overcome these limitations, so that only the sky is the limit for your purification needs.

“Top tips on how to save time in chromatography”

Once a baby starts crawling and walking, it does not take long before it figures out how to optimize the process and it is off to the races. Similarly, chromatography can also be optimized to be as quick as possible. In this post, I offer selection tips ranging from the type of chromatography instrument to the type of stationary phase particle, to help speed up your chromatography run without falling flat on your face.

“The most important factors to consider when selecting a flash chromatography cartridge”

Now that the baby can move and eat, it is time to play. Babies tend to follow universal criteria when choosing a toy to busy themselves with. If it makes a lot of noise, makes a lot of mess and can somehow be used to hurt a sibling by banging them on the head, it is a clear winner. Just like with toy picking, there are also key factors that should be taken into account when choosing a flash chromatography cartridge. In this post, I discuss the role of stationary phase, particle shape, particle size and loading capacity in finding your ideal cartridge. I also offer insights into a new digital tool, FlashPure Scout, which makes cartridge selection as easy and fun as child’s play.

There is no time like a birthday to look to the future and to what the next 12 months will hopefully bring. I believe that it is more than just a lucky coincidence that the blog’s birthday falls on Valentine’s Day. After all, the blog is for all lovers of separations, purifications, chemistry and science. Funnily, I myself got shot with cupid’s arrow today and the first topic I stumbled upon afterwards was lyophilization. Lo and behold, a new match has been created!

Chromatography falls in love with lyophilization today.

I have written about laboratory freeze drying before, but I am thrilled to welcome lyophilization as a permanent topic on Bart’s blog. From now on, I will offer you helpful hints on how to improve your processes in both chromatography and laboratory freeze drying. There is no better present for a first birthday than the gift of friendship and diversification. I am glad to have you onboard for the second year of this exciting journey. Let us grow older and wiser together.

Till next time,

The Signature of Bart Denoulet at Bart's Blog