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So, What Exactly is a Column Volume in Flash Chromatography?

02 March 2016

The term column volume, typically abbreviated CV, is a value used to help determine separation quality and loading capacity. But how can this concept and its definition be better understood? Bob Bickler explains it all on the Flash Purification Blog.


Some chemists think the internal volume of the cartridge without packing material inside is the column volume. While useful in determining scale-up factors, the empty column’s volume is not the CV. The CV of any column or cartridge is the volume inside of a packed cartridge not occupied by the media. This volume includes both the interstitial volume (volume outside of the particles) and the media’s own internal porosity (pore volume). Combined, the two volumes constitute 70% to 80% of the packed cartridge’s volume. Of course this means that the media only occupies 20% to 30% of the space in the cartridge.

Read the full post on the Flash Puricifation Blog, where this concept is fully explained and how it is determined empirically.

So, what exactly is a column volume in flash column chromatography and how is it determined? »