Why All Carbon Marks A New Milestone in Chromatography

Next generation All Carbon stationary phase material’s differentiated characteristics provide unique benefits to separation science.

NanoPak-C, All Carbon stationary phase material, was conceived to be a disruptive improvement in pharmaceutical extraction, separation, and purification outside the capabilities of the current state-of-art. Through the unique combination of material composition and proprietary manufacturing process, all-carbon spherical microspheres can be synthesized using carbon sources such as carbon black, graphite, graphene, carbon nanotubes, or fullerenes as starting material; something not previously possible. The resulting highly differentiated reverse-phase stationary material has excellent pH, chemical, and thermal stability.

The table above lists fourteen fundamental properties of stationary phase media and the benefits to end-users. The table also presents these properties for NanoPak-C All Carbon microbeads synthesized using natural micrographite as starting material, and other synthetic graphite, silica-, inorganic-, and polymer- based stationary media used for reverse-phase chromatography. The salient points of this table can be summarized as follows:

1) NanoPak-C graphitic microbeads exhibits characteristics of other synthetic graphitic media relative to Si-C18 or other (e.g., polymeric) stationary phase materials [1]. These include:

A. Intrinsic hydrophobicity and retention of both non-polar and polar analytes.

B. Selectivity towards structurally-related compounds such as geometric isomers.

2) NanoPak-C graphite microbeads room temperature microfluidics-based synthesis method allows unique capabilities not shown by other graphitic carbon media [2]. These capabilities include:

A. Allows better control over microbead composite, diameter, pore size, and surface area than the harsh, relatively complex high-temperature methods used to manufacture synthetic graphitic media. This capability allows its cost per kg to be comparable to Si-based media and significantly lower than synthetic graphitic media. Additionally, it opens avenues for seamless method transition from analytical to semi-preparative and preparative chromatography.

B. Allows covalent or non-covalent functionalization of the interior and the exterior surface of the spherical microbeads with atoms, molecules, or macromolecules to change the hydrophobicity, surface charge, or affinity to particular analytes. This capability enables mixed mode or multimodal chromatography.

3) NanoPak-C graphitic microbeads also show the additional advantages over Si-C18. These include:

A. It meets all the criteria “the Ideal HPLC support” presented by Knox and Kaur, who performed seminal research on the graphitic carbon stationary phase materials [3].

B. It can be organized into high surface area structures and controlled pore geometry.

C. It is chemically stable across the entire pH range.

D. It is thermally stable to high temperatures.

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1 Ross, P. & Knox, J. H. Carbon-Based Packing Materials for Liquid Chromatography: Applications. Advances in Chromatography 37, 121-162 (1997).

2 Parente, M. & Sitharaman, B. A Process for Synthesis of Carbon Beads, Patent Application PCT/US2021/020366. (2021).

3 Knox, J. H. & Kaur, B. Is Graphite the HPLC Packing Material for the Future? European Chromatography News 1, 12-15 (1987).