Experimental Study and Modeling of the Radial Dispersion in Packed Bed Columns for Liquid Chromatography

Project Details


Liquid chromatography is most probably the chemical process whose performance is most sensitive to the micro- and macroscopic shape of the column packing. This sensitivity manifests itself as the axial dispersion or band broadening, which directly determines the separation efficiency of the column. This axial dispersion originates from the many sources of radial differences in axial velocity that inevitably exist in a column. Fortunately, these differences in axial velocity are countered by the radial dispersion process, as this helps to average out the differences in axial velocity. Since the value of the radial dispersion coefficient (Drad) in chromatographic columns is strangely enough ill-known and poorly studied, the present project aims at making a comprehensive study of the dependency of Drad on the species retention equilibrium, the liquid velocity, and the diffusion coefficient in- and outside the particles. Data will be collected on real columns using a simple yet effective measurement principle, as well as via computational fluid dynamics, which offer the advantage to investigate the phenomenon under exactly known geometrical and physicochemical conditions, as well as to impose some "exaggerated" conditions that cannot be realized in practice but provide a stringent test for the improved mathematical Drad-models that will be established. A fully parallel study will be undertaken to also establish improved models for the radial heat transfer coefficient.
Effective start/end date1/10/1230/09/16

Flemish discipline codes

  • Systems biology


  • Applied Biology