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AZURA®
Simulated Moving Bed (SMB)

Introducing SMB chromatography

Simulated moving bed chromatography (SMBC) is increasingly applied as a separation technique in the pharmaceutical industry, production of fine chemicals and in the field of bioengineering. SMB is a method in process chromatography that enables substance mixtures to be continuously separated and extracted in two fractions. By repeated use of the SMB process each partial fraction can be separated into a further fraction – down to binary substance mixtures. Typically, the SMB process is set up in advance for a two component mixture. Following this, both substances can be immediately extracted in pure form – up to 1,000kg per year.

System solution for continuous purification

  • AZURA SMB Lab
  • AZURA SMB Pilot
  • AZURA® SMB Lab System

    The multi-column lab scale solution

    The AZURA® Lab SMB System is optimized for the separation of binary mixtures in gram-scale. As with the AZURA Lab SMB System special emphasis is put on the continuous operation mode and high productivity. The SMB standard configuration consists of four AZURA Assistans ASM 2.1L with seven multiposition valves and four P 4.1S Pumps as well as our user friendly software PurityChrom MCC and the required IT hardware. Referring to the special needs of every separation the SMB system can be freely configured (e.g. closed-loop, open-loop, 3-zone) and is upgradable (e.g. detector, flow meter). A maximum pressure up to 400 bar (six columns, 10 ml/min) or up to 16 columns (50 bar) is possible. Depending on your application the columns can be heated or cooled to ensure the perfect and most constant separation conditions. It can be chosen between a stainless steel or a bioinert version.

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  • AZURA® SMB Pilot System

    The multi-column system for pilot scale

    The AZURA Pilot SMB System is optimized for the separation of binary mixtures in gram to kilogram-scale. As with the AZURA Pilot SMB System special emphasis is put on the continuous operation mode and high productivity. The SMB standard configuration consists of four Pump 2.1L and seven multiposition valves integrated into four AZURA Assistans ASM 2.1L. Our user friendly software PurityChrom® MCC and the required IT hardware are included too. Referring to the special needs of every separation, the SMB system can be freely configured (e.g. closed-loop, open-loop, 3-zone) and is upgradable (e.g. detector, flow meter). A maximum pressure up to 344 bar (eight columns) or up to 16 columns (50 bar) are possible. Depending on your application the columns can be heated or cooled to ensure the perfect and most constant separation conditions. It can be choosen between a stainless steel or a bioinert version.

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THE SMB PRINCIPLE

How it works

The SMB process enables the separation of binary mixtures by means of a simulated countercurrent between the solid and liquid phases. This is accomplished with a series of chromatography columns arranged in a ring. An eluent flow circulates through this ring. Two inlets (for feed and eluent) and two outlets (extract/red and raffinate/blue) define four separation zones. By continuously feeding sample and synchronously switching the columns against the eluent flow direction, a countercurrent is achieved between the solid and liquid phases, leading to high purity of both target fractions.

The movement of the solid phase is realized by simultaneously switching seven multi-position valves (AZURA® SMB) or one central multi-position valve (former KNAUER SMB, CSEP®). The bulk of the eluent is continuously circulated in the system, making it necessary to replace only that small amount which is removed in the extract and raffinate, thereby enabling savings of up to 90% of the eluent in comparison to a batch process. Due to the simulated countercurrent, the stationary phase is significantly better utilized with the SMB technique as compared to the batch process technique. The number of theoretical plates might be also less important, making it possible to use cost-effective larger particle size for the stationary phases.

How AZURA® SMB works

System configuration
 
The standard AZURA® SMB systems consists of four pumps and seven multi-position valves. The devices are arranged as follows:
• Three pumps (Extract, Raffinate, Eluent) are placed inside the SMB cycle.
• The feed pump is placed outside the SMB cycle.
• Four valves are placed at the pump outlets.
• Three valves are placed at the pump inlets. The feed pump inlet is not connected to a multiposition valve.

Due to this configuration the SMB system can be used very flexible for many different separation modes. Additionally to the process stability AZURA® SMB systems are outperforming every other SMB system on the market regarding material and configuration flexibility as well usable pressure range.

Solutions for continuous purification of xylitol

Simulated moving bed chromatography (SMBC) was applied for the purification of xylitol from fermentation mash of a fed batch culture. This process enabled to purify xylitol with nearly 100 % purity and recovery. Thus, allowing large scale purification of xylitol from biological xylose-xylitol conversion process.

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