Single-column simulated-moving-bed process with recycle lag

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48 Citations (Scopus)


It is shown that the periodic state of the simulated-moving-bed (SMB) process is reproduced by a single-column Chromatographic process with a recycle lag of (N -1)τ time units, where N is the number of columns of the equivalent SMB unit and τ is the switching time. The operation of this ideal single-column process is formulated by selecting an arbitrary column of the SMB and following its operation over a complete cycle. To implement the recycle lag in practice, a special type of plug-flow tube has been designed. It includes internal elements to make the flow as close as possible to plug flow, and a piston to compensate for the difference between the inlet and outlet flow rates. This is necessary because the recycle lag is not a multiple of the overall cycle duration. The proposed system is a more compact, less-expensive, and simpler-to-operate alternative to the SMB. It avoids the problem of packing reproducibility and the total pressure drop is 1/Nth of that of the equivalent SMB. Depending on the efficiency of the recycle tube, our single-column process can achieve the same purities as the analogous SMB unit while keeping the specific productivity constant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1641-1653
Number of pages13
JournalAiche Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005


  • Analogue
  • Chromatography (LC & SMB)
  • Chromatography (preparative)
  • Single-column process


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