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Experimental control results for a chiral SMB separation


C. Langel, C. Grossmann, M. Morari, M. Mazzotti, M. Morbidelli

International Symposium on Preparative and Industrial Chromatography and Allied Techniques (SPICA), Zurich, Switzerland

Different approaches for the control of SMB processes have been proposed in recent years. Independently of how complex the control algorithm might be, they all require accurate feedback information to achieve good control performance. In the case of chiral separations the pool of available monitoring techniques is rather limited. In a previous work our group has made use of online optical detectors, i.e. UV and polarimeter, whose accuracy limited the performance of the controller. To overcome these difficulties a monitoring system based on HPLC measurements has been developed, implemented and validated. In this monitoring system the HPLC measurements are carried out less frequently, i.e. once per cycle and the analysis time is in the range of the cycle time, which introduces a significant time delay in the measurements. As a consequence, the controller actions are based on more accurate and straightforward but less frequent and time delayed feedback information of the SMB plant. This work presents new experimental results for the separation of guaifenesin enatiomers using our ‘cycle to cycle’ control concept together with the automated HPLC monitoring system. Various case studies have been chosen to assess the performance of the controller under common situations encountered during SMB operations: Separation of several racemic mixtures with different concentrations, ranging from diluted to concentrated ones; rejection of disturbances due to pump malfunctioning; tracking of changing purity specifications during operation and changes in the concentration of the feed mixture in the course of the operation. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed control experimental setup to guarantee the fulfillment of process and product specifications.


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M. Morari

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