Greening Analysis with SFC
Supercritical fluid chromatography started out as anything but green. The road has been bumpy, but the modern technique cannot be ignored from an environmental perspective – despite its slight identity crisis.
Eric Francotte |
Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC) was first applied in 1962 using exotic supercritical fluids for a very specific application. Back then it was certainly not green; it used fluoro-chlorinated organic solvents that are now banned because of their negative impact on the atmospheric ozone layer.
Today, the great majority of SFC applications use carbon dioxide (CO2) as the supercritical fluid and most users implicitly mean SFC with CO2 when they refer to the technique. There is also a debate about the correctness of the term SFC, as – in practice – conditions are probably often subcritical rather than supercritical (see Tea With Pat Sandra: tas.txp.to/0415/patsandra); however, this debate does not affect the green aspects of the technique.
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