Isolation of low level impurities from samples is often complicated by the quantity of major component to be processed to isolate them and the complexity of the low level mixture. In many cases isolation of these low level impurities requires more than one separation step. A new approach rapidly gaining acceptance is to employ a high capacity, initial processing HPCCC step to enrich the impurities and remove as much target major component as possible. The mass of the resulting impurity fraction is thus reduced between 10 to 100-fold much simplifying a second fractionation step such as High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) or Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC) and producing a significant time saving.
The advantages of the two step HPCCC - HPLC/SFC combination are several-fold. HPCCC has high sample loading capacity allowing a minimal number of runs to remove the target component and generate the concentrated impurity fraction. HPCCC is orthogonal in separation mechanism to both HPLC and SFC, so that the second step separation will not be merely a higher resolution repeat of the initial one. HPCCC is chemically gentle with total recovery of sample for unstable impurities, therefore you can have confidence that you have eluted all the impurities