Backfill-simulated moving bed operation for improving the separation performance of simulated moving bed chromatography

Kyung Min Kim, Chang Ha Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The Backfill-SMB (BF-SMB) strategy was designed to improve the separation performance of simulated moving bed (SMB) chromatography. In the BF-SMB operation, a limited amount of products from raffinate and/or extract was re-fed to the SMB circuit as a backfill-feed. Two additional operating variables, backfill ratio (BR) and backfill length (BL), were suggested to determine the amount and injection length of backfill-feed. This strategy was applied to a four-zone SMB with one column (1-1-1-1) and two columns (2-2-2-2) per zone using a binary mixture with a nonlinear isotherm. Various BF-SMB operational methods were designed to supply backfill-feed to the feed node and/or intermediate node. The separation performances of conventional SMB and BF-SMB were compared in terms of purity, recovery, and eluent consumption. The BF-SMB successfully improved the separation performance of the conventional SMB because backfill-feed led to the rich condition of the main component at each product withdrawal node. Due to the 'TMB effect' caused by backfill-feed, the BF-SMB operation was more efficient in the 1-1-1-1 configuration than in the 2-2-2-2 configuration, showing maximum improvement of 5-7% purity and recovery from the performance of conventional SMB. In addition, partial recycling of eluent by backfill-feed resulted in a decrease in eluent consumption up to 10% even with improved purity and recovery in BF-SMB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct 11

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support by DAPA/ADD of Korea and Korean Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (20122010200050).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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