Continous annular chromatography for the separation of carbohydrate mixtures

  • Stephen Bridges

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The continuous separation of beet molasses resulting in a sucrose rich product and a non-sugar waste product was carried out using a rotating annular chromatograph. The annulus was 12 mm wide and 1.4 m long and was packed with a sodium charged 5.5% cross-linked polystyrene ion exchange resin. Separation was achieved by the simultaneous mechanisms of ion exclusion, size exclusion and partition chromatography. The entire packed bed was slowly rotated while beet molasses was fed continuously through a stationary feed nozzle to the top of the bed. Each molasses constituent having a different relative affinity for the packing and the deionised water mobile phase describes a characteristic helical path as it progresses from the stationary feed point to the bottom of the rotating bed. Each solute then elutes from the annulus at a different angular distance from the feed and separation of the multicomponent mixture is thereby achieved. When a 35% w/w sucrose beet molasses feed was used the throughput achievable was 45.1 kg sucrose m~3 resin h"1. In addition to beet molasses separation other carbohydrate mixtures were separated. In particular the separation of glucose and fructose by Ligand exchange chromatography on a calcium charged ion exchange bed was carried out. The effects of flowrates, concentration, rotation rate, temperature and particle size on resolution and dilution of constituents in the mixtures to be separated were studied. A small test rig was designed and built to determine the cause of liquid maldistribution around the annulus. The problem was caused by the porous bed support media becoming clogged with fines being introduced by eluent flows and off the resin. An outer ring was constructed to house the bed support which could be quickly replaced with the onset of maldistribution. The computer simulation of the operation of the rotating annular chromatograph has been carried out successfully.
Date of AwardMar 1990
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPhilip E. Barker (Supervisor)


  • annular chromatography
  • carbohydrate mixtures

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