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Book Review Countercurrent Chromatography. By W. D. Conway

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1903 onwards. Thus, Peter Karlson’s biography of Adolf
Butenandt is an important book from many points of view.
Friedrich Cramer [NB 1135 IE]
Max-Planck-Institut fur experimentelle Medizin
Gottingen (FRG)
Countercurrent Chromatography. By u!D. Conway. VCH
Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim 1990. 475 pp., hardcover
DM 138.00. - ISBN3-527-26527-9
Liquid-liquid distribution, the partition of a mixture of
substances between two incompletely miscible liquid phases,
is an effective method for separating mixtures of involatile
soluble compounds. It became important as Craig distribution and partition chromatography, and nowadays it is still
the basis of many technical separation processes. Regrettably it has now been almost entirely replaced in the laboratory by modern chromatographic methods. Even today it
still has potential uses in the laboratory by virtue of its excellent capabilities, especially for isolating and purifying involatile compounds on a preparative scale. Particular advantages are the ability to simply and accurately calculate the
efficiency of separation, and the ease with which the method
can be scaled up.
Therefore the appearance of this comprehensive review of
recent developments in the field of liquid-liquid chromatography is very welcome. The main chapters of the book
describe the development of countercurrent chromatography, methods for producing the flow of the phases and
the centrifugal forces, liquid partition and mixing of the
phases, chromatography theory, solvent systems and applications. A comprehensive and well arranged bibliography
follows the main text.
The book describes the techniques and equipment for
achieving chromatographic separation, usually in a helical
column made of glass or plastic, without the need for a solid
porous membrane between the two liquid phases. Relative
motion between the phases is obtained using either gravitational or centrifugal forces. The centrifugal forces are produced by rotating the separating apparatus in various ways.
The fact that so many different arrangements are described
illustrates that the development of the technique is still far
from finished, and it will probably be some time yet before
there is a routine system that is versatile enough for general
use. The systems described here are capable of separating up
to 1 g of a mixture with a separation efficiency of 350 to 1000
theoretical plates. The time required to achieve separation is
of the order of hours.
Although countercurrent chromatography will undoubtedly always remain a specialized technique, it is nevertheless
desirable that it should become widely used. In view of the
continually growing importance of methods for isolating
and purifying compounds, one needs to have access to as
wide a variety of efficient separation techniques as possible.
The book reviewed here is a comprehensive introduction to
this subject, and can be recommended.
Herbert Feltkarnp [NB 1133 IE]
Bayer AG
Pharma Analytik und Qualitatskontrolle
Leverkusen (FRG)
The communication entitled “Parabolic Growth of a SelfReplicating Hexadeoxynucleotide Bearing a 3’-5’-Phosphonamidate Linkage” by G. von Kiedrowski, B. Wlotzka,
J Helbing, M . Matzen, and S. Jordan (Angew. Chem. 103
(1991) 456; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 30 (1991) 423) contained an error. The values of k, and k , calculated for
Rebek’s system (T. Tjivikua, P. Ballister, J. Rebek, Jr., J. Am.
Chem. SOC.112 (1990) 1249-1250) are wrong. The following
M-3’2 s-’,
values are correct: k, = (4.26 0.09) x
k , = (1.94 f 0.04) x
M - - ~ s-’. These values are in
agreement within the limits of error with those caluclated by
Rebek on the basis of Equation (a) given in our communication (J. Rebek, private communication). The value for E is
therefore not 8 6 a s given in the text-but 22. For the exponential model (note [9] in our communication), the regression coefficients are k, = (5.20 0.24) x lo-’ M - s~ C 1 and
kh = (2.56 f 0.07) x
M - ’ s - ’ ; the sum of least squares
exceeds that of the square-root model by a factor of 4.6. The
other information in this communication is not affected.
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Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 30 (1991) No. 7
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book, countercurrent, chromatography, conway, review
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