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SFC: A Greener Approach to Analytical and Purification Applications

For laboratories overwhelmed with solvent disposal and time-consuming solvent cleanup, supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) is a beneficial alternative to purification and analytical applications. Considered a leading “green” purification technology, SFC systems from Waters are used to separate and isolate chiral and achiral chemical compounds using various methods of detection. The principles of SFC are similar to those of liquid chromatography, however SFC typically uses carbon dioxide as the main mobile phase. SFC is essentially a normal-phase chromatographic technique with inherent high speed and efficiency due to its mobile phase. As a high pressure liquid, or supercritical fluid, using CO2 is a smart solvent for its low viscosity and high diffusivity needed in today’s demanding purification labs and also a sustainable solvent as it is reused after being discarded from other industrial processes. SFC excels at separating and purifying chiral compounds and natural products because it’s faster, uses much less solvent, and overall is a less expensive and greener method that exceeds high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) in performance for chiral separations. Whether you’re just looking to analyze chiral compounds or need to purify those compounds, Waters has the solution that fits your needs.


The Investigator SFC, an analytical to semi-preparative supercritical fluid chromatography system, combines the power of analytical SFC with the unique ability to isolate and collect less than 1 gram of specific compounds. It includes higher flow rates (up to 15 mL/min), a larger and more flexible oven that accommodates up to 10 analytical columns or 6 preparative columns. With the Alias Autosampler, the Investigator SFC delivers increased capacity and 2X the speed.


  • CO2 pump and solvent pump making up the fluid delivery module with an automated backpressure regulator
  • Analytical-2-Prep Dual Valve Oven with a unique drawer design for easy access
  • Enhanced, easy-to-use SuperChrom Software that allows maximum flexibility for control, method programming, stacked injection capability and full spectra acquisition/data analysis
  • Optional, fully integrated 2998 PDA and/or 2424 ELS detectors
  • Small footprint (92 cm high x 98 cm long x 68 cm wide)


SFC 80/200/350 Preparative Systems

Waters’ suite of bulk-scale supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) purification systems offers the optimal system for the amount of sample you need to purify. These systems easily allow you to purify a large amount of one sample. When faster and more cost-effective means sustainable business operations, SFC is the purification technique that makes the difference. Preparative-scale SFC 80, 200, and 350 systems are automated systems that feature co-solvent gradient, high pressure separators for quantitative recovery of purified products, such as enantiomers, complex synthetic chemicals and natural products. They are designed for chiral and achiral separations.   *Under general operating conditions 1 g/min of CO2 is approximately equivalent to 1 mL/min **Based on an 8 hour day