S-Ibuprofen purification by MagLev

01 June 2014 - Applied physics

ibuprofen maglev.PNGThe Whitesides lab has earlier adopted a MagLev for peanut butter analyis here and now have moved on to enantiopurification as described here. Case at hand: the purification of crystalline S-ibuprofen by removing a 1.3% contamination of racemic crystals. Magnetic levitation takes place in a manganese chloride solution, between two big magnets and at an angle. Even though the difference in density is small (1.093 vs 1.110 cubic centimeter), both populations levitate at different heights and can be separated. Increase in ee: from 98.7 to 99.8. Even better: on successive purifications a 50% ee sample could be upgraded to a 99.2 ee sample with 99.5% yield. Disclaimers: milligram scale experiments, multihour maglev sessions. Is this sort of contamination really an issue in industry?