Simulated Moving Bed Technology

Based on unique experience in preparative and industrial chromatography, a robust and efficient line of Varicol® multicolumn continuous chromatography systems has been developed, which is a substantial improvement of the well-known simulated moving bed (SMB) technology. Particularly well adapted for kilogram up to multi-ton binary separations, Varicol® systems suit any chiral compound resolution, isomer and other binary mixture separation. Varicol® systems are used for the production of all the commercial APIs sold as pure enantiomers and manufactured by chiral chromatography.

Varicol® offering includes

  • Prochrom® Varicol chromatography systems
  • Prochrom® DAC columns
  • Solvent storage and recycling systems


  • Cost effectiveness– Prochrom® Varicol is an advanced continuous chromatography process which is 2 to 10 times more productive than a batch process, such as HPLC, for large scale binary separations; providing the highest productivity, best return on investment as well as the lowest operating costs. The systems fully integrate solvent recycling to reduce your solvent consumption by up to 99.97%
  • Time efficiency– The guaranteed scalability and robustness of chromatographic processes will ensure the quickest delivery of your API
  • Ease of use – Varicol systems are entirely automated and require minimal operator interface. Fully compliant with the PAT (Process Analytical Technologies) guidelines of the FDA, the ACS (Advanced Control System) automatically controls your Prochrom® Varicol system and increases separation performance and robustness


In multicolumn continuous chromatography, one long column is replaced by a loop of 4 to 6 shorter columns, optimizing the usage of the stationary phase. Only pure fractions are collected, leaving mixed fractions to re-circulate through the columns. Contrary to SMB, Prochrom® Varicol is a features non-synchronous shifting of the inlet and outlet lines. The number of columns periodically varies in each zone of the system. This ensures a more efficient use of stationary phase and a higher productivity compared to SMB. In most cases, Varicol® is 15 to 30% more productive than SMB and typically 5 or 6 columns are used in Varicol whereas 6 to 8 columns are used in SMB.

1. Prochrom® Varicol Chromatography Systems

The fully automated Varicol® systems are designed for process development, pilot-scale and industrial chromatographic separations.


  • Optimal industrial design allowing 24/7 continuous operation
  • High productivity and yield resulting from excellent process reproducibility
  • Reliable instrumentation and easy access for reduced maintenance
  • Fully PAT compliant with our advanced control system
  • Systems are designed to be operated under cGMP condition
  • They are fully qualified and extensively tested during factory acceptance testing (FAT) and site acceptance testing (SAT)
Prochrore® Varicol Laboratory Pilot Industrial
Type Micro Lab (30-50) Lab (30-80) 6 -110 6-150 6-200 6-300 6-450 6-600 6-800 6-1000
Column Diameter (mm) 10 30 – 50 50 – 80 110 – 150 200 300 450 600 800 1000
  g/day kg/week tons/year
Productivity Range 10 – 40 50 – 1000 250 – 2500 10 – 200 40 – 400 90 – 900 8 – 80 15 – 150 25 – 250  40 – 400
Stationary Phase (kg) 0.05 0.4 – 1 1 – 3 3 – 6 10 25 55 100 180 280

2. Prochrom® DAC Columns for Varicol® Systems

Dynamic Axial Compression (DAC) provides the optimum packed bed density and stability, thereby ensuring optimum separation efficiency and consistent performance. For more information, click and refer to Prochrom® DAC Columns

3. Integration of Solvent Storage and Recycling

At large scale, solvent recycling is mandatory to minimize solvent consumption and thus reduce both associated costs and environmental impact. Efficient solvent storage and recycling solutions have been developed which are fully integrated within our Varicol® chromatography systems. Depending on your scale of operation and molecule/ process constraints, solvent recycling solutions may include automated rotary, wiped or falling film evaporators and/or distillation columns.