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pH‐zone‐refining elution–extrusion countercurrent chromatography: Separation of hydroxyanthraquinones from Cassiae semen

Bu, Zhisi, Lv, Liqiong, Li, Xingnuo, Chu, Chu, Tong, Shengqiang
Journal of separation science 2017 v.40 no.21 pp. 4281-4288
Cassia, acetates, ammonia, countercurrent chromatography, emodin, ethanol, high performance liquid chromatography, medicinal plants, pH, solvents
Seven hydroxyanthraquinones were successfully separated from the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Cassiae semen by conventional and pH‐zone‐refining countercurrent chromatography with an environmentally friendly biphasic solvent system, in which elution–extrusion mode was investigated for pH‐zone‐refining countercurrent chromatography for the first time. A two‐phase solvent system composed of n‐hexane/ethyl acetate/ethanol/water (5:3:4:4, v/v/v/v) was used for the conventional countercurrent chromatography while the same system with a different volume ratio n‐hexane/ethyl acetate/ethanol/water (3:5:2:6, v/v/v/v) was used for pH‐zone‐refining countercurrent chromatography, in which 20 mmol/L of trifluoroacetic acid was added in the organic phase as a retainer and 15 mmol/L of ammonia was added to the aqueous phase as an eluter. A 400 mg crude sample could be well separated by pH‐zone‐refining countercurrent chromatography, yielding 53 mg of aurantio‐obtusin, 40 mg of chryso‐obtusin, 18 mg of obtusin, 24 mg of obtusifolin, 10 mg of emodin, and 105 mg of the mixture of chrysophanol and physcion with a purity of over 95.8, 95.7, 96.9, 93.5, 97.4, 77.1, and 19.8%, as determined by high‐performance liquid chromatography. Furthermore, the difference in elution sequence between conventional and pH‐zone‐refining mode was observed and discussed.