E-PAK from Silicycle

E-PAK is a family of radial flow adsorption cartridges developed specifically for pharmaceutical processing.

E-PAK Cartridges are offered in 3 formats:

  • Lab scale - generally used for processing samples of 50 mL or more
  • Pilot scale - provide rapid processing for volumes from 10 to hundreds of liters, and are a convenient way for confirming scale-up considerations and/or producing kilo quantities of API’s and intermediates
  • Commercial scale - provide rapid processing for manufacturing operations needing to process batch sizes of > 10,000 liters or can be adapted for continuous operation using a duplex design

Offered with a choice of metal scavengers, bare silica & activated carbons, these cartridges are designed to remove precious metal catalysts, reaction-by-products or color from synthetic reaction mixtures and natural products.

  • SiliaFlash irregular silica gels (in 3 particle size ranges: 40 - 63 µm, 60 - 200 µm & 200 - 500 µm)
  • Metal Scavengers - SiliaMetS Thiol & SiliaMetS DMT
  • Activated Carbons - C941, C-947 & C948


  • Easy scale-up - from laboratory to industrial production
  • Proven technology - proven cartridge design & reliable technology
  • Performance - high adsorption capacity & flow rate
  • Convenience - safer handling, clean-up & disposal
  • Optimization- increases product recovery & reduces solvent requirements
  • Various sorbents offered - SiliaMetS Metal Scavengers, Bare Silica & Activated Carbons

Available Sorbents

Active Adsorbents
For Removal and/or Recovery of: pH Operation
SiliaMetS Thiol Pd, Ag, Hg, Os, Ru, Cu, Ir, Pb, Rh, Se & Sn 2 to 10
SiliaMetS DMT Pd, As, Ir, Ni, Os, Pt, Rh, Ru Se, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Sc & Zn
SiliaMetS Imidazole Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Ir, Li, Mg, Ni, Os, W, Zn, Cr, Pd & Rh
SiliaBond Amine Pd, Cr, Pt, W, Zn, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Hg, Ni, Pb, Ru, Sc & Se
SiliaMetS Diamine
SiliaMetS Triamine
SiliaFlash Bare Silica Very vast range of organic impurities, metals, pigments... 2 to 9
Activated Carbons Precious metal catalysts & colours 1 to 13

Scale Up

One of the strongest benefits of SiliCycle E-PAK Cartridges is their linearity upon scale-up.

In a typical Suzuki-Miyaura coupling for which palladium needed to be removed, each format behaved very similarly in terms of efficiency (scavenging %), kinetics and relative capacity.

Experimental Conditions
E-PAK Format Bed Volumne Flow Rate Residence Time
5 x 1 cm 18.8 mL 10 mL/min 01:53 min:sec
5 x 12 cm 188 mL 100 mL/min 01:53 min:sec
5 x 25 cm 470 mL 250 mL/min 01:53 min:sec
16.5 x 25 cm 4750 mL 2600 mL/min 01:50 min:sec
16.5 x 100 cm 19,000 mL 10,400 mL/min 01:50 min:sec

Once the best purifications sorbents have been identified in bulk, transferring the conditions from bulk to cartridges can be a very robust strategy for rapid and efficient scale-up.

Various Ways of using E-PAK

Depending on the application and how you prefer to work, E-PAK cartridges can be used in different ways:

  • Single pass
  • Recirculation
  • Multiple Sequential Passes
  • 2 Cartridges Method

For a single pass usage, we suggest to run at very low flow rate compared to recirculation process, which can be run at higher flow rate.

Flow and Hydraulic Pressure Drop

Cartridges provide rapid kinetics at flow rates and contact times suitable for single pass operation. The table below shows typical flow rates and pressure drop performance for Lab, Pilot and Commercial Scale Cartridges.

Cartridge Size
(diameter x height)
Minimum Flow Rate Maximum Flow Rate Pressure Drop ΔP (Psig) with w/1 cps Fluid
5 x 1 cm (Lab) 5 mL/min 100 mL/min ≤ 7.5 psig
5 x 10 cm (Lab) 50 mL/min 500 mL/min ≤ 5 psig
5 x 25 cm (Lab) 125 mL/min 1 L/min ≤ 5 psig
16.5 x 12.5 cm (Pilot) 0.95 L/min 2.5 L/min ≤ 10 psig
16.5 x 25 cm (Pilot) 1.9 L/min 5 L/min ≤ 10 psig
16.5 x 50 cm (Commercial) 3.8 L/min 10 L/min ≤ 10 psig
16.5 x 100 cm (Commercial) 7.6 L/min 20 L/min ≤ 10 psig

Chemical Compatibility

E-PAK cartridges are formed using a proprietary technology and chemically stable materials in common organic solvents.

E-PAK cartridges have been tested and found satisfactory for use with the following commonly used solvents:

  • Methanol
  • Dichloromethane
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Tetrahydrofuran
  • Toluene
  • N-ethyl-2-pyrolidone

E-PAK cartridges are suitable for operation at pH of 1 to 13 for activated carbon and 2 to 12 for silica-based products.

Handling and Safety

Initial solvent wetting of E-PAK cartridges will produce heat; a risk assessment with the use with low vapor pressure solvents is recommended.

The adsorbent matrix in E-PAK cartridges is electrically conductive. E-PAK cartridges filter housings and retrofit kits provide a connection between the adsorbent matrix and the filter cartridge housing. A risk assessment of electrical discharge in explosion proof environments is recommended.

Quality and Regulatory

E-PAK cartridges are manufactured under ISO 9001, GMP manufacturing operations in Glasgow, DE (U.S.A.).

Drug Master File registrations are in progress.