Development of online-storage inner-recycling counter-current chromatography for the preparative separation of complex components of alkylphenols from sarcotesta of Ginkgo biloba L.
High-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC) is becoming an effective and non-absorptive separation method from natural products. Due to the insufficient separation efficiency, it is challenging to separate complex components, especially for compounds with similar KD values. In this study, a novel and effective online-storage inner-recycling CCC method was used to separate alkylphenols from the sarcotesta of Ginkgo biloba L. A two-phase solvent system of n-heptane/ethyl acetate/methanol/acetic acid (5 : 4 : 1 : 1, v/v) was used for HSCCC separation of 500 mg crude extracts. After the inner-recycling of two fractions coupled with pre-HPLC, five main ginkgolic acids (C13:0, C15:1, C17:2, C15:1, C17:1) coupled with bilobol (C15:1) and a mixture were obtained from a non-stop separation using a storage loop and two six-way valves. This novel method was also evaluated and predicted by formula derivation. This method could be an effective, rapid, and simple approach to separate alkylphenols from the sarcotesta of G. biloba.