Prof. Dr. ir. Ken Broeckhoven

Prof. Dr. ir. Ken Broeckhoven

Office: 5G206
Telephone: +32 (0)2 629 3249
Function:Head of Department; Professor




General introduction

During my post-doctoral research project the possibilities and limitations of the use of ultra-high operating pressures (1200 bar and beyond) in liquid chromatography will be investigated.


As the maximum separation power (i.e. analysis time vs. efficiency) of a chromatographic instrument is directly proportional to the available operating pressure, a further increase of the pressure limit of the chromatographic hardware is the most straightforward way to improve current systems. Unfortunately, the use of these ultra-high pressures results in significant changes in the mobile phase and solute properties (e.g. density, viscosity, diffusion coefficients and retention equilibria). In addition, the dissipation of viscous forces in the packed bed causes the mobile phase and column hardware to heat up, yielding radial and axial temperature and velocity profiles in the column. The measurement and modeling of both effects (temperature and pressure) and finding novel ways to counter or minimize possible adverse effects of the use of ultra-high pressures is therefore the main goal of my research.

Selected publications

  • K. Broeckhoven, G. Desmet, 2009, Numerical and analytical solutions for the column length-dependent band broadening originating from axisymmetrical trans-column velocity gradients, J. Chromatogr. A, 1216, 1325-1337.
  • G. Desmet, K. Broeckhoven, 2008, Equivalence of the Different C-m- and C-s-Term Expressions Used in Liquid Chromatography and a Geometrical Model Uniting Them, Anal. Chem., 80, 8076-8088.
  • K. Broeckhoven, J. Billen, M. Verstraeten, K. Choikhet, M. Dittmann, G. Rozing, G. Desmet, 2010, Towards a solution for viscous heating in ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography using intermediate cooling, J. Chromatogr. A, 1217, 2022-2031.
  • S. Deridder, G. Desmet, New insights in the velocity dependency of the external mass transfer coefficient in 2D and 3D porous media for liquid chromatography, J. Chromatogr. A 1227 (2012) 194.

More information

Go to my VUB researcher page.


  • Chemical Process Technology (teaching assistant)
  • Simulation and Design Tools for the Process Industry (teaching assistant)

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