Tech Tip: Use your GC or GC-MS instrument to its full capabilities

Would you believe that only a small percentage of GC and GC-MS instruments are used to their full capabilities? This is the same for the data analysis systems.

In today's global climate of recession we really need to be making the most of what we have with optimised methods (both the analysis and the data processing) for high throughput and accurate analyses.

Ways to improve your methodologies:

Tech Tip: Use of Autosamplers – Part II

Modern autosamplers have become much more versatile and sophisticated than their original antecedents, so that they are not merely a device for replacing manual injection, they can now offer many options and improvements to the introduction of liquid and gaseous sample aliquots into a gas chromatograph. However, as with most analytical equipment, each function needs fine tuning to produce the best results. 

Injection style.

Tech Tip: Use of Autosamplers – Part I

Modern autosamplers have become much more versatile and sophisticated than their original antecedents, so that they are not merely a device for replacing manual injection, they can now offer many options and improvements to the introduction of liquid and gaseous sample aliquots into a gas chromatograph. However, as with most analytical equipment, each function needs fine tuning to produce the best results. 

Solvents and syringe cleaning. 

Tech Tip: Installing a capillary column into a GC inlet/detector (Part II)

The installation of a capillary column into a modern gas chromatograph requires precise positioning of the column into both the inlet/injection port and the detector to obtain optimum analytical performance.  Individual manufacturers have different requirements for the optimum insertion length and positioning of the column which should be checked from the relevant instrument operating manual.

NB some manufacturers specify the length of column as the distance measured from the back of the column nut, some from the front edge of the ferrule.

Tech Tip: Installing a capillary column into a GC inlet/detector (part I)

The installation of a capillary column into a modern gas chromatograph requires precise positioning of the column into both the inlet/injection port and the detector to obtain optimum analytical performance. Individual manufacturers have different requirements for the optimum insertion length and positioning of the column which should be checked from the relevant instrument operating manual. 

Using septum or card to mark the correct insertion distance

Tech Tip: How do you know when a suspected problem really is a problem and not imagined?

Failing to identify a problem early can result in it possibly becoming a major problem with lots of down-time and costs involved in solving and fixing it. Many samples may also need to be re-analysed adding to costs, time, stress and customer satisfaction. But, thinking that there is a problem when there isn't really one can also lead to all of these things with lots of tail-chasing and not really getting anywhere.
 

Tech Tip: Rotary Pump Maintenance – Oil changes and Use of the Ballast Valve

Most GC-MS vacuum systems comprise of a two-stage pumping arrangement - an initial low-vacuum, high capacity stage consisting of a rotary oil pump or diaphragm pump; and a second high stage, low capacity vacuum pump such as a diffusion or turbo-molecular pump.  The first stage or low-vacuum pump requires maintenance to ensure optimum pumping performance.  Two aspects that are often overlooked are the use of the ballast valve on the vacuum pump and replacement of the pump oil at the correct intervals.

Tech Tip: When to replace a gas cylinder

Knowing where your gas cylinders are located and regularly checking the contents is very important for any gas chromatographer when troubleshooting an instrument. People responsible for the cylinders go on holiday or leave and the first the instrument operators knows about it is when they run out of gas and then it is a major panic!
 
Unfortunately, many problems have already occurred by then.
 

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