Chromatography of any sort requires careful attention to detail for accurate analysis and results. Unfortunately, in such a complicated process, there is plenty of room for error. Read on to learn more about the common errors in gas chromatography to avoid making these mistakes in your next analysis.
Heating a Column Without Any Carrier Gas Flow
Not using a carrier gas before heating the column is a quick way to damage it. Always check that the carrier gas is on and flowing before turning on the gas chromatograph oven. After your analysis, do not turn the carrier gas off until the oven cools, as you could still damage the column and create inconsistent results.
Skipping Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is imperative for all essential chromatography supplies. Maintenance usually comes at a lower cost compared to having to replace parts. Following proper procedures can keep your equipment in tip-top shape for the most accurate analysis.
Using the Wrong Syringe Type
There are many different types and sizes of gas chromatography syringes. It’s best to consider the application and sample size before selecting the syringe type. For example, using a large volume syringe with a small sample could flood the inlet and create problems.
Failing To Care for the Inlet
Any leak in gas chromatography will cause significant issues and alter results. The inlet is the most likely area for a leak. Changing the septum regularly reduces the likelihood of this occurring.
Not Using an Optimal Flow Rate
Each carrier gas has an optimal flow rate that gives the best efficiency. Column efficiency can diminish if you don’t use the optimal flow rate. You should optimize the proper gas flow rate to the detector according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Without the right precautions and attention to detail, your chromatography analysis can turn out to be disastrous, especially if you make one of these five common errors in gas chromatography.