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Fundamental GC Training class room course
1 Day Course | GC Level 1

Basics of the chromatographic process, sample preparation, inlet systems, column and detector selection are important topics covered to give the participant a thorough grounding in the technique. Instrument hardware is also covered with basic troubleshooting and maintenance tips as well as an introduction to chromatographic optimisation. This course is not instrument-specific.

  • We limit numbers to 20 per course so that each delegate gets the opportunity to ask questions and fully participate in tutorial exercises
  • When delivered on-site we can design the course material to suit your specific training needs
  • Customisable written assessments are available if required

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download course pdfFor the less experienced chromatographer or those wishing to update their skills, this course covers the fundamentally important concepts in modern GC analysis.

The different components of the gas chromatograph (gas cylinders and generators, injectors, column oven, detectors, etc) are fully explored, as well as the theory of chromatographic separation, temperature programming, injection techniques and fundamentals of data analysis.

Who is this course for

This course is for current users of GC, or for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the chromatographic separation of volatile compounds amenable to analysis by this technique.

Previous knowledge

No previous knowledge of chromatography is necessary, but knowledge of basic chemistry is beneficial.

What you will learn

  • Basics of the chromatography process
  • Sample preparation protocols
  • Sample introduction
  • Columns and temperature programming
  • Detectors
  • Measuring and optimising chromatographic parameters

Basics of the Chromatography Process

  • Retention mechanisms in GC
  • Temperature/retention relationships
  • Column theory
  • Stationary phase chemistries

Columns and Temperature Programming

  • Choosing the right phase
  • Column geometries explained
  • Phase types
  • Temperature effects
  • Band broadening (van Deemter & Golay treatment
  • Isothermal vs. Gradient operation

Sample Preparation Protocols

  • Principles
  • Matrix elimination
  • Solvent considerations
  • Solvent and Solid Phase Extraction


  • Choosing the right detector
  • Operating principles and optimisation
  • Typical operating conditions

Sample Introduction

  • Operating principles
  • Typical operating conditions
  • Optimisation
  • Split/splitless
  • Cool on-column
  • Headspace (on request)

Measuring and Optimising Chromatographic Parameters

  • Efficiency
  • Capacity factor
  • Selectivity
  • Resolution
  • Interdependence via the resolution equation

Training Calendar

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How to Change Retention Factor (k)

The most effective and convenient way to alter the retention factor of a peak is to adjust the temperature of the mobile phase (carrier gas). This can be very simply achieved by entering the required temperature into the GC or data system. The instrument will then use its oven heater to regulate the column oven to the new required temperature.

Temperature is one of the two most important variables in GC, along with the chemical nature of the stationary phase. The retention factor (k) decreases as temperature increases – they are inversely proportional - this is a fundamental relationship in Gas Chromatography. A decrease in vapour pressure (due to decreasing temperature (T)) results in a decrease in the relative amount of analyte in the mobile phase and an increase in retention factor (and retention time). This is described by the Clausius-Clapeyron and Van’t Hoff equations (see the ‘More’ box opposite).

Other variables that affect the retention factor include – the chemical nature of the stationary phase as well as the ratio between the amounts of carrier (mobile phase) and stationary phase inside the GC column. This latter parameter is often called the Phase Ratio ( β ) and will be discussed in another section.

These latter parameters involve changing the GC column and are therefore less convenient than temperature for changing retention factor.

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