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Practical Fast GC practical course
2 Day Course | GC Level 3

This course is designed as a comprehensive introduction to the principles and practice of fast gas chromatography.

The course is a mix of theory, simulation and practical laboratory sessions that allow the student to quickly gain knowledge on the theory, practice and limitations of the common approaches to speeding up GC analysis.

  • We limit numbers to 6 per course so that each delegate gets the opportunity to ask questions and fully participate in practical 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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on site Practical Fast GC
on site
on site

The aim of this training course is to ‘enable’ clients to speed up existing separations or to develop novel ‘Fast’ GC separations using existing equipment or to understand how to quickly adapt equipment to take advantage of these enabling technologies.

The main factors in speeding up analysis - reduced column internal diameter (i.d.),use of shorter columns, use of hydrogen as a carrier with increased carrier gas linear velocity, and the use of low thermal mass and electrically heated columns - are discussed in detail and method conversions are practically demonstrated. Instrumentation is also taken into account and the various approaches to fast GC using standard GC equipment as well as the instrument requirements to use very small i.d. columns and alternatively heated columns are discussed at length.

Who is this course for

This course is designed for the experienced chromatographer, method developers with experience in conventional GC, or those GC users who need to transition to fast GC while minimising uncertainty and method development time.

Previous knowledge

Delegates should have a good knowledge of chromatography and experience as GC users. Some experience in method development is recommended. A good grounding in chemistry is also beneficial.

What you will learn

  • Why Fast GC? - separation speed as a limiting factor in analysis
  • How to enhance Resolution/Selectivity/Efficiency (Chemistry and Physics!)
  • What are the broad choices for optimising efficiency in GC
  • Optimising plate number: different theories and approaches
  • So what happened to selectivity?
  • Working with Hydrogen at high flows
  • Adapting instruments for use with 100μm i.d. GC columns
  • How to translate existing methods for use with Fast GC
  • Data capture and analysis requirements
  • How to develop Fast GC methods

The Chromatographic Process

  • Polarity, boiling point and analyte interactions with the stationary phas

Developing a Temperature Programme

  • Multiple ramps
  • Mid-ramp hold
  • Final temperature and time

GC System Overview

  • Advantages of capillary GC
  • Disadvantages of capillary GC
  • Types of molecules suitable for GC analysis

Developing High Throughput Separations in Capillary GC

  • Practical considerations for increasing analysis speed
  • Hydrogen safety
  • Increasing analysis speed using narrow bore GC columns
  • Using vacuum to achieve high carrier gas linear velocity

GC Theory

  • Distillation theory
  • Partition theory
  • Capacity Factor (k'), Selectivity (α), Resolution (R), Efficiency (N)
  • Peak broadening: van Deemter equation and Golay’s modification

Other Important Instrument Considerations

  • Inlet considerations
  • Detector considerations
  • Oven heating and cooling considerations

Training Calendar

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The Role of Temperature in GC Separations

Temperature is one of the two most important variables in GC and affects the retention (capacity (k)), selectivity ( α ) and to a lesser extent the efficiency (N) of all separations. As temperature is convenient to manipulate within a GC experiment, and as it has a large effect of the selectivity (and hence resolution) of a separation, it is a primary variable in method development and optimisation. A general form of the Clapeyron - Clausius equation is shown opposite which links the analyte vapour pressure with the (inverse of) temperature. The equation indicates that as temperature is decreased, analyte vapour pressure decreases and hence retention time increases – this can be seen from the plot of ‘log retention volume against 1/T’ also shown opposite for several analytes from the same separation performed at various temperatures. There are several important conclusions that can be drawn from the nature of this curve:

  • As temperature decreases analyte retention (capacity) increases
  • The lines are not parallel – therefore selectivity between analytes alters as a function of temperature
  • As the lines diverge at lower temperature (towards the right of the plot), a useful generalisation is – ‘GC separations are (usually) better at lower temperatures’
  • Where the lines cross indicates co-elution – the two compounds cannot be separated at this temperature under these conditions
As the plot lines cross this indicates a reversal in elution order, this is unusual but does occur. Method developers need to be very careful to ‘track’ peaks when developing temperature programs.



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