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GC Troubleshooting

1 Day

A logical approach to GC Troubleshooting is explored in this one-day course. Commonly encountered problems and best practices are examined for all major system components including gas handling, inlet system, oven, column and detector.

Examination of separation chemistry, interrogation of poor peak shape and retention problems are a fundamentally important part of the course, leading to increased awareness of troubleshooting principles.

  • How the chromatographic process takes place
  • The architecture of a GC system
  • Working principles and problems associated with each component of the system
  • How to use chromatograms to troubleshoot chromatographic problems
  • Best practices for column use and care
  • Best practice in system maintenance and performance evaluation

Approaches to Logical Troubleshooting

  • Logical troubleshooting
  • System overview
  • Component perspective
  • Symptomatic perspective
  • System maintenance records
  • Symptom/Causes/Diagnosis & solution

Component Perspective

  • What to look for/what can go wrong with…
  • Injectors: on-column, split – splitless, large volume
  • Detectors: FID, ECD, NPD, FPD
  • Temperature and pressure control


  • Installation and conditioning
  • Operating principles
  • Optimisation
  • Operating range/bleed
  • Band broadening

Symptomatic Perspective: Baselines

  • Baseline spikes
  • Noisy baselines
  • Cycling baselines
  • Rising/falling baselines

Symptomatic Perspective: Peaks

  • No peaks
  • Fronting/tailing peaks
  • Split peaks/shoulders
  • Broad shoulders
  • Ghost peaks
  • Retention stability
  • Solvent incompatibility
  • Loss of sensitivity


  • Maintenance schedules
  • Correct maintenance procedures injectors and detectors

This course is designed for those relatively new to GC and ideally will follow-on from attendance to the Fundamental GC training course.

Some previous knowledge of gas chromatography and basic experience are recommended but not essential. 

Operating and Understanding GC

Practical GC Troubleshooting and Maintenance

GC-MS for those moving from GC to GC-MS

GC Method Development

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