Part 2 of our yearly report on new products introduced at Pittcon. This instalment of "Column Watch" covers gas chromatography columns, supercritical fluid chromatography columns, and products for sample preparation, including small benchtop instruments.
Pittcon 2014 Conference and Expo (less formally known as the 65th Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy) was held once again in the gigantic McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, USA on 2–6 March 2014. The purpose of this report is to provide information about many of the new separation consumables and accessory products that were displayed at Pittcon 2014. In some cases, products that were introduced during 2013 but after Pittcon 2013 (1,2) may be included for reasons of completeness. The information is based on manufacturers' responses to a questionnaire mailed in early 2014. Because of space limitations and the fact that some manufacturers did not respond to the questionnaire, this report cannot be considered an exhaustive listing of all new products that were introduced in Chicago. However, over the years, these Pittcon introduction summaries have provided a good source of information that would be difficult for one individual to gather during the four days of the exhibition. In addition, the products introduced have shown definite correlations to current research, development, and application activity in the separation sciences.
In last month's coverage (3), I described new introductions in the areas of HPLC columns for reversed-phase LC, hydrophilic-interaction chromatography (HILIC), ion-exchange and ion chromatography, and size-exclusion chromatography (SEC). Specialty columns for specific types of analyses were also covered last month. This month, I look at gas chromatography (GC) and supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) columns, sample preparation products, and hardware, accessories, and small tabletop instruments, mainly for sample preparation. For a synopsis of the overall trends seen at Pittcon, please refer to part 1 (3).As in previous years, columns and other products recommended by their manufacturers primarily for biomolecule separations or sample preparation are denoted in the tables with the designation BIO. Some of these products may be used for general high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separations as well as for sample preparation, but their main emphasis is for biological samples.
Gas Chromatography and Supercritical Fluid Chromatography
The year 2014 was the sparsest ever for new GC column introductions. Only two manufacturers supplied data on their new columns for Pittcon: Agilent Technologies and J&K Scientific.
Agilent's offerings included a new line of porous open tubular (PLOT) capillary columns called PLOT PT. These unique columns virtually eliminate particle shredding through an integrated particle trapping technology on both ends of the column — giving the advantage of no need for cumbersome (and leaky) unions or downstream filters. The integrated particle trap is built directly into the column as one continuous length of fused silica. Overall, signal spiking and unnecessary downtime because of loose particles in the flow stream is less of a concern in the analysis of light gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are major applications of PLOT columns.
J&K Scientific is a Canadian company based in Nova Scotia that makes specialty columns. The company's newest introduction is the NSP-EUPAH GC capillary column. This column has wall-coated proprietary stationary phase designed to separate EU and US EPA priority polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) analysis. The column can provide baseline separation of the EU 15 + 1 PAH on short columns of lengths of 8–15 m with analysis times of 25–40 min. Some unique characteristics are complete separation of triphenylene from chrysene (resolution >10) and benz(a)anthracene. The column can also provide a separation of critical isomer pairs of US EPA Method 610 Priority Pollutant PAH method. In all, separation of 32 EU and US EPA priority compounds with interfering compounds and isomers can be achieved.
One dedicated column for SFC was introduced by ES Industries. Typical of columns specific to SFC, the GreenSep Triamine column resembles a regular HPLC column but with a special triamine bonded phase that is not normally used in LC. The silica-based bonded phase material (120 Å pore size) can be purchased in stainless steel packed columns in sizes ranging from microbore to preparative, as well as is in guard column format and in bulk. Particle sizes range from 1.9-µm to 20-µm. It is recommended for the separation of polar compounds such as amines without the use of additives in the mobile phase.