Case Studies: Improved Productivity with Fast GC Accessories

February 1, 2009
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The Application Notebook

The Application Notebook, The Application Notebook-02-01-2009, Volume 0, Issue 0

Thermal agility is a term that describes the ability of an oven to heat up and cool down. Both steps comprise the complete cycle time which, in turn, determines sample throughput. Fast GC accessories provide an attractive means of increasing sample throughput because they are easy to implement and deliver reliable performance at low cost. They require little or no bench space and do not incur additional costs for consumables and support equipment such as autosamplers, data acquisition software, and computers. Fast oven cooling is especially attractive because methods do not have to be re-validated since the separation parameters remain unchanged.

Thermal agility is a term that describes the ability of an oven to heat up and cool down. Both steps comprise the complete cycle time which, in turn, determines sample throughput. Fast GC accessories provide an attractive means of increasing sample throughput because they are easy to implement and deliver reliable performance at low cost. They require little or no bench space and do not incur additional costs for consumables and support equipment such as autosamplers, data acquisition software, and computers. Fast oven cooling is especially attractive because methods do not have to be re-validated since the separation parameters remain unchanged.

Experimental

Case studies were performed at five independent laboratories designated A, B, C, D, and E. The instrumentation included a standard GC equipped with a GC Racer fast programming device and/or a GC Chaser fast oven cool-down device. Figure 1 shows a typical Fast GC Configuration. The GC Racer consists of an additional heater (1) placed on the floor of the GC oven. A circuit (2) controls the heater according to the fast temperature program from the host GC. The GC Chaser (3) contains a centrifugal blower ducted to the oven intake. Improved ventilation results in shorter cool-down times. Both systems are fully automated and controlled by the host GC. They can be used independently or bundled together as dictated by the separation requirements.

Figure 1: Fast GC Configuration.

Results

Table I summarizes the findings from five independent laboratories. Productivity increases were seen for all applications. DRO, SIM-DIS, and forensics applications benefitted from using the GC Racer for fast temperature ramping. Many GC–MS applications are too complex for fast temperature programming, but can gain significant cycle time improvements with fast oven cooling. In fact, all of the applications benefitted from using the GC Chaser for fast oven cooling. As a result, more samples were run between 12 h check standards and significant gains in productivity were achieved.

Table I: Summary of case studies

Conclusion

These results indicate greater productivity can be achieved with fast temperature programming and fast oven cool-down accessories. Fast temperature programming provides significant time savings for select applications. Fast oven cooling accelerates all applications. Since separation parameters are not changed with fast cooling, methods do not have to be re-validated.

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