Gas chromatography (GC) is a common technique used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. GC is typically used for separating the different components of a mixture, improving the purity of a particular substance, or identifying a particular compound.
GC is a ubiquitous technique, and the various GC instruments available are designed to achieve every requirement of the technique. This guide is designed to help direct the purchaser through a range of instruments and help him or her choose the most appropriate option.
Types of GC Systems
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
GC-MS is considered the gold standard for many analytical processes, including forensic substance identification. Other applications include drug detection, fire investigation, environmental analysis, explosives investigation and identification of unknown samples. In addition, it can identify trace elements in disintegrated materials.
Integrated GC systems
Integrated GC systems feature an integrated detector that cannot be substituted. These systems are ideal for simple analytical tasks or for situations in which one type of detection is required for all tasks.
Micro systems tend to be small and compact and are ideal for use in the field or in other situations where space is limited.
Many GC systems are available as basic units that can accommodate different detectors and different sample injectors. This allows users to customize the GC system according to their own particular needs, providing full flexibility. The purchaser should first choose a base system, then a detector type and finally a method of sample introduction. Compatible combinations are indicated graphically in the diagram below.