Paolo Magni, Andy Wells, Luisa Pereira
Many environmental analyses as specified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) use gas chromatography as the analytical method. Due to the accumulation of these methods over years, many have long analysis times. These methods often take 30minutes per run, plus recycling time, leading to a sample throughput of only 15 to 25 per day.
As demands on testing laboratories change, more samples need to be analysed in less time and cost per sample becomes an important consideration. This work develops examples of how, taking advantage of recent advances in column and instrument technology, these older methods can be adjusted to increase elution speeds while still retaining chromatographic performance allowing higher laboratory productivity and lower costs.
We examine experimentally the parameters of column and methodology that can be varied without changing chromatography from the reported method. The work demonstrates this using examples of EPA method 610. The methodology used will assist in the modification of other GC methods to achieve faster separations, whilst maintaining the essential criteria of resolution and elution order.
SummaryrnThis method demonstrates how altering simple variables such as column length, oven programme, gas flow rate, column ID and film thickness affect run time.
Practical, hands on examples show the effect of each modification whilst reducing the run time from 33 minutes in the original analysis to under 5 minutes, all using standard GC equipment. This represents an approximately 7 fold increase in sample throughput. A further reduction in analysis time to 2.5 minutes can be achieved using Ultra Fast column technology, a 12 fold increase in throughput.Poster presented at:
Pitcon 2006, HTC York 2006, 3rd National Meeting on Environmental Mass Spectrometry - 2006