Maxxam Analytics Group Earns Kaizen Award for Work With Rtx®-Dioxin2 Columns

Maxxam Analytics recently presented a Kaizen award for productivity improvement to their High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Department at the Mississauga laboratory in Ontario. This award was presented in recognition of process improvements that the group made using an Rtx®-Dioxin2 column for multiple methods, which resulted in increased instrument capacity.

The Mississauga lab gets many requests for analyzing drinking water samples for 2,3,7,8-TCDD only using EPA Method 1613. They had been analyzing these short list samples on the same instrument used for full list PCDD/PCDF and PCB congeners; however, this limited the number of the longer list analyses that could be performed on that instrument. Maxxam also confirms the presence of 2,3,7,8-TCDF using a different column installed on another instrument. Since the Rtx®-Dioxin2 column provides isomer specificity for both 2,3,7,8-TCDD and 2,3,7,8-TCDF and has much greater temperature stability than cyano columns, chemists in the High Resolution Mass Spectrometry group explored using it for both the TCDD-only samples and the 2,3,7,8-TCDF confirmations.

By moving to an Rtx®-Dioxin2 column (60 m x 0.25 mm x 0.25 µm, cat.# 10758) they were able to optimize the EPA 1613 drinking water TCDD-only analysis and reduce the run time from 50 minutes to 30 minutes, saving 20 minutes per analysis! EPA Method 1613 requires a minimum run time of 25 minutes to meet method specifications for the recovery standard, so this was pretty ideal. While the analysis time for the TCDF confirmation analysis was not significantly reduced, run cycle time was decreased by taking advantage of the column’s 340 °C thermal stability. This resulted in lower estimated detection limits and less column bleed compared to the columns that the lab had previously used. In addition, the higher maximum programmable temperature also reduced the potential for carryover contamination between samples.

Since the lab was able to run both the TCDD-only and TCDF confirmation analyses on the Rtx®-Dioxin2 column, they were able to use the same instrument for both analyses which allowed more full-list dioxin and PCB samples to be analyzed on the other instrument. According to Owen Cosby of Maxxam Analytics, “Using the Rtx®-Dioxin2 column allowed us to combine EPA 1613 TCDD-only and TCDF confirmation analyses onto one column and one instrument. This resulted in multiple benefits—we shortened run times, reduced instrument downtime and column changes, and increased instrument capacity for our full list samples.”

The increased productivity and profitability realized by switching to the Rtx®-Dioxin2 column have benefited the entire company and are the basis for Maxxam Analytics’ recognition of the Mississauga lab High Resolution Mass Spectrometry group with a Kaizen award.

From Maxxam:
Maxxam is the market leader in analytical services and solutions to the energy, environmental, food and DNA industries. We provide unparalleled depth of technical and scientific expertise and serve customers through the only national network of laboratories. Maxxam skillfully combines efficiency and customer service with rigorous science and uncompromising quality management.

Restek’s Innovations Group Expands With 2 New Hires

Jason Herrington and Chris Rattray
Jason Herrington (left) and Chris Rattray (right)

Restek is proud to announce two additions to our Innovations Group: Chris Rattray and Jason Herrington.

Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of California, Riverside, and substantial experience with GC, GC-MS, sample preparation, standards formulation, and instrument calibration. His years performing organic EPA analysis include extensive work with methods 8270, 8260, 8141, and 8081. Over the course of his tenure at Microbac Laboratories, he was an organic analyst, organic supervisor, and technical director of the lab. After coming on as Restek’s Environmental Innovations Chemist, Chris hit the ground running and is currently working on the optimization of existing environmental methods. You can find his latest work at ChromaBLOGraphy (

Prior to joining Restek, Jason had spent over 10 years in environmental analysis, most notably as a post-doctoral research fellow with the EPA, where he focused on developing techniques for organic speciation of ambient gas-phase air toxics. Jason has a B.S. & Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from Rutgers and The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey respectively. His dissertation examining carbonyl measurement methods in air garnered him several prestigious awards, and his wide-ranging work has been both published and presented around the world. As Restek’s Air Innovations Chemist, Jason will be heavily involved with developing both new products and new ambient air applications.

This expansion of our Innovations Group will help us stay on the cutting edge of chromatography and continue to bring you the top-quality products and applications you expect from Restek. If you have any questions for Chris or Jason, they can be reached at and

New GC Columns and Standards for Blood Alcohol Testing

Restek GC Columns and Reference StandardsRestek announces the release of new Rtx®-BAC Plus 1 and Rtx®-BAC Plus 2 columns for blood alcohol testing. These GC columns baseline separate all critical compounds, including ethanol, methanol, acetone, tert-butanol (IS), acetaldehyde, isopropanol, and 1-propanol (IS), in less than 2 minutes. Every column is quality tested with these important target compounds in order to ensure performance. Optimized column selectivities guarantee resolution of ethanol, internal standards, and frequently encountered interferences.

In addition to the GC columns, new BAC resolution control standards with either tert-butanol or 1-propanol internal standard are now available. These check standards are used to verify the retention time for each compound normally included in a blood alcohol test. They also are used to confirm that the analytes are well resolved from each other and do not interfere with one another.

New Rtx®-BAC Plus 1 and Rtx®-BAC Plus 2 columns and BAC resolution control standards are designed to provide definitive results quickly, allowing increased sample throughput for blood alcohol testing. More information on clinical and forensic applications is available at