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Using Hydrogen as the Carrier gas with MS and some Considerations on anticipated Column life-time

  • Jaap de Zeeuw
  • #Blogs
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There have been a lot of discussions lately on using hydrogen as the carrier gas, because of the ongoing challenges with Helium. Fact is that availability if under pressure, but that may be resolved in the next years.  What will happen is, that the price will go up and can evolve in a significant increase of operation cost.

Use of hydrogen remains interesting. Besides price, availability it also offers a shorter run time while you can use the same column.


As the peaks elute faster, one can also inject a smaller amount. This is quite essential as injection of a smaller amount will also allow more analysis per column and your liner will not be contaminated as much.

If the same amount is injected, you will benefit from a  higher response. But it is not uncommon, that column life time in -number of analysis- is similar, but in absolute time,  column life time will be shorter. Contamination of inlet side of the column is direct related to the amount of matrix injected.  Less matrix on the column is always better.

Hydrogen remains an explosive gas and safety precautions need to be taken, see for details and discussions:

Chas Simons:

Jack Cochran:

Alan Sensue:

Jaap de Zeeuw:


Hydrogen and MS systems also remains a hot topic.  Here is a link to an interesting application document that was prepared by Shimadzu using hydrogen and MS detection. The work was done on a dedicated MS column that is widely used, the Rxi-5Sil MS. There is a lot of interesting data in this document. 2013-Shimazu-Restek-GCMS-1303