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Keeping Your GC System Clean and Inert

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System cleanliness is key to good gas chromatography. We need our pathways to be clean and inert. As a result, much of our routine maintenance focuses on replacement of parts that can accumulate contamination over time like liners, inlet seals, and even our columns. 

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Hey, everybody. It's time for another Restek Tip. We're going to talk about system cleanliness today, for our gas chromatograph. You've seen our troubleshooting videos. You've seen our maintenance videos. Time and time again, throughout, we've stressed the importance of cleanliness, lack of contamination, inert surfaces. It's really important to good gas chromatography.

Really, from front, to system, to back, we want to pay attention to these details, starting with the sample and the sample preparation itself, we want to have that as clean as possible, so that we're not introducing extra material into the inlet or on the column. When we speak of the inlet, it's critically important, there. If we think about how hot that is, we're expecting vaporization to occur in there. We want those surfaces to be pristine and inert, so that there are no extra interactions going on. We just want the sample to vaporize, and then transfer onto the column.

The column is another area where cleanliness is important. That's why we do recommend using guard columns when you're working with dirty samples. We can trim that contamination portion of a guard column away, and not lose any of the function of our analytical column when we do so.

Finally, that brings us to the detector. It's also important for our detectors to stay clean. Problems can manifest in different ways, depending on the type of detector that we have, but in general excess dirt in a detector is going to contribute to background noise. Ultimately, it's just going to degrade the quality of the data that we're getting. All of this maintenance and troubleshooting that we talk about, much of it is really driven towards the importance of keeping our system clean and inert.

Thanks for joining us for this Restek Tip.


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