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GC Troubleshooting—No Peaks


We are back with more information on common problems that you can encounter with gas chromatography. What if you have no peaks? Here are some causes and solutions to help you troubleshoot this problem fast and get up and running again soon. 

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Hey, chromatographers. Welcome to another Restek Tip. We’re going to do some GC troubleshooting today. And the problem we’re going to take a look at, no peaks. So, if we think about this a little bit, what might cause us to not have peaks? Well, it could be our detector, right? We might not be generating a signal there. But it also could be that are sample isn’t making its way to the detector. It calls to mind the idea of divide and conquer. Can we sort out the difference? Is it a detector problem, or is it not getting to the detector?

If we focus on the front end, how about administering our sample? Is our auto sampler working correctly? How about our syringe? Did we even prepare the sample correctly?

Then, if we move on and think about the column, even something as common as a break in our column, well, that would certainly prevent material from making its way to the detector. And then, if we consider the detector itself, say we’re working with an FID. Is our flame lit? Could our jet be clogged? Do we have the correct gas flows? These are all good examples of problems that can occur at the detector that would prevent us from getting a signal. So, these are some of the things that we want to keep in mind when we’re tackling a problem like no peaks. Be sure to check out some of our other GC troubleshooting videos as well, and thanks for joining us for this Restek Tip.