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Introduction to Gas

Chromatography

Written by Bette Kreuz
Produced by Ruth Dusenbery
University of Michigan-Dearborn
2000
Introduction

❚ Gas chromatography is an instrumental
method for the separation and
identification of chemical compounds.
Slide 1a

A sample is
❚ introduced into a heated injector,
❚ carried through a separating column by
an inert gas, and
❚ detected as a series of peaks on a
recorder when components leave the
column.
Slide 1
Slide 2a

❚ The instrument used for our
experiments, a Varian 3350 gas
chromatograph, is shown here.
Slide 2
Carrier gas/ Varian 3350 GasComputer Controls for
Regulator Chromatograph Method and Output
Slide 3a

❚ Chromatographic separation involves
the use of a stationary phase and a
mobile phase.
phase
❚ Components of a mixture carried in
the mobile phase are differentially
attracted to the stationary phase and
thus move through the stationary
phase at different rates.
rates
Slide 3
Flow of Mobile Phase
Injector Detector
T=0

T=10’

T=20’

Most Interaction with Stationary Phase Least
Slide 4a

In gas chromatography

❚ the mobile phase is an inert carrier
gas and

❚ the stationary phase is a solid or a
liquid coated on a solid contained in a
coiled column.
Slide 4
Slide 5a

❚ Columns can be short, large
diameter packed column or long,
very small diameter capillary
columns.

❚ Each has its own use and associated
advantages and disadvantages.
Slide 5
Slide 6a

❚ The mobile phase or carrier gas
flows through the instrument from a
pressurized tank.

❚ Flow rate is controlled by a two stage
regulator on the gas tank and
additional controls within the
instrument.
Slide 6
Two Stage GC Flow Controller
Tank Regulator
Slide 7a

❚ The column is contained in a heated
oven that is preceded by a heated
injector port and followed by a
heated detector unit which produces
the output.

❚ A set of preprogrammed parameters
regulate the operation of the system.
Slide 7
Slide 8a

❚ The injector, column oven and
detector components of the Varian
3350 gas chromatograph are shown
here.
Slide 8

Injector Detector

Column in Oven
Slide 9a

❚ Preprogrammed parameters, called a
separation method,
method control the
operation of the system.
Slide 9
Control Panel sets Separation Method
Slide 10a

❚ Samples may be pure compounds.

❚ However, they are often prepared as
dilute solutions due to the sensitivity
of the detection methods.
Slide 10

Dilute
Solution
Pure
Sample
Slide 11a

❚ When the system is ready, as
indicated by the ready light, samples
are injected into the injector port
where they are vaporized and
carried into the column by the carrier
gas.
Slide 11

10 µ l
Syringe
Slide 12a

❚ Separation of the components of the
mixture occurs in the column.

❚ Compounds differentially retained in
the stationary phase reach the
detector at different times to
produce a set of peaks along the
time line.
Enter Exit to
Slide 12 from Detector
Injector

Packed Column
installed in Oven
Compartment.
Slide 13a

❚ The detector response is sent to a
computer system where the progress
of the sample is monitored on the
computer monitor in graphical form
that displays detector response as a
function of run time.
Slide 13
Slide 14a

❚ Each component of the mixture
reaches the detector at a different
time and produces a signal at a
characteristic time called a retention
time.
time

❚ The area under a peak is related to
the amount of that component
present in the mixture.
Slide 14
Slide 15a

❚ The detector information can also sent
to a printer that produces hard copy of
the chromatographic run.
Slide 15
Slide 16a
In the printout of the chromatographic
analysis:
the number of peaks correlates with the
number
of components in the sample,
the area under each peak correlates with
the
relative amount of that component in the
sample,
Slide 16