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Schematic representation of the chromatographic process. Adapted from Harold M. McNair, James M. Miller, Basic Gas Chromatography , John Wiley&Sons, New York,1998. Reproduced courtesy of John Wiley&Sons, Inc.

A typical chromatogram

[link] shows a chromatogram of the analysis of residual methanol in biodiesel, which is one of the required properties that must be measured to ensure the quality of the product at the time and place of delivery.

Chromatogram of the analysis of methanol in B100 biodiesel, following EN 14110 methodology. Reproduced courtesy of PerkinElmer Inc. (http://www.perkinelmer.com/)

Chromatogram ( [link] a) shows a standard solution of methanol with 2-propanol as the internal standard. From the figure it can be seen that methanol has a higher affinity for the mobile phase (lower K c ) than 2-propanol (iso-propanol), and therefore elutes first. Chromatograms ( [link] b and c) show two samples of biodiesel, one with methanol ( [link] b) and another with no methanol detection. The internal standard was added to both samples for quantitation purposes.

Instrument overview

Components of a gas chromatograph system

[link] shows a schematic diagram of the components of a typical gas chromatograph, while [link] shows a photograph of a typical gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer (GC/MS).

Schematic diagram of the components of a typical gas chromatograph. Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_chromatography
Image of a Perkin Elmer Clarus SQ 8S GC/MS. Reproduced courtesy of PerkinElmer Inc. ( (External Link) ).

Carrier gas

The role of the carrier gas -GC mobile phase- is to carry the sample molecules along the column while they are not dissolved in or adsorbed on the stationary phase. The carrier gas is inert and does not interact with the sample, and thus GC separation's selectivity can be attributed to the stationary phase alone. However, the choice of carrier gas is important to maintain high efficiency. The effect of different carrier gases on column efficiency is represented by the van Deemter (packed columns) and the Golay equation (capillary columns). The van Deemter equation, [link] , describes the three main effects that contribute to band broadening in packed columns and, as a consequence, to a reduced efficiency in the separation process.

These three factors are:

  1. the eddy diffusion (the A-term), which results from the fact that in packed columns spaces between particles along the column are not uniform. Therefore, some molecules take longer pathways than others, and there are also variations in the velocity of the mobile phase.
  2. the longitudinal molecular diffusion (the B-term) which is a consequence of having regions with different analyte concentrations.
  3. the mass transfer in the stationary liquid phase (the C-term)

The broadening is described in terms of the height equivalent to a theoretical plate, HEPT, as a function of the average linear gas velocity, u . A small HEPT value indicates a narrow peak and a higher efficiency.

Since capillary columns do not have any packing, the Golay equation, [link] , does not have an A-term. The Golay equation has 2 C-terms, one for mass transfer in then stationary phase (C s ) and one for mass transfer in the mobile phase (C M ).

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Mueller Reply
advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
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